- Audio CD (March 27 2001)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Hyperion
- ASIN: B000058UUV
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
|1. Fantasie in C major Op.17 - Schumann|
|2. Piano Sonata No.2 in G minor Op.22 - Schumann|
|3. Etudes symphoniques - Schumann|
I looked forward to this recording a great deal. I could think of no pianist better equipped to deal with the thorny technical demands of Schumann than Hamelin. He gives us a fiery and heroic effort. It is a spacious account, well conceived, wonderfully thought out and (as expected) brilliantly executed. But, it is on the spiritual and emotional plane that Schumann somehow eludes Hamelin; he comes close but stops short of the summit, and at times this most romantic of works sounds too deliberate, direct and literal.
However, the very qualities which undermine Hamelin in the Fantasy make for great performance of the G-minor Sonata. Hamelin makes a compelling argument for a work which has languished on the fringes of the literature. Rather ironically this sonata, its companion in F-sharp minor, Op. 11, and the Etudes symphoniques, Op. 13, all enjoyed great exposure at the turn of the century. Indeed, if one looks back to recital programs between 1898 and 1920, it is hard to find a program where one of these works (or the Fantasy) was not featured by artists ranging from Emil von Sauer to Percy Grainger--along with the ubiquitous Brahms Paganini and Handel Variations.
Little more needs to be said about the Symphonic Etudes, except that Hamelin dispatches them (in the 1850's revision) with ease. I would welcome this piano-slayer to turn his attention to the Brahms sonatas or just about anything else less over-played.Read more ›