From track 1 on, it is clear that Hamelin is one of piano music's most meteoric talents ever to blaze the pianistic firmament. He dispatches Beethoven as if driven by the very fires of Hell. Surprising, as elements of wry humour are often a characteristic of this artist. But with that aside, this is a brilliantly successful recital.
Hamelin has no equal as an interpreter of Alkan; he inhabits the overheated world of this strange proto-Lisztian figure with a completeness that combines a total mastery of its fearsome technical challenges with an innate understanding of its sometime elusive emotional content.
A huge achievement...and not only technically but musically as well. Hamelin delivers on every level: this recording had me gasping in disbelief, and then laughing out loud at the sheer audacity of it all. Hamelin is a revelation. Where was I before I discovered Him? I might as well have been unconscious.