Marc-André Hamelin
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Kapustin: Piano Music, Vol. 2
Label: Hyperion
Released: June 1, 2004
Catalog Num: CDA67433

Variations Op 41

Eight Concert Études Op 40

Prelude: Allegro assai

Dream: Moderato

Toccatina: Allegro

Reminiscence: Larghetto

Shuitka: Vivace

Pastoral: Allegro moderato

Intermezzo: Allegretto

Final: Prestissimo

Bagatelles Op 59


Suite in the Old Style Op 28


Gavotte I – Gavotte II


Bourrée I – Bourrée II


Piano Sonata No 6 Op 62

Allegro ma non troppo



Sonatina Op 100

Five Études in Different Intervals Op 68

Allegro: Étude in minor seconds

Allegro: Étude in fourths and fifths

Animato: Étude in thirds and sixths[

Vivace: Étude in major seconds

Animato: Étude in octaves

Here is a disc to set the pulse racing. Nikolai Kapustin is a Russian composer who writes jazz piano music teeming with energetic spontaneity and bristling with the kind of creative immediacy one associates with improvisation (although the music is fully and meticulously written out). Kapustin is already known to the Hyperion catalogue through Steven Osborne’s trail-blazing recording of the first two Piano Sonatas and the Preludes in Jazz Style, and Marc-André Hamelin is another pianist who has for years played his music in concert. Hamelin’s legendary technical prowess and his exceptional affinity with jazz fuse to create one of the most sparkling, infectiously foot-tapping piano discs you could wish to hear.

In a recital spanning various traditional instrumental genres, Marc-André Hamelin includes two sets of studies. In terms of their stylistic breadth, formidable technical challenges and audacious invention, the Eight Concert Études (1984) hold their own against the celebrated benchmarks in the genre, from Liszt and Lyapunov to Godowsky’s re-worked Chopin. The Five Études in Different Intervals (1992) begins with a madcap study in minor seconds recalling the bouncy demeanor of Zez Confrey’s Kitten on the Keys (although here someone has dosed poor kitty with Grade A Catnip!), and ends with an octave study to end all octave studies. Throughout, Kapustin’s bottomless well of thematic resoursefulness works overtime.

A disc to dazzle your friends with – and play “guess the composer!“

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Updated: May-7-2015
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