Marc-André Hamelin
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Schumann: Carnaval, Fantasiestücke, Papillons
Label: Hyperion
Released: November 1, 2005
Catalog Num: CDA67120

Papillons Op 2


No 1

No 2: Prestissimo

No 3

No 4: Presto

No 5

No 6

No 7: Semplice

No 8

No 9: Prestissimo

No 10: Vivo

No 11

No 12: Finale

Fantasiestücke Op 12

Des Abends




In der Nacht


Traumes Wirren

Ende vom Lied

Carnaval Op 9

Préambule: Quasi maestoso

Pierrot: Moderato

Arlequin: Vivo

Valse noble: Un poco maestoso

Eusebius: Adagio

Florestan: Passionato

Coquette: Vivo

Réplique: L'istesso tempo – Sphinxes

Papillons: Prestissimo

ASCH–SCHA (Lettres dansantes): Presto

Chiarina: Passionato

Chopin: Agitato

Estrella: Con affetto

Reconnaissance: Animato

Pantalon et Colombine: Presto

Valse allemande: Molto vivace

Paganini (Intermezzo): Presto

Aveu: Passionato

Promenade: Comodo

Pause: Vivo

Marche des Davidsbündler contre les Philistins: Non allegro

Broadly speaking Schumann wrote two different kinds of piano work: large-scale abstract works in traditional forms such as sonata and variation; and works in a genre he created himself—the suite of small character pieces united by an emotional thread, often taking their inspiration from literature.

The three works on this disc fall into the latter category and the programme opens with Papillons, only his second published work and arguably his first masterpiece. Its inspiration seems to come from the description of a masked ball in the novel Flegeljahre by Jean Paul. Carnaval inhabits the same world as Papillons but on a larger scale (they even share the same tune in their finales); it is probably Schumann’s most popular piano work and has been recorded by all the great pianists from Rachmaninov onwards. Fantasiestücke takes its inspiration from E T A Hofmann and is perhaps a more inward-looking cycle.

All these works are cornerstones of the Romantic piano repertoire but Marc-André Hamelin need fear no comparison with his illustrious predecessors. There is a rare poetry and spontaneity in these performances, particularly that of Carnaval which Marc-André recorded as an afterthought in just a few takes when he finished a booked recording session early. Marc-André’s previous Schumann CD received excellent reviews—this one is even better!

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