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“In an age when great, good, bad and indifferent recordings rub shoulders in a chaotic marketplace, Piotr Anderszewski's playing stands out like a beacon of light and quality. His is the most powerful and distinctive of musical voices, a rare combination of purity and adventure. In Bach's Sixth English Suite his intelligence is as razorsharp as his technique is immaculate. What an endless play of light and shade he brings to the Prelude, what buoyancy to the First Gavotte! His varied registration in the Second Gavotte is central to a deeply imaginative response to Bach; so too is the uncanny stillness he evokes in the Sarabande or the sinister momentum of the final nail-biting, fiercely chromatic Gigue. In Beethoven's Op 110 he gives us a scrupulously modern equivalent of legendary recordings of the past (by Solomon and Myra Hess, for example), reawakening our sense of the otherworldly, the speculative and mystical in this late masterpiece. His poise and tonal translucency in the opening Moderato are enviable, and so is his explosive sense of contrast in the following Allegromolto. And if for some his attention to detail will seem microscopic and over-refined, others will surely rejoice in a concentration and integrity that are at once exhausting and exhilarating. Exceptionally self-critical, Anderszewski once left the stage during a performance of the Webern Variations at the Leeds Piano Competition, unhappy and disgruntled with his playing. Here, even he must have felt a sense of achievement, with his precise and deeply sensitive performance.”
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“These strong and refined performances should need little recommendations for Elgarians… The recordings are excellent: plenty of church atmosphere, but bright in tone and clear in detail.” BBC Music Magazine
“Pamela Thorby, a regular member of the Palladian Ensemble, demonstrates versatility and virtuosity beyond question and is imaginatively accompanied by Richard Egarr, who also contributes a sparkling account of the Harpsichord Suite in E major. The recording was made from facsimiles of the autograph manuscripts, and the performances are commensurately vivid and immediate. One feels constantly gripped by the music, as if every single note matters. There's no compulsive need for a cello on the basso continuo part, and on this occasion Thorby and Egarr manage perfectly well without one. Egarr uses a chamber organ on some of the sonatas, and although it's not historically likely in Handel's chamber sonatas, its musical effect is pleasing, and increases textural variety while removing the threat of monotony across 74 minutes of intense brilliance.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“An enchanting collection from the mid-1720s played with virtuosity by Pamela Thorby, a regular member of the Palladian Ensemble. Richard Egarr is a superb partner.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2005
‘Everything on this remarkable disc is played with a nonchalant aplomb and magical dexterity hard to imagine from any other pianist’ (Gramophone)
“'Crossover' is an old rather than recent tradition, whether the jazz elements are peripheral as in Ravel or central as in Kapustin. Jed Distler, writing for Hamelin's disc in a style as witty and engaging as the music itself, speaks of a Chick Corea-based language that lifts a romantic virtuoso tradition into a beguiling quasi-improvisational style and holds it up to a fun-house mirror. Such high-pitched claims arguably fail to account for too many family likenesses (be they variations, studies or sonatas) or a style that too often suggests composition as a facile rather than arduous process (like Saint-Saëns, Kapustin 'produces music as an apple-tree produces apples'). Nonetheless, there are many scintillating surprises. The Variations' gawky theme blossoms into the sort of elaboration that would have made Bill Evans envious, while the second of the Op 40 Etudes ends with a passing memory of Liszt's Au bord d'une source, reminding you of Kapustin's work as a virtuoso pianist with Alexander Goldenweiser. No 6, Pastoral, a dream encore, sends a tiny cell-like motif spinning through a variety of guises. The Bagatelle's perky tune would not be out of place 'in a Brazilian Chorino' (Distler) and everything on this remarkable disc is played with a nonchalant aplomb and magical dexterity hard to imagine from any other pianist. Hamelin is in his element, and he's been immaculately recorded.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“Everything on this remarkable disc is played with a nonchalant aplomb and magical dexterity hard to imagine from any other pianist” Gramophone Magazine
“…Kapustin's… a Russian (b1937) who's had the bright idea of combining classical forms with a jazz idiom. …the music is full of virtuosity which Marc-André Hamelin handles effortlessly. He also turns in some tight jazz timing - sometimes it's surprising to learn that he isn't improvising, but then you realise that it's all perhaps just too perfect.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2004 *****