One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Marc-André HAMELIN (b.1961)
Twelve Études in all the keys (1986-2008) [50:20]
Little Nocturne (2007) [2:15]
from Con intimissimo sentimento (1986-2000) – Landler I [2:21]: Album Leaf [2:12]: Music Box [2:00]: After Pergolesi [3:49]: Berceuse (in tempore belli) [2:34]
Theme and Variations (Cathy’s Variations) (2007) [10:37]
Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
rec. November 2009 Concert Hall, Wyastone, Monmouth except, January 1998, EMI Abbey Road Studio No.1 London (Études 9, 10), May 2009, St George’s Brandon Hill, Bristol (Little Nocturne), August 2008, Henry Wood Hall, London (Con intimissimo sentimento)
HYPERION CDA67789 [76:10]

Experience Classicsonline

If you are an exceptionally keen follower of Hamelin you will know that two of the cycle of Études have been previously released before by Hyperion; Nos. 9 and 10 were on CDA67050. The rest of this disc derives from sessions taped in 2008 and 2009. The results are remarkable examples of a composer-executant operating at super voltage but also, where necessary, revealing his softer side.

The primary, though not exclusive, interest in this disc resides in the Twelve Études in all the keys, written between 1986 and 2008. These quirky, astonishing, outrageous and ear-titillating pieces present a modern day Alkan or Godowsky in the full lava flow of riotous digital and imaginative invention. Where to start? Maybe with the first, in A minor, a three-in-one, thus Triple Etude after Chopin, which takes three of that composer’s Etudes, runs them together, and exercises contrapuntal feats second to none. How does the composer-executant do it? You’d have to ask him. He embraces the Paganini-Liszt La Campanella for the third, in B minor, where playful virtuosity soon becomes jaw-dropping in its extremity. Hamelin visits Alkan for his interweaving and combination of two of that composer’s own Études. We soon come to a mystery as No.5, the Toccata grottesca, is based on a ‘not...terribly well-known work’ and Hamelin isn’t giving any clues beyond saying that ‘someone with a sufficiently broad knowledge of the piano literature might recognize it.’ He does seem to provide a musical clue – is that Vltava floating about in the bass? - so maybe we are in the Czech Lands. Not one of the Dvorák Humoresques?

The brilliantly witty Scarlatti Etude evokes, but doesn’t quote, the eminent predecessor whilst Erlkönig is a gauntly powerful narrative, with nothing to do with the Schubert lied. No.10, after Chopin, takes a distorted view of the Black Key Étude. The Prelude and Fugue rounds off a cycle not meant to be played in concert as a set, though Hamelin has done so. This brilliant collection offers a rich tapestry of influences and virtuosic demands. Let’s hope others embrace these challenges with something of the brio that their heroic composer does.

We also have a selection from Con intimissimo sentimento which includes a setting of Pergolesi’s decidedly Old School song (Nina) and an Album Leaf with richly interesting harmonic drift. Then we have the delightful Theme and Variations (Cathy’s Variations) written in 2007, a love token of great tenderness and real charm.

It means the disc is balanced between richly characterful Etudes and more intimately shaped fare. Needless to say the composer plays everything with dazzling control and he’s been sumptuously recorded.

Jonathan Woolf

See also review by Dan Morgan














































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.