Beethoven (Transcr. Alkan), Chopin (Transcr. Balakirev), Alkan, Busoni & Medtner

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COMPOSERS: Alkan,Beethoven (Transcr. Alkan),Busoni & Medtner,Chopin (Transcr. Balakirev)
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Marc-Andre Hamelin Live at Wigmore Hall
WORKS: Music by Beethoven (transcr. Alkan), Chopin (transcr. Balakirev), Alkan, Busoni & Medtner
PERFORMER: Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
This disc is taken from the Virtuoso Romantics series of concerts given by Marc-André Hamelin at London’s Wigmore Hall last year, and provides a thrilling insight into a world in which it seemed that the piano was capable of anything. The collection kicks off, appropriately, with Alkan’s transcription of the first movement of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Alkan pays homage in his extraordinary cadenza, in which Beethoven’s themes are refracted through shimmering walls of sound and heard, audaciously, against the finale of the Fifth Symphony. Here, homage is not stuffy reverence but the release of imaginative energy; virtuosity is no mere showmanship but the medium through which the pianist as artist is able to triumph heroically against the odds.