The Art of Total Pianism
The Art of Total Pianism
MCO audiences have the good fortune of being on musically intimate terms with at least one pianist of historic stature: Marc-André Hamelin. Routinely touted as one of the world’s greatest living pianists, Hamelin has appeared as a guest soloist with the MCO regularly since 1991.
By turns delicate and rhapsodic, Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude is one of Liszt’s most personal pieces, and the longest entry in his somewhat unknown piano cycle Harmonies poétiques et religieuses. It amply demonstrates why Liszt (1811-1886) is considered so modern, and anticipates the impressionist experiments with colour and modalism that were soon to become de rigueur among progressive composers of French music.
With Debussy’s Images collection we have impressionist music proper. About these lush and gorgeous pieces, Debussy correctly prophesied that they would “assume a place in the piano literature … to the left of Schumann or to the right of Chopin.”
For this concert, Hamelin, a dedicated explorer of the modern and contemporary, has plucked a handful of other exotic flowers from the landscape of solo piano music. He plays additional works by Feinberg and Godowsky, as well as Liszt.
An evening of unparalleled musicianship and modern music that is a must for discerning music-lovers.
Winner of the 1985 Carnegie Hall Competition, Hamelin was born in Montréal. His celebrity rests on his exceptional virtuosity in both the great works of the established repertoire and the obscure gems of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. He began to play the piano at the age of five, and by the age of nine had already won top prize in the Canadian Music Competition. Today, he is an Officer of the Order of Canada since 2003, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.
New Yorker music critic Alex Ross once called the pianist’s hands “among the wonders of the musical world.”
Marc-André Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records, Ltd.
Evening concert on February 20th at 7:30 pm; hour-long matinee concert on February 21st at 1:00 pm; both concerts at Westminster United Church, 745 Westminster at Maryland. Tickets, at $35 for adults, $33 for seniors and $15 for students and those under-30 (incl. GST), will be available 28 July 2017, at McNally Robinson, the West End Cultural Centre (586 Ellice at Sherbrook), Organic Planet (877 Westminster Ave) or MCO’s Ticketline (204-783-7377).
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
Anne Manson, Music Director
Karl Stobbe, Concertmaster
Westminster United Church
20 February 2018
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 13 (S 244/13)
Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses III (S 173)
Fantasy and Fugue on the Theme B-A-C-H (S 529/2)
Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 6
Images, Book I
Wine, Women and Song, from Three Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Johann Strauss II