Hamelin:a recital of rare quality

TONY COOPER One of the world's leading concert pianists, Marc-André Hamelin, makes his debut in Norwich on Friday February 16 (7.30pm) performing Beethoven, Haydn and Schumann at the John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich, as guest of Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music.

TONY COOPER

One of the world's leading concert pianists, Marc-André Hamelin, makes his debut in Norwich on Friday February 16 (7.30pm) performing Beethoven, Haydn and Schumann at the John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich, as guest of Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music.

The city should be honoured by his visit as he's only giving two recitals in the UK on this trip. His other engagement is on London's South Bank.

Born in Montréal in 1961, Hamelin studied at the Vincent d'Indy School of Music before moving to Temple University, Philadelphia, where he now lives. He's particularly active in the little-known repertoire and this is reflected in his recordings of such composers as the 19th-century Frenchman Charles-Valentin Alkan and the 18th/19th-century Lithuanian Leopold Godowsky.


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His recordings of the complete Albeniz Iberia and Ives' Concord sonata brought him a nomination for Gramophone Magazine's 2005 Artist of the Year while his Iberia recording received the 2006 Juno Award for best classical album solo or chamber ensemble.

He opens his recital with two sonatas by Beethoven: no 30 in E major (op 109) and no 31 in A flat major (op 110). The first (completed in 1820) is the first of the composer's last three great sonatas. The second piece (dated Christmas Day, 1821) was printed the following year and is his penultimate piano sonata.

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Haydn's 47th piano sonata in B minor follows and is the last of a group of six he completed in 1776. It's an appealing work with the opening movement dominated by a perky, almost march-like motto theme.

Schumann Phantasie in C major (an early work) completes what promises an entertaining programme.

Tickets £12, students £5, available from Prelude Records, St Giles' Street, Norwich. 01603 628319

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