*** The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol.38
Hyperion's Record of the Month for October – surely the Romantic Piano
Concerto recording of the decade – will have pianophiles the world over in raptures. These two works are undoubtedly the greatest of the forgotten concertos we have not previously tackled and have been much requested. Both were written by hugely successful virtuoso pianists who were also composers, and both had a major place in the nineteenth-century repertoire, only falling from favour in the 1920s as modernism found its place in the concert hall. There have been great recordings of each in the past so we waited until we could be sure of making superlative versions before committing them to the series. With Marc-André's involvement this was sure to be special, and we have not been disappointed – his startling virtuosity can be taken for granted, but here there is also an adrenalin-fuelled excitement which is rarely captured in studio performances and which is guaranteed to involve even the most casual listener. Conductor Michael Stern (son of Isaac) fully enters into the spirit and does magnificent things with the BBCSSO in what is his first Hyperion recording. Also available in an astonishingly crisp hybrid SACD multichannel version.
»Marc-André Hamelin gives a dazzling account« (BBC Music Magazine)
»Hamelin's legendary technique thrills at every turn, and in the Rubinstein his scorching virtuosity and emotional intensity mesmerises from beginning to end. Anyone who loves Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov should investigate this stunning disc without delay!« (Classic FM Magazine)
»This will appeal to experts as well as those who only know, say, the Rachmaninov or Tchaikovsky concertos. Another fabulous disc (and as usual excellent sleeve-notes). Rolls-Royce stuff« (HMV Choice)
»Virtuoso repertoire, virtuoso playing – there's breathtaking snap and clarity to the rhythms, imposing weight to the climaxes … surely one of the peaks of Hyperion's ›Romantic Piano Concerto‹ series. All in all, urgently recommended« (Fanfare, USA)
stereoplay 03 / 06: »Nach Anhören der Aufnahme fragt man sich, warum diese wunderbaren, musikalisch hochwertigen und brillant funkelnden Meisterwerke der Spätromantik so spurlos verschwinden konnten, während Ähnliches sich nach wie vor großer Beliebtheit erfreut. Hamelin versteht es auch diesmal, die beiden teilweise teuflisch schwierigen Soloparts mit einer Souveränität, Lockerheit und Spielfreude aus dem Ärmel zu schütteln, als hätte er sie schon tausend Mal gespielt.«