Skip to content
Home » Classical Downloads » Hamelin: Albéniz – Iberia (2 CD, APE)

Hamelin: Albéniz – Iberia (2 CD, APE)

Hamelin: Albéniz - Iberia (2 CD, APE)

Hamelin: Albéniz – Iberia (2 CD, APE)

Performer: Marc-André Hamelin
Composer: Isaac Albeniz
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Hyperion
Size: 318 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

# Iberia Suite, for piano, B. 47
Composed by Isaac Albeniz
with Marc-Andre Hamelin

# The Alhambra, suite for piano, B. 46 (incomplete, only “La Vega” finished)
Composed by Isaac Albeniz
with Marc-Andre Hamelin

# Yvonne en visite!, pieces (2) for piano, B. 48
Composed by Isaac Albeniz
with Marc-Andre Hamelin

# España (Souvenirs), pieces (2) for piano, B. 45
Composed by Isaac Albeniz
with Marc-Andre Hamelin

# Navarra, for piano in A flat major, B. 49 (completed by Sévérac)
Composed by Isaac Albeniz
with Marc-Andre Hamelin

Disc: 1
01. Evocacion
02. El Puerto
03. El Corpus En Sevilla
04. Rondena
05. Almeria
06. Triana
07. El Albaicin
08. El Polo
09. Lavapies

Disc: 2
01. Malaga
02. Jerez
03. Eritana
04. La Vega
05. La Reverence!
06. Joyeuse Rencontre Et Quelques Penibles Evenements!!
07. Preludio
08. Asturias
09. Navarra

At last, an alternative to de Larrocha

Alicia de Larrocha has held the field in this towering piece of piano literature for what seems like forever (personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for her Erato recording, the middle of her three versions). Pretenders have come and gone, but no-one has come near her innate understanding of the idiom combined with the ability to encompass all the work’s prodigious virtuoso demands, despite her relatively small hands.
Until now.
Which is not say that Marc Andre Hamelin’s performance supersedes de Larrocha. It is just different and, on its own terms, equally valid; it provides a revealing new light on the many facets of this ever-fascinating set of pieces – much praised by Messiaen amongst others. De Larrocha captures the essence of these Spanish landscapes with a crystalline brilliance that perfectly reflects the brightness and heat of the Spanish sun, the clarity of its skies and the earthiness of the land and its people. Hamelin, on the other hand, is more impressionist in his approach. He makes these works cousins to the Debussian or Ravelian view of Spain – think Debussy’s Iberia or Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole. Try the first piece of the Suite, Evocacion, for a flavour of what I mean. With Hamelin there is a little more heat-haze over the landscape than there is with de Larrocha: speeds can be a little slower, a little more languorous: there is time to take in a little more of the detail of Albeniz’s often daring harmonies as they shift and change and inner voices come to the fore. When virtuoso technique is called for (which is pretty often and not only in the louder faster pieces), Hamelin is, as you would expect, more than equal to the task – and it is never virtuosity for virtuosity’s sake, but always at the service of the music.
The extra pieces are all worth hearing and wonderfully played, if not in the same class as Iberia. The completion of Navarra makes a more balanced and satisfying piece of it than we’re used to – but why leave it to the end of the disc (where it admittedly makes an exciting finale) instead of attaching it to the end of Iberia here it really belongs? That quibble aside, this is a highly commendable disc. Hamelin has clearly thought through his interpretations very carefully and presents a thrilling range of colour, harmony and melody – though I wouldn’t want to be without one of the de Larrocha performances as well.

4 thoughts on “Hamelin: Albéniz – Iberia (2 CD, APE)”

  1. Albéniz played by Hamelin, a French artist. But it’s not neccesary to be spanish for playing this masterworks according the best style. Thanks again, Whatever.

Leave a Reply