GRAMOPHONE CD OF THE MONTH FOR STRAVINSKY ALBUM WITH MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN
Gramophone Magazine has singled out Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin's new recording of Stravinsky on the Hyperion label as CD of the Month.
"In August 2015 I assessed a clutch of new recordings of the four-hands version of The Rite of Spring and noted that Guy and Bavouzet were far superior to all their rivals … But now comes a version that flies as high as the two Frenchmen, and in some respects arguably even higher … Hamelin and Andsnes are irresistibly clear and energetic, so that the sheer physical excitement is on an altogether higher level ...
"For couplings … Hamelin and Andsnes have the Concerto for two pianos, which is Stravinskian neoclassicism at its highest metabolic rate of musical inventiveness: by turns gleefully sardonic and inscrutable, and horribly difficult to bring off. Here my critical pen rests and I reach for my hat. For sheer articulacy, synchronised gymnastics, flawless balance, range of colour and flinty attack, or any other criterion you care to reach for, this is breathtaking pianism ...
"Throw in three miniatures – Madrid in Soulima’s own transcription, the Tango and Circus Polka in versions by Victor Babin – plus an authoritative programme note by Stephen Walsh and you have an immensely collectable album: a strong candidate for Disc of the Year, never mind of the Month."