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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Georgy Catoire - Piano Works (Marc-André Hamelin)


Composer: Georgy Catoire
  1. Caprice, Op. 3
  2. 6 morceaux, Op. 6: 5. Intermezzo
  3. 3 morceaux, Op. 2: 1. Chant intime
  4. 3 morceaux, Op. 2: 2. Loin du foyer
  5. 3 morceaux, Op. 2: 3. Soirée d'hiver
  6. 6 morceaux, Op. 6: 2. Prélude
  7. 6 morceaux, Op. 6: 3. Scherzo
  8. Vision (Étude), Op. 8
  9. 5 morceaux, Op. 10: 1. Prélude
  10. 5 morceaux, Op. 10: 2. Prélude
  11. 5 morceaux, Op. 10: 3. Capricioso
  12. 5 morceaux, Op. 10: 4. Rêverie
  13. 5 morceaux, Op. 10: 5. Légende
  14. 4 morceaux, Op. 12: 1. Chant du soir
  15. 4 morceaux, Op. 12: 2. Méditation
  16. 4 morceaux, Op. 12: 3. Nocturne
  17. 4 morceaux, Op. 12: 4. Étude fantastique
  18. 4 préludes, Op. 17: 1. Poco Allegro, sempre molto rubato
  19. 4 préludes, Op. 17: 2. Con molto sentimento
  20. 4 préludes, Op. 17: 3. Andante dramatico
  21. 4 préludes, Op. 17: 4. Andante
  22. Chants du crépuscule, Op. 24: 1. En rêvant
  23. Chants du crépuscule, Op. 24: 2. Capricciosamente
  24. Chants du crépuscule, Op. 24: 3. Tranquillo
  25. Chants du crépuscule, Op. 24: 4. Poco agitato
  26. 4 morceaux, Op. 34: 2. Poème
  27. 4 morceaux, Op. 34: 3. Prélude
  28. Valse, Op. 36

Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Date: 1998
Label: Hyperion



Georgy Catoire (1861-1926) was a Russian composer of French extraction whose modest and outwardly conservative nature made for early neglect followed by near oblivion. Yet even when strongly influenced by a wide variety of Russian romantics - most notably Tchaikovsky and Scriabin - his music spices and enriches, say, the classic concert etude pattern with some startling twists and turns to both its harmonic and rhythmic life. Indeed, repeated hearings suggest a constantly evolving and personal voice, particularly when approached chronologically, as on this superlative disc. As early as the two Preludes from Op. 10 (the second with a romantic undertow beneath a shimmering surface) you are aware of an increasingly haunting and seductive individuality. Try the 'Capriccio' from the same opus, where an explosive whimsy blossoms into an indelibly Russian intricacy, or the 'Nocturne' from Op. 12 and you will hear the ghosts of former Russian musical masters transformed by a special poetic subtlety and brio.

All this music, whether evoking wintry landscapes or cosy firesides, the distant or clamorous peal of sleigh bells, is immaculately and sensitively performed by Marc-Andre Hamelin, a more than ardent champion. Hyperion's sound and presentation are superb and it would be hard to imagine one of music's most neglected by-ways illuminated with more pianistic ease and affection.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: ***** / SOUND: ****


Georgy Catoire (Moscow, April 27, 1861 – May 21, 1926) was a Russian composer of French heritage. Today Catoire is very little known, although a few recordings exist of his piano works by Marc-André Hamelin, Anna Zassimova and Alexander Goldenweiser, while David Oistrakh and Laurent Breuninger have recorded the complete violin music. His music has a certain semblance to the works of Tchaikovsky, the early works of Scriabin, and the music of Fauré. Catoire's compositions demand not only high virtuosity but also an ear for instrumental colour.


Marc-André Hamelin (born September 5, 1961 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian virtuoso pianist and composer. Hamelin is recognized worldwide for the originality and technical brilliance of his performances of the classic repertoire. He has made recordings of a wide variety of composers with the Hyperion label. He is well known for his attention to lesser-known composers especially of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and for performing works by pianist-composers. Hamelin has also composed several works, including a set of piano études in all of the minor keys.


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