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Marc-Andre Hamelin

Discussion in 'Pianists' started by nathanscoleman, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    yayayayayayayay ... I got my tickets in the mail today to his performance at Bass Hall on February 2nd!! I can't wait ... I just love him ...and he's gonna play all twelve of his etudes!! I may die in paroxyms of delight!
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Be sure to get his autograph, get on the photo with him, and do tell him the best pianists are on PS :lol:
     
  3. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Okay ... I know I'm revealing major rube status here, but how do I do that? Hang out around the stage exit or something like that??

    OMG ... I'm still so excited!!! hehe ... I better tone it down; I still have a few weeks to go!
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Concert pianists many times sell their CD's after the concert and that's where you can get their autograph. That's how I got my MAH John Hancock. I wanted to ask to take a photo with him, but I was so nervous that my lips wouldn't move.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Probably. You're likely to have to queue up though ...
     
  6. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    We don't "Queue" in the US of A (probably because we can't spell it) unless it involves a table, multi-colored balls and one white ball. :roll:

    Scott
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    http://www.wordwebonline.com/en/QUEUEUP
     
  8. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Lucky you, Nathan! Hamelin played in Milan a couple of months ago but didn't do any of his Etudes (same first part as the Bass Hall program and Alkan in the second part). I could kill to listen to him live playing his Etudes. Peters should publish them shortly.

    Tonight I'm going to a Perahia's recital in Torino. This is the program: http://www.unionemusicale.it/concerti/200110.htm
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Nathan,

    Maybe Hamelin will play one of his Catoire pieces as an encore. If so, that would be fantastic!

    David
     
  10. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Today is the day! Whoohoooo!!!!!!

    I'm wondering, does MAH have a stalker already? and if not, does he want one?? if so, should I challenge him to a duel??

    :roll: I'm so excited! 8)
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Remember, we expect a full report! :) And please say 'hi' to him for me, okay? :lol:
     
  12. nathanscoleman

    nathanscoleman New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Okay ... lovely, lovely evening out with the missus. Followed by three days of horrible flu (but totally worth it!) :lol:

    First of all, we dropped too much money on dinner and wine at a really nice restaurant across from the hall ... risotto to die for (with pan-seared scallops) ... yummy. And my merlot was divine!

    Bass Performance Hall is just a really great hall. Beautiful marble entryway ... and the 45 foot trumpeting angels towering over the street are quite impressive. Our seats were great ... 3rd row slightly to the left of the piano. So close, I made eye-contact with MAH several times ... I was cheering so loud, it had to be acknowledged! :oops: I told my wife later that any other mortal pianist would have splashed some sweat on us we were so close! lol

    He started off with Haydn variations... I'd never heard these, but he played them impeccably ... and OH MY GOD THE MAN CAN TRILL. He was just non-chalantly rattling off these 5-4 trills that were making my heart palpitate. I've got to insert a comment here about the people who decided to bring their diseased, emphesyma-riddled lungs to the concert. It was quite distracting. In fact, it caused no end of grief to the older gentleman (and his much younger, and much tanner, boy-toy) seated in front of us.

    Next up was the a minor Mozart sonata ... you know the one, it starts off with those off-putting grace notes? He did a good job, but this is far from my favorite Mozart. By this time, I'm so impressed with MAH's warm tone and incredible dynamic control, I really enjoy this piece too. His sound is just impeccable (something I didn't understand from his YT videos) and his presence at the keyboard is so unassuming, I think it might be easy to underestimate him as a pianistic force. It did become evident at this point in the concert that some in audience were under-whelmed ... there were a vocal few and the rest rather lukewarm. Anyway ....

    The Liszt Venezie e Napoli was next. Again, amazing sound, quiet clarity, so not-showy ... but when the Tarantella started, there was actually a gasp from the audience. I cannot even begin to express how fast he took those repeated notes. I'm shaking my head again in disbelief. It was maybe one of the only times I've ever just watched something with mouth agape. This has never been one of my favorite Liszt pieces, but I stood and cheered with everyone else when the roaring conclusion came thundering down. Truly awe-inspiring. And STILL no sweat!

    We had a nice chat with some regulars during the intermission ... they seemed disappointed in the turnout. It was by no means full, but I would guess 900-1000 range.

    The lights dimmed and the crowd hadn't even begun to still when MAH struck his first notes in the four Debussy preludes, bk II. His Debussy was really different ... I felt like he was philosophically underscoring the "new" techniques Claude brought to the table. Rapid dynamic changes, blurred pedal ... then stark stacatto. It was almost jarring in it's modernness. I guess when you have that much talent and technique at your disposal, nothing is really unachievable at the keyboard ... if you imagine it, you can do it. The fairies are good dancers stood out to me, just really really good.

    Before starting his own Etudes, MAH announces that he'll be replacing the 'after Chopin' etude with a newer one entitled Menuetto. They were all really really great compositions, and ridiculously difficult does not need to be said. The theme of the etude inspired by queen Bernice of Egypt was beautifully touching ... I can't wait to play that one (it sounds barely doable). His LH arrangement of the Tschaikowsky Lullaby is so lushly beautiful ... I can't think anyone will ever have the LH control of tone needed to play it as beautifully as he did. My wife kept whispering, that's just one hand! in disbelief! The new menuetto is nice, I'd like to hear it a few more times to get a good opinion of it, but has some jazz chords in it... also strangely reminded me of Satie, dunno why. The last Etude was the thunderous Prelude/Fugue. And it's just amazing ... when the fugue starts thundering, I actually felt like looking around for the coming Apocalypse. This was really the only piece I felt he was stretching his abilities to play in the whole concert. And when he stood accept his deserved ovation, there was one (ONE!) bead of sweat on his forehead.

    I didn't recognize the quietly pretty encore he played, but heard someone talking about Catoire in lobby later, so am assuming that must be it.

    So, afterwards, we look for him ... look for stage door ... finally found it, and stood outside with some college kids for a while waiting for the master to appear, but had to give up finally for our 3hour drive home ... and Jenifer had a test @ 8am the next morning. She must really love me ... also, dunno why! :roll:

    Fashion: He wore a dark, navy suit ... shiny, shiny black shoes ... white shirt, no tie ... black undershirt ... scruffy beard and no glasses. I must say, I kinda miss the nerd look on him. He is the SuperNerd, you know!
     
  13. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Good report, Nathan. Thanks!

    I know what you mean about those people who cough all the time. :x Jeez - makes you want to tell them to shut up and squeeze their lips together when they feel a cough coming. But then their ears might pop off...

    Sounds like that is a very nice facility too. And what great seats you had!
     

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