Chopin News & Reviews:

Marc-André Hamelin delivers program proudly and tirelessly

The Gazette (Montreal) – Quebec,Canada

Marc-André Hamelin – “a pianist of icy composure,” refuses to melt even during a warm and humid night at the Lanaudière Festival in Quebec….

Chopin’s B-minor Sonata accommodated the hard-nosed treatment less comfortably, though perhaps that’s because we’re so accustomed to hearing Chopin played all gushy. This particular sonata was written at a desperate time in the composer’s life, and needs compassion as well as fervour; Hamelin was unforgiving, but not entirely cold, and as such the last movement’s funeral march became all the more chilling.

In terms of sheer virtuosity, it was the Alkan that was really mind-boggling. The Concerto for Solo Piano, Op. 39, has an excessive number of notes to it, and most pianists would never bother learning – let alone memorizing – such a huge score for its relatively few moments of interest. But Hamelin has championed this music, lovingly searched out its redeeming features and, on Tuesday, delivered it proudly and tirelessly.

And even after Alkan’s crashing finale Hamelin continued, responding to the audience’s frenzied applause by mopping his brow and sitting down to an encore, Chopin’s D-flat Major Nocturne, to graciously send us home soothed. It was a thoughtful finish to an extremely impressive recital.

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Chopin in the BlogoChocosphere:

Frédéric Chopin Dark Chocolate

By Mike(Mike)

Filberts and Chocolate –

From Mike in Missassauga, Ontario, the author of the “Filberts and Chocolates” blog…

Frédéric Chopin is regarded as Poland’s finest composer, whether this chocolate bar from Jutrzenka SA in Poland is the finest chocolate of that country is debatable, as is whether it is a fine tribute to Chopin.

How does it taste? How does it compare to the music of Chopin? Not really a fair comparison, but this is not a great bar, just an average good bar that might serve to satisfy a craving. It’s not a bar I would buy again; as to the music of Chopin, that I would listen to.