Marc-André Hamelin, Prom 54

I thought it would be worthwhile posting other reviews of Marc-André Hamelin’s stunning all-Liszt recital at the Proms on 24th August. The general consensus is that it was a superb evening: it certainly continues to resonate with me as I have discussed it with friends and colleagues, and listened to the concert again, via the BBC iPlayer.

I would also like to thank those people who have contacted me following the concert to comment on my review. Such positive feedback is always very welcome, and I am delighted that people enjoy my writing.

The Guardian

BBC Music Magazine

Classical Source

Hear the concert via the BBC iPlayer here

And here’s Hamelin playing the same Liszt Sonetto (123) that I performed in my students’ concert in July:


    • Thanks for the link to your review. I recognised the first encore, but had to check with a friend who was also at the concert re the second encore. In fact, another reviewer suggested it was a prelude by Leonard Sabaneiv, a relatively unknown composer whom Hamelin has unearthed. I’ve listened to & played En Reve since the concert and I’m not convinced this is the piece MAH played!

      • I received a very nice, thoughtful email from Robert in Bath, who was also at the concert, and, with his permission, reproduce it here:

        Dear Frances,

        I wanted to thank you and congratulate you on your wonderful write up of Hamelin’s Liszt Prom.

        I was going to contribute my own effort somewhere on line, but your “reminiscences de Hamelin” was a perfect summation of how I felt too.

        It also had an extra meaning for me because I took my youngest son Eliot, (13), promming for the first time. Standing in the second row, (probably behind you!), with a perfect view of the keyboard, was an overwhelming and unforgettable experience for both of us.

        I’ve been to many Proms in my life, and to feel such a close communion to an artist in such a vast space, is rare indeed.. At the conclusion of Benediction, I simply couldn’t tell when the music ended and the silence began reminding me precisely of Lamartine’s own words, “O my Lord, whence comes this peace that overwhelms me”.

        I was very familiar with all the works in his programme, Frances, all except the final encore. You cited it as En Reve, an early Nocturne by Liszt that Hamelin has in fact recorded, but another critic Ben Hogwood for thought it was the 5th prelude op10 by Leonid Sabaneiv! Hopefully the concert and encores will be broadcast again soon so we’ll get a second listen.

        Thank you again for writing so expressively and knowingly about this special event.

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