On the album Schumann: The Three Violin Sonatas. Andrew Wan and Charles Richard-Hamelin. Released by Analekta.
Wan brings to the table a poetic litheness, precision, silvery purity and tonal clarity, inflecting Schumann’s limpid phrases with a gentle ease, complementing Richard-Hamelin’s velvet-gloved sonority and glowing cantabile to perfection.
After recording the sonatas for violin and piano by Ludwig van Beethoven, a triptych that won numerous awards, including the Juno for Classical Album of the Year – Small Ensemble (2022) and an ADISQ award, Andrew Wan and Charles Richard-Hamelin continue their fruitful collaboration by performing the complete sonatas for violin and piano by Robert Schumann (1810-1856). A perfect work to highlight the complicity that has developed between the concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the pianist who won the silver medal at the 2015 Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition.
On the album Chopin: 24 Préludes – Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise Brillante.
Richard-Hamelin describes this set of pieces as a microcosm of Chopin’s piano music as a whole, adding, “it is Chopin at his most beautiful, heart-wrenching, experimental, dissonant, sometimes even violent. It is a fascinating journey through the human psyche and my interpretation aims to show precisely that.
On the album Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonatas for Violin and Piano (vol.2): Sonatas Nos. 1,2,3 and 5. Andrew Wan and Charles Richard-Hamelin. Released by Analekta.
The Canadian musicians treat the Op 12 and Op 24 sonatas with bountiful finesse and discernment, bringing vibrancy to the light-hearted interplay and poetic elegance to passages in which lyricism is paramount.
This remarkable pianist shapes each phrase with careful attention, then links it to the text one in a way that tells a compelling story from beginning to end. […] If there is one defining characteristic of Richard-Hamelin’s playing it’s how he wields the tools of musical rhetoric – stretching time by slightly slowing down and speeding up, and playing with the silences between notes – to ensure that the narrative tension never goes out of the piece he is playing.
The young pianist’s strength, splendour and sense for emphasis were equally captivating as his enormous ability to convey dream, poetry and longing.
Charles Richard-Hamelin is clearly a musician-pianist: fluent, multi-faceted and tonally seductive […] Melodic inflection is curvaceous, natural and discreetly sensuous.
Richard-Hamelin has bold, original ideas about the music he plays, the emotional resevoirs to back them up and the technical equipment to convey them without distraction.