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Charles Richard-Hamelin

Sonata in B minor / Nocturnes / Polonaises / Mazurkas

About the album

One unprecedented feature of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition was the dominance of North American players, making up four of the six prizewinners. Not only that, but Canada appeared in the rankings for the first time in the competition’s history, twice over, with Yike (Tony) Yang coming fifth and Charles Richard-Hamelin being placed second. Many in the audience actually expected that the Quebec-born pianist would come out top, and although this is hardly the place for such speculation, it’s indeed quite possible that he would have done so if nerves hadn’t got the better of him in the finale of his concerto. The Final had itself marked him out as a different sort of artist from the rest of the pack: Richard-Hamelin was the only one of the ten pianists who elected to play the Concerto in F minor—and although, as he candidly admitted, he had chosen to play it because it was the only one of the concertos he knew, the subtler interpretative challenges of this piece usually seem to appeal to a special sort of artist. 

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