Sonata Rhythmikosmos

When pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin took the stage at the 2001 Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, I still recall staring at the T.V. in disbelief and then, once I was over the shock of seeing a classical artist playing live at the ceremony, wondered aloud if this would be the industry’s Field of Dreams, “build it and they will come” moment. Surely, after the millions of viewers heard Hamelin, the concert halls would be flooded with the newly enchanted? Ok, so perhaps it was a naïve fantasy on my part, but Hamelin, especially when he’s alone at the piano, continues to charm me. His performance of Sonata Rhythmikosmos by Jay Reise (a revised version of the 1993 work) is no exception. It’s a cerebral bit of music that maintains contact with its softer side, and Hamelin offers a reading to match.

—MS