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Lance Hulme
Early Music America, October 2013

Amy and Sara Hamann play with virtuoso technique, charming musicality, and excellent coordination. Their interpretation wisely diverges on historical and modern instruments, making comparisons illuminating. © 2013 Early Music America



Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, May 2013

Now here’s a fascinating experiment! If you want to show somebody that the period/modern instrument choice really matters, this album is indisputable proof. The fact that Amy and Sara Hamann were willing to “play to” the instruments is a great help. And they aren’t carrying it out as a mere shtick…

…music is fascinating to hear in a different garb, when the performers so well understand that the instrument makes a difference…I find that the Hamann sisters offer punchy interpretations…Together with the excellent, generous booklet information and the value of having both period and modern instrument performances in the same CD case, this is one of the Grand Piano label’s best releases yet. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, March 2013

From beginning to end…there is much listening pleasure to be had—twice over—courtesy both of Beethoven and the Hamanns…They are elegant and perceptive, self-confident and telepathic. Audio quality is also very good. The fortepiano has an attractive sound that should lenify even those who are no admirers of period instruments. Failing that, hearing the instruments one after another like this will serve to strengthen individual prejudices one way or the other! © MusicWeb International Read complete review



James Harrington
American Record Guide, March 2013

As with most lesser-known Beethoven, there are so many wonderful moments to discover. The Marches especially have a joyful virtuosity and some surprising formal elements like held cadences with cadenzas. The Hamann performances must be described as sparkling.

Even though [Grosse Fuge] is a work difficult for both performers and listeners, detailed study and repeated hearings reveal possibly the greatest of many fugues in the late works of Beethoven. The performances here are both quite good…

Excellent recorded sound and good booklet notes complete a release that will supply listeners with contrasting and complementary views of some great music. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Minnesota Public Radio, November 2012

…what a recording it is.

A two-disc endeavor, the first CD is performed on a modern piano; whereas the second CD features the same pieces performed on reproductions of the fortepianos Beethoven was composing on at the time. And they play both eras beautifully and with ease.

Stuart Stiltoe of Preston Recorded Music Society writes:

They seem at home on either the period or modern instrument, which is no mean feat in itself, but they are then able to bring out every nuance of the great man’s music. Whether in the more contemplative and humorous passages to be found in the two sets of variations (WoO 67 & 74) or in the more marshal music of the 3 Marches Op. 45 their playing is excellent!

© 2012 Minnesota Public Radio Read complete review



Stuart Sillitoe
Preston Recorded Music Society

The performance is, at times, full of bravura brilliance, the Hamann sisters are new to me, as I am sure they will be to most people on this side of the pond, but they seem to have been making musical waves, both as a piano duet and on two pianos in their home country, and you can hear why. They seem at home on either the period or modern instrument, which is no mean feat in itself, but they are then able to bring out every nuance of the great man’s music. Whether in the more contemplative and humorous passages to be found in the two sets of variations (WoO 67 & 74) or in the more marshal music of the 3 Marches Op. 45 their playing is excellent! The highlight for me, on both discs, is their interpretation of the Grosse Fugue in B flat Major Op.134, as here they take this brilliance to another level.

This is a most rewarding set and one which I have no hesitation in recommending. I hope that the powers that be at HNH make further recordings with the Hamann sisters either for their Grand Piano or their Naxos labels; they certainly have a wide enough repertoire to suite either label. Good notes from that stalwart of Naxos booklets, Keith Anderson, and good recorded sound only serve to heighten ones enjoyment of this fine recording. © 2012 Preston Recorded Music Society






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1:09:24 AM, 30 July 2014
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