Should you be wanting the Homeric epithet for Marc-André Hamelin, the Canadian pianist, try “the virtuoso’s virtuoso.” Largely if not completely ignored by the prestige labels, Hamelin has produced a discography of phenomenal breadth and quality, making a specialty of neglected figures like Charles-Valentin Alkan, whose technical as well as imaginative demands verge on the superhuman. Liszt, of whom the same might be said, is another Hamelin forte. That composer’s crowd-pleasing Piano Concerto No. 1 is his assignment on this occasion, sandwiched between Rachmaninoff’s moody Isle of the Dead and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5, which is something of a riddle. —M.G.
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