Etude in Observer

"style and substance" — Fiona Maddocks

Etude CD Review - style and substance: The young British pianist Clare Hammond is fast building a reputation as a stylish interpreter of the new or less familiar. Until Chopin showed us otherwise, etudes tended to prompt thoughts of dreary studies designed to advance technique. Hammond challenges the assumption with this intriguing showcase. The Russian Sergei Lyapunov (1859-1924) took inspiration from Liszt in his Etudes d’exécution transcendante. Szymanowski (1882-1937) conjures tonalities and delicate colours closer to Debussy than to his fellow Pole, Chopin. The real interest is the set of six Etudes by Unsuk Chin (b1961), witty, angular, pointillistic, and the Five Etudes in Different Intervals, punchy and jazzy, by Nikolai Kapustin (b1937). Hammond brings precision and clarity to all.