Etude in Sunday Times

"imagination and bravura" — Paul Driver

Hammond explores the continuing concept of the piano étude with imagination and bravura. The 19th-century embodiment of the study, not just as technical training, but expressive daring, remained an inspiration for composers. She begins with three examples from Sergei Lyapunov, richly Romantic in figuration, dextrously unfolded here. Then comes the startling contrast of the thin treble attack of Chin’s post-tonal Six Etudes, the textural imagination as fascinating as the digital experiments are fiendish. Szymanowski’s 12 Studies are a return to sumptuousness; Kapustin’s Five Etudes in Different Intervals open the transcendental study to jazz.