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The pianist Martin Helmchen has now joined Alpha for several recordings. Acknowledged as one of the leading pianists of his generation, an eminent interpreter of the German repertoire, Helmchen will explore various periods and composers (including Messiaen!), but Beethoven will have a preponderant place in his forthcoming recording projects. Before the complete concertos, planned for 2020, he tackles the Diabelli Variations, ‘a climax in the life of a pianist’. He sees these variations as ‘a voyage to the very heart of the infinity of human feelings and moods, by turns profound, philosophical, satirical’. He regards the cycle as a visionary work that heralds future developments in music, containing the first stirrings of twentieth-century minimalism, atonality and abstraction. This recording is the end result of a long personal association and numerous concerts; a powerful version in which each variation emerges as a masterpiece in its own right.

GRAMOPHONE Editor's Choice award Le choix de France Musique award Presto Classical Editor's Choice award

"Helmchen's sustaining power and rapt concentration take your breath away, as do his amazingly lithe and supple repeated chords in the scherzando Var 1"
"Helmchen is alive to the music’s ever- changing drama; the clarity of his playing brings out every ingenious detail of harmony and rhythm. A delight"
Sunday Times
"nothing disconcerts the glorious, unshowy German pianist Martin Helmchen — the kind of performer who lifts his audiences up to heaven just by penetrating inside his music with nimble fingers, questing intelligence and a beating heart."
The Times
"Martin Helmchen turns urbanely into Diabelli’s attractive Waltz, something of a country bumpkin here, and it is immediately apparent that the piano is superbly recorded, granted an imposing bass and a not-too-bright treble. And what a performance!"
Classical Source
"This new kid on the block has just carved out a very special niche for himself."
MusicWeb International