SOLO

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With Orchestre National de France, Emmanuel Krivine
(Erato, 2018)

Beyond their brilliant virtuosity and craftsmanship, Camille Saint-Saëns’s epic Piano Concerto No.2 and irresistibly exotic No.5 (‘Egyptian’) invite listeners on a riveting and richly imaginative journey. Hailed ‘the new French prince of the piano’ (Diapason), Bertrand Chamayou also reveals a more intimate side to the great composer-pianist, exploring the hidden charm and secret sensuality of his rarely-heard etudes and solo piano miniatures.

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(Double album, Erato, 2015)

‘From Sérenade grotesque to Le Tombeau de Couperin, Maurice Ravel’s piano works span nearly a quarter of a century of creative endeavor. To listen to this œuvre in its entirety is a journey, plunging deep into the heart of the entrancing world of the composer of Boléro. Each piece is a unique gem, a curious blend of rigour and sensual delight which seems to sketch out a portrait of the composer and alchemist that was Ravel.’  –Bertrand Chamayou

“His second album for Erato shows Bertrand Chamayou to be an uncommonly adept interpreter of Ravel.”
The Independent

“For Ravel’s greatest piano composition, Gaspard de la Nuit, [Chamayou] summons an almost orchestral palette of colours…’Le Gibet’ and ‘Scarbo’ have rarely been imbued with so much mystery.”
The Sunday Times Album of the Week

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(Erato, 2014)

‘This album is a kind of imaginary recital, along the lines of a concert that could have been heard in Vienna at the beginning of the Romantic period, in the cosy and intimate atmosphere of a salon. The starting point was the Wanderer Fantasy, his most brilliant, powerful piece of music – that bristles with more notes than any other penned by Schubert. (The composer himself is said to have exclaimed “The devil should play this thing!” after coming unstuck when launching into the finale of this difficult work.) When I started to create a programme based on this monumental fantasy, I instinctively followed the example of an imaginary Schubertiade, combining major works with slighter pieces. The spirit of poetry runs through this recital like a watermark.’ -Bertrand Chamayou

“Conceived by the pianist as a kind of “Schubertiade”, this affecting, beautifully performed disc conjures up those great occasions of convivial music-making, but on the assumption they could embrace the serious statement, too.”
The Sunday Times

“[He] treats everything with equal respect and palpable affection. The Wanderer is a real test of any musician but Chamayou surmounts the work’s sometimes unpianistic demands without ever leaving you, as some do, feeling as if you’ve been punched in the face. Instead he revels in its virtuosity and in the sheer variety of texture.”
The Guardian, March 2014

“Impressive reserves of articulation and firepower…his expressive touch in Liszt’s Schubert song-transcriptions is state-of-the-art.”
– BBC Music Magazine, June 2014

“His musically insightful, technically flawless playing can be confused with no-one else’s. He exudes confidence without the slightest hint of egotism or ostentation…Ultimately the key characteristic of this recording is that indispensable element of great Schubert playing: a singing line capable of piercing the very depths of the heart.”
-International Record Review, May 2014

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(naïve, 2011)

‘Alpine sources and pastures steeped in the lyricism of Lord Byron and Senancour; an Italian odyssey in which Micheangelo and Dante are experienced with the same wonder as the shores of Lake Como and the Venetian lagoon – the intertwining of all these sentiments, impressions and recollections resulted in the teeming pianistic breviary of the Années de pèlerinage, that vast personal diary which, after some 40 years of elaboration, limpidly reflects the moving itinerary of Liszt over the course of his life. I was very taken by the urge to take up the challenge of this marathon work, thereby making my own pilgrimage into the heart of Liszt’s creative output.’ -Bertrand Chamayou

Années de pèlerinage received a Choc (Classica), a Diapason d’Or de l année and Best Album at the Victoires de la Musique Classique.

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(naïve, 2010)

‘The programme of this album naturally brings together the four great works Franck wrote for piano: though Prélude, choral et fugue and Variations Symphoniques appear frequently in concert programmes, the other works recorded here have sunk into oblivion. Prélude, aria et final is a neglected masterpiece: an example of the quintessence of Franck’s art, a virtually perfect work. In stark contrast to the supreme abstraction of that work, Franck asserts himself as painter and story-teller in the Lisztian tradition with the tone poem Les Djinns. The album ends with Prélude, fugue et variation – a work that possesses undeniable charm and melodic grace – in the composer’s arrangement for piano and harmonium.’ -Bertrand Chamayou

“Chamayou really shows his dazzling, first-class form in the solo works, playing with a balance of warmth and Gallic cool, subtle colour, beautifully shaped phrasing and a firm sense of the architecture of the music.”
Classic FM August 2010

“This is an intriguing collection of César Franck’s five works involving a solo piano…[Chamayou] demonstrates that both the solo-piano Prélude, Aria et Final and Les Djinns, a compact symphonic poem for piano and orchestra based upon a Victor Hugo poem, deserve to be heard far more frequently.”
– The Guardian, May 2010 **

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(naïve, 2008)

‘Around the ambitious Variations sérieuses which constitute the heart of this programme, I conceived this selection of pieces in the spirit of a Liederabend without words, a recital in the original sense of the term, like a succession of tales that interweave the most varied and mercurial moods, from fleeting scherzo to loving romance, with stealthy incursions into the more luxuriant pianism of the transcriptions in which Liszt and Rachmaninov paid tribute to Mendelssohn.’ -Bertrand Chamayou

“It is a splendid idea of the young Toulouse-born French pianist Bertrand Chamayou to choose five of the most striking Songs Without Words and make them a centrepiece for what he describes as a ‘Liederabend without words’. The Songs Without Words are among the least difficult of the pieces here technically, but the other pieces are much more demanding, not just the two bigger pieces, the Variations sérieuses and the Rondo capriccioso, but such pieces as the Three Studies. It says much for Chamayou’s virtuosity and artistry that he makes the results so magnetic. He opens with a brief and powerful Prelude in B minor, leading to a sparkling account of the Rondo capriccioso bringing out echoes of the Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which right at the end of the recital comes as a tailpiece in Rachmaninov’s arrangement. The articulation in the Three Studies is phenomenally clear and light, as it is too in Chamayou’s dazzling account of the Caprices. There are similar qualities in the longest and most ambitious of the pieces, the Variations sérieuses. Along with the Songs Without Words it is good too to have Liszt’s surprisingly unshowy arrangements of Mendelssohn’s most famous Lied, On Wings of Song. Clean, clear sound to match the playing.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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(Sony Classical, 2006)

‘The Transcendental Etudes are prefigure the immense sonic frescos of Wagner operas and Bruckner symphonies. The cycle played in its entirety unleashes volcanic poetry, an eruption of grandeur that seems to defy the elements. The only way to approach it is to plunge onself into this hypnotic universe.’
-Bertrand Chamayou

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CHAMBER MUSIC

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With Renaud Capuçon, Edgar Moreau, Emmanuel Pahud, et al.

(Erato, 2017)

The 18-year-old Debussy described his first piano trio as ‘lots of notes, accompanied by lots of friendship’. Shedding light on this recently rediscovered early work alongside the composer’s most beloved sonatas, the six musicians in this distinguished francophone cast are, first and foremost, friends sharing precious musical moments.

“The 18-year-old Debussy described his first piano trio as ‘lots of notes, accompanied by lots of friendship’. Shedding light on this recently rediscovered early work alongside the composer’s most beloved sonatas, the six musicians in this distinguished francophone cast are, first and foremost, friends sharing these precious musical moments.”
“Wonderfully responsive, all-French performances of the sonatas, in which Bertrand Chamayou is very much the common denominator.”
The Guardian *****

“Debussy’s chamber oeuvre here is pure enchantment…All the performances are superb.”
The Sunday Times

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With Sol Gabetta, cello
(Sony Classical, 2015)

‘This album was inspired by dual friendships: between Chopin and the cellist August-Joseph Franchomme, and my own friendship with Sol that has endured since we were in our teens. We naturally included Chopin’s three great original works by for cello and piano – the early Polonaise brillante, the Grand duo concertant co-written with Franchomme, as well as the masterful Sonata, the last work by Chopin published during his lifetime. These are complemented by little-known transcriptions of Chopin and original works by Franchomme, an essential homage to the great cellist whose influence on the Polish composer is so strongly felt on this album.’ -Bertrand Chamayou

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