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A Mozart Album / Stephen Hough

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Fantasy for Piano in C minor, K 475
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Sonata for Piano no 13 in B flat major, K. 333 (K. 315c)
>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Fantasia for Piano in C minor, K 396 (385f)
>Cramer, Johann Baptist : Hommage a Mozart, Etude Op. 103 no 6
>Friedman, Ignaz : Menuetto from Divertiment for string quartet and two horns (K. 334), for piano
>Hough, Stephen [Piano] : Mozart Transformations (3) (after Poulenc)
>Liszt, Franz : Fantasia on 2 themes from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro," S 697
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"His pure Mozart is bigger, tougher Mozart, and Hough plays it with as much force as necessary but without overloading it. Just as fine are his Mozartian pastiches with their dancing sense of tempo and slightly secco touch. But best of all is his performance of Busoni's version of Liszt's Figaro Fantasia. Here Hough can turn it loose, ramping up the muscle and juicing up the virtuosity until the music fairly combusts at the climax. And yet, such is Hough's innate sense of taste that his performance never oversteps into empty bombast. Captured in vibrantly present digital sound, 'A Mozart Album' demands to be heard by anyone who loves great piano playing." -James Leonard (All Music Guide)

'Here's another winning, imaginatively conceived disc from Britain's finest pianist ... It is unexpected and delightful programme-building. Prized for his pianism, Hough is also a superb Mozartian. He lends these Fantasias an almost Beethovenian weight and depth of expression ... Hough's playing is dazzling throughout' (Sunday Times)

'There are all too few pianists with the equivalent of Hough's three Michelin stars ... Opening with two of Mozart's solo masterpieces, the ear is welcomed into an intimate, pellucid sound world with a sophistcated grading of dynamics ... [Liszt-Busoni Fantasy on Non piu andrai] provides a hair-raising bravura display that deserves to be heard more often. At least, when played like this' (Gramophone)

'In a typically well-made progamme, the compelling British pianist springboards of Mozart into a series of tributes. The virtuoisic challenges are handled with liquid clarity and intelligent expression. Mesmerising in the Mozart, the transition to a more modern take comes surprisingly fluently' (The Times)

'A scintillating exploration of Mozartian style in tribute works by other composers. Easily the most attractive is by Stephen Hough himself, who takes three small pieces and reinvents them in the style of Poulenc. The result is a seductive, spicy and totally original addition to the genre, and a nice counterweight to the Liszt-Busoni Figaro fantasia, which the prodigiously talented Hough plays with his trademark intensity' (The Observer)

'A bold and dramatic account of Mozart's K475 C minor Fantasia opens this memorable and imaginatively devised recital. While emphasising the prophetically romantic nature of the music, Stephen Hough takes great care not to overplay its more forceful passages ... The final party piece, the Liszt/Busoni Fantasia on themes from The Marriage of Figaro, is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser given an exhilharating performance guaranteed to bring the house down (BBC Music Magazine)

'Hyperion's imaginative new collection shows this protean artist to be equally at home in the Classical repertoire. Not surprisingly, he offers romantic and highly pianistic Mozart ... The result is a trio of performances of splendid variety ... The recital ends rousingly with Liszt's Figaro Fantasia. Compared to the other post-Mozartian rarities, of course, this is standard fare - but it sounds freshly minted in this improvisatory reading ... notable for his revelatory inner-line clarity even in the most congested textures and for his ability to reveal the underlying gestures in passages, that, even in Gilels' hands, emerge as a mere blur of notes. Excellent Hyperion sound and useful notes by Harriet Smith only add to the virtues of this first-rate release' (International Record Review)

'Hough's Mozart playing is so fresh, so sensitive to the harmonic twists and the way the prase can simultaneously suggest different feelings ... This 2006 Keener and Eadon production from St George's, Bristol, is impeccably presented, with a congenial note by Harriet Smith' (International Piano magazine)

'We look forward to Hough's recordings. They are never disappointing, and this one is a classic. With excellent engineering and Harriet Smith's very informative notes, only those who do not value great pianism can afford to miss it' (American Record Guide)

'In this deft tribute to Mozart's genius, splendid pianist Stephen Hough leads with a pair of the composer's own works before segueing into transcriptions, homages and his own Poulenc-inflected "transformations." Hough is incapable of an unengaging performance, as he demonstrates right off with an account of the Fantasia in C minor, K. 475 that pulls back from stormy drama for something more tactfully measured and delicate. An unfinished Liszt fantasia on "The Marriage of Figaro" music, amended by Busoni, gets a wittily theatrical treatment' (San Francisco Gate, USA)

'A new record from Stephen Hough is always something to look foward to, and A Mozart Album is no exception ... Altogether an outsanding disc released by Hyperion' (Liverpool Daily Post)

'[Hough] is certainly one of today's most thoughtful and thought-provoking pianists, as his latest thematic Hyperion set underscores ... playing with a mix of depth and detail that only the best pianists achieve ... he connects kindred spirits in a witty, lovely way' (Star Ledger, USA)

'Stephen Hough generally does not disappoint in terms of programming... [his]Mozart is exemplary, with the Fantasias approached with a free sense of tempo and a careful attention to the dynamic contrasts and articulations in the score... The pendant piece is the Liszt-Busoni fantasia on themes from Marriage of Figaro, in which Hough displays his considerable technical wizardry and whimsical attention to details' (IonArts.com)



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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Fantasy for Piano in C minor, K 475
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (11/05/2006-11/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1785

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Sonata for Piano no 13 in B flat major, K. 333 (K. 315c)
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (11/05/2006-11/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1783

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Fantasia for Piano in C minor, K 396 (385f)
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (11/05/2006-11/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1782

>Cramer, Johann Baptist : Hommage à Mozart, Étude Op. 103 no 6
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (11/05/2006-11/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Friedman, Ignaz : Menuetto from Divertiment for string quartet and two horns (K. 334), for piano
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (11/05/2006-11/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Hough, Stephen [Piano] : Mozart Transformations (3) (after Poulenc)
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (11/05/2006-11/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Liszt, Franz : Fantasia on 2 themes from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro," S 697
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol, England (11/05/2006-11/07/2006)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1842