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Other Love Songs: Songs by Brahms & Hough / The Prince Consort

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Liebeslieder Waltzes (18), Op. 52
>Hough, Stephen [Piano] : Other Love Songs, for chorus & piano
>Brahms, Johannes : Neue Liebeslieder waltzes, (15) for voices & piano 4 hands, Op. 65
Performers Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Linn Records is a subsidiary company of Linn Products - an independent company specializing in precision engineered sound and vision. Linn Products was founded in 1972 by Ivor Tiefenbrun to produce the Linn Sondek record player, which is still in production. Today, Linn designs and manufactures an extensive range of original products, renowned for their performance, and sold around the world. The Prince Consort's exciting and innovative new recording embraces two contrasting composers: Johannes Brahms and Stephen Hough including the premiere recording of the British pianist and composer Stephen Hough's collection: 'Other Love Songs'. Commissioned by the Consort in 2009 to compliment Brahms' works, Hough's songs are designed to explore other kinds of love. The Prince Consort's debut recording received great critical acclaim; named 'Editor's Choice' in Gramophone, 'IRR Outstanding' in International Record Review and BBC Music Magazine called it "an outstanding recording".

Classic FM Magazine
Hogarth and his mightily talented vocal ensemble shape imaginative readings of each song in turn, introducing subtle tempo changes and vivid tonal contrasts to give rich life to their often dark-hearted texts and real soul to Brahms's music... The compelling emotional contrasts of this album may stem from its sage repertoire choice, but it's the top-drawer performances and sound recording that separate this outstanding release from the crowd.

Gramophone Magazine
The performers, including Hough himself as one of the pianists, do [Other Love Songs] proud. Soprano Anna Leese, bright and vibrant of tone, rises poignantly to the impassionaed climax of 'Kashmiri Song', while mezzo Jennifer Johnson, singing in broad Scouse, offers a delightful comic cameo as the feisty maid in "Madam and her Madam"... A clinching factor here may well be the Hough songs, acerbically witty and deeply touching by turns.

BBC Music Magazine
Finely judged, delightfully youthful performances... Hough finds a language, a style, a startling response for the unique and elusive scent of each poem. There are solos and various pairings of voices, interwoven with often surprising and always thrilling piano writing.

The Guardian
It was a bright idea of the group to ask Stephen Hough to compose a song cycle for the same lineup to separate the two helpings of Brahms, and perhaps to provide some palate-cleansing astringency... The sequence is perfectly judged, wittily allusive and serves its purpose perfectly. I suspect, in fact, that most who buy the disc will listen to Hough's songs more than the Brahms that flanks them.

The Observer
A performance of sparkle and precision, restoring muscularity to Brahms's charming part-songs... [Hough's song-cycle is] a touching companion to the Brahms... Hough celebrates other kinds of love, religious, gay and in the broadest sense fraternal. The piano writing, not surprisingly given Hough's day job, is original and beguiling, the performances first rate.

International Record Review
They are throughout crisp, fresh, speedy, intelligent, well recorded, with good German [in the Brahms], and I like the way in particular they create the occasional mini-drama, either by performing pairs of pieces seamlessly, or even by pitting male and female solos against each other... Hough is clearly possessed of both technique and vision as a composer.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK (10/25/2010-10/29/2010).



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Liebeslieder Waltzes (18), Op. 52
  • Performer: Philip Fowke (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Prince Consort
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK (10/25/2010-10/29/2010)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1868-1869

>Hough, Stephen [Piano] : Other Love Songs, for chorus & piano
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK (10/25/2010-10/29/2010)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 2010

>Brahms, Johannes : Neue Liebeslieder waltzes, (15) for voices & piano 4 hands, Op. 65
  • Performer: Philip Fowke (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK (10/25/2010-10/29/2010)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1874