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Stephen Hough's French Album - works by Alkan, Chabrier, Debussy, Delibes, Faure et al. / Stephen Hough, piano

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Toccata and Fugue for Organ in D minor, BWV 565
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Keyboard Concerto no 5 in F minor, BWV 1056
>Fauré, Gabriel : Nocturne for piano no 6 in D flat major, Op. 63
>Fauré, Gabriel : Improvisation for piano in C sharp minor (Huit pieces breves), Op. 84/5
>Fauré, Gabriel : Impromptu for piano no 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 102
>Fauré, Gabriel : Barcarolle for piano no 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 66
>Ravel, Maurice : Alborada del Gracioso, for orchestra
>Massenet, Jules : Crepuscule
>Chabrier, Emmanuel : Pieces pittoresques (10), for piano
>Poulenc, Francis : Melancolie
>Poulenc, Francis : Nocturne no 4 for piano in C minor ("Bal fantome"), FP 56/4
>Poulenc, Francis : Improvisation no 8 for piano in A minor (Presto), FP 63/8
>Chaminade, Cecile L. : Etudes de concert, for piano, Op. 35
>Alkan, Charles-Valentin : Chanson de la Folle Au Bord de la Mer, prelude for piano in A flat minor (Preludes dans tous les ton
>Debussy, Claude : Clair de lune
>Delibes, Léo : Sylvia
>Liszt, Franz : Reminiscences de La Juive, transcription for piano (after Halevy), S. 409a (LW A20)
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Stephen Hough presents an enchanting program of French music, played with the filigree perfection and total command of the music's expressive world that make him one of the most admired pianists of today. In typical Houghian style, this recital is full of surprises and lesser-known gems from the repertoire, as well as works by the masters Fauré, Ravel, Debussy and Poulenc. A particular delight is Hough's own arrangement of the Massenet song "Crépuscule," a ravishing exercise in creative yet faithful transcription. This release is both a tribute to the lyric genius which flowered in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France, and a glimpse into the musical mind of a great pianist.

The Times, August 2012
His latest album recital is among the most enjoyable. "A sort of musical dessert trolley," he calls it - a trolley where you want to eat everything in sight...The Fauré selections best display Hough's connoisseur's touch...The lighter French spirit surfaces in Hough's own arrangements of Délibes and Massenet, delivered with delicious wit and grace.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2012
It's a superlative performance [of Alborada del gracioso] by any standards, including repeated notes that turn me green with envy.

Sunday Times, September 2012
Personal touches make Hough the artist he is, but I can imagine some musical Francophiles balking at his free interpretation of Fauré's D flat Nocturne, and more so at his eccentric Debussy (Clair de lune). Yet there are compensations aplenty: Ravel's Alborada del gracioso and Fauré's F sharp minor Impromptu are glitteringly played.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012
A substantial feast of of masterly pianism...Hough can be too coolly objective at times but in this repertoire, perhaps paradoxically, the expressive simplicity of his playing can make your eyes burn. In Clair de lune and Chaminade's once ubiquitous Automne, now rarely heard, Hough conjures up a heart-catching melancholy that put me in mind of Cherkassy. I can't offer higher praise.

The Arts Desk, October 2012
[Hough's] one of those keyboard polymaths who's at home in whatever music he chooses to play, invariably casting new light on the familiar in the process. And the better-known items here do delight...But you'll want this for the rarities...playing and recording are beyond reproach.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
This program will likely fulfill some and give you an amazing variety of unexpected gems as well. Hough has to be considered one of the world's top pianists and has consistently supplied intelligent, musical recordings. He has all the brilliant technique and virtuosic flair. He can spin a beautiful melodic line from the Bach-Cortot 'Arioso' (Piano Concerto 5:II) to the Massenet 'Crepuscule' (Poeme Pastoral 5). Hyperion's always excellent recording and production values. If you enjoy French piano music, this is a must have.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (06/06/2009); Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (06/06/2009); Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (2010-10-19_2010-10-20&2011-); Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (2010-10-19_2010-10-20&2011-).



Reviews

Impeccable pianism but...
Stephen Hough's command of the piano and his repertoire are givens. In addition, he usually assembles thoughtful, interesting programs that do an excellent job of mixing the familiar with the rarely heard yet worthy. And that's where this recital comes up short for me--some very odd selections lead off and close this disc. Sandwiched in between are the sort of choices that seem more representative of Hough's intellect. If wavering between the two, I'd suggest his Spanish Album over this one.
Submitted on 12/21/13 by Steve L. 
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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Toccata and Fugue for Organ in D minor, BWV 565
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: by 1708

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Keyboard Concerto no 5 in F minor, BWV 1056 :: Arioso
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1738

>Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924) : Nocturne for piano no 6 in D flat major, Op. 63
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1894

>Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924) : Improvisation for piano in C sharp minor (Huit pièces brèves), Op. 84/5
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924) : Impromptu for piano no 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 102
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1909

>Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924) : Barcarolle for piano no 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 66
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 09/1894

>Ravel, Maurice : Alborada del Gracioso, for orchestra
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (05/23/2011-05/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1918

>Massenet, Jules : Crépuscule :: no 5 Crépuscule
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 2 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1872

>Chabrier, Emmanuel : Pièces pittoresques (10), for piano
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (05/23/2011-05/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1881

>Poulenc, Francis : Mélancolie
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (05/23/2011-05/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1940

>Poulenc, Francis : Nocturne no 4 for piano in C minor ("Bal fantôme"), FP 56/4
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (05/23/2011-05/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Poulenc, Francis : Improvisation no 8 for piano in A minor (Presto), FP 63/8
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (05/23/2011-05/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Cécile Chaminade (Composer/Piano) (1857 - 1944) : Etudes de concert, for piano, Op. 35
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: circa 1885

>Alkan, Charles-Valentin : Chanson de la Folle Au Bord de la Mer, prelude for piano in A flat minor (Préludes dans tous les ton
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (05/23/2011-05/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1847

>Debussy, Claude : Clair de lune
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1890-1905

>Léo Delibes (Composer) (1836 - 1891) : Sylvia :: Pizzicati
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (10/19/2010-10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1880

>Liszt, Franz : Réminiscences de La Juive, transcription for piano (after Halévy), S. 409a (LW A20)
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (05/23/2011-05/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1835