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Franck: Piano Music / Stephen Hough

Album Summary

>Franck, César : Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for Piano, M 21
>Franck, César : Prelude, aria, et final, for piano, M. 23
>Franck, César : Chorales (3)
>Franck, César : Danse lente, for piano, M. 22
>Franck, César : Grand Caprice no 1, for piano, Op. 5, M. 13
>Franck, César : Les Plaintes d'une poupee, for piano, M. 20
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"...Hough himself has a dream-ticket combination of virtues - astonishing agility, a faultless ear for texture, fine-tuned stylistic sensibility and an exceptional understanding of harmonic and structural tensions...Perahia (Sony Classical) and Cherkassky (Nimbus) - two of my favourite pianists - are among the Franck exponents on CD who are comfortably surpassed...Hough's recent Hyperion issues have given him a lot to live up to. This recital triumphantly does that." -DJF, Gramophone

'Only the most exalted comparisons will do for Stephen Hough's latest disc, and even they are struggling to compete. Hough has a dream-ticket combination of virtues - astonishing agility, a faultless ear for texture, fine-tuned stylistic sensibility and an exceptional understanding of harmonic and structural tensions. [His] recent Hyperion issues have given him a lot to live up to. This recital triumphantly does that' (Gramophone)

'Wonderfully played... marvellous sound. This is a first-rate issue in every respect' (Gramophone 'Soundings')

'Superb performances... Style, elegance, and a power that is awe-inspiring when unleashed. César Franck has never been better served' (Classic CD)

'Un des pianistes les plus virtuoses au monde à ce jour, non seulement dans la vitesse et le prestesse, mais surtout dans l'imagination et la qualité sonore. Avec une telle maîtrise du clavier et des timbres, une telle lisibilité polyphonique, une telle intelligence du texte, Hough va à mon sens plus loin que bien d'autres pianistes, même les plus valeureux dans la compréhension profonde de cette musique' (Répertoire, France)

'It is hard to imagine better performances' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A superb production!' (Fanfare, USA)

'Must take pride of place among recordings of this repertoire. A most distinguished record in every way' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Playing of exquisite poise, intrepid technical brilliance and extraordinary insight. A peach of an issue' (Hi Fi News)

'Hough at his magical best' (Classic FM Magazine)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Hough has a dream-ticket combination of virtues - astonishing agility, a faultless ear for texture, fine-tuned stylistic sensibility and an exceptional understanding of harmonic and structural tensions. He acknowledges all Franck's nuances, notated and implied, without ever disturbing the broader flow; he gives full rein to the heroic Lisztian cascades, without ever tipping over into melodrama. The only hint of a nit to be picked would be that the fortissimo arpeggiations in the 'Choral' don't ring as resonantly as they might. One can't imagine the calm at the end of the 'Aria' being better judged.

In their very different ways the almost comical bravura of the Grand caprice and the salon charm of the Danse lente and Les plaintes d'une poupée are extremely difficult to bring off with success. Yet anyone who has followed Hough's recording career will know that this sort of thing is meat and drink to him. As for his own transcription of the A minor Chorale, the unavoidable adjective is 'awesome'.



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Works Details

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for Piano, M 21
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1884.
  • Running Time: 17 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1884

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Prélude, aria, et final, for piano, M. 23
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1886-87.
  • Running Time: 19 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1886-1887

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Chorales (3) :: 3. Choral
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1890

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Danse lente, for piano, M. 22
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1885

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Grand Caprice no 1, for piano, Op. 5, M. 13
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1843

>César Franck (1822 - 1890) : Les Plaintes d'une poupée, for piano, M. 20
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1855