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Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Stephen Hough, piano; Mark Wigglesworth

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15
>Brahms, Johannes : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

On this stunning recording of the two piano concertos of Johannes Brahms, Stephen Hough is joined by the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg and conductor Mark Wigglesworth in their Hyperion debut. These works are among the greatest in the genre. Separated by twenty-two years and widely differing in their reception (the first was scorned and the second a huge success), they are monumental in scale, impassioned and truly romantic, forward-looking in form and requiring both great virtuosity and intimacy from the pianist. After performing them in concert for many years (to ecstatic acclaim) Hough's deep connection to these beloved works can now be appreciated and enjoyed by a much wider audience.

The Times, 29th November 2013
[Hough's] performances here show his usual thoughtfulness, elegance and brilliance...The reverberations of the entire orchestra are equally slow to die. The conductor Mark Wigglesworth scrupulously prepared his musicians and their medium-weight sound offers the best of both worlds.

The Guardian, 5th December 2013
The way in which [Hough] and conductor Mark Wigglesworth drive the opening movement of the First Concerto to its conclusion is thrilling physical; at the other extreme, the delicacy of his playing in the finale of the Second, and the lilt he brings to some of its episodes, are delights.

Sunday Times, 5th January 2014
Hough brings his famed dexterity to the bravura passages, but never sounds glitzy or showy. Indeed, the most rewarding aspect of both performances is his chamber-music-like interplay with the excellent Mozarteumorchester's soloists These familiar and oft-recorded works sound fresh minted. Brahms's concertos have rarely sounded more brilliant, energetic and innovative.

MusicWeb International, 7th January 2014
I cannot fault Hough's playing: the balance between the sheer virtuosity and the intimacy of this music is perfectly stated. Each concerto has a different mood and palette of emotions. Hough brings a special quality of reflection to these works which for my taste gives a considerable added value.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2014
Wigglesworth is pact and taut in rhythm...The impression I have here is of readings that have divested themselves of excess baggage and are lighter on their feet...I ended up delighted by and in complete admiration of Hough's boldness. He has become a warmer player of increased range in Brahms, and unafraid to take risks.

BBC Music Magazine, February 2014
Clearly working in absolute rapport with Mark Wigglesworth, they achieve together a lean, at times almost wiry sound...yet there is no lack of muscular force or orchestral power in the many big moments. Hough brings an unusually wide range of keyboard colour to bear on Brahms's piano-writing.



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Mark Wigglesworth
  • Ensemble: Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
  • Running Time: 22 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1854-1859

>Brahms, Johannes : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Mark Wigglesworth
  • Ensemble: Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
  • Running Time: 18 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1881