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Brahms: Piano Sonata in f, Ballades / Stephen Hough

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 5
>Brahms, Johannes : Ballades (4) for piano, Op. 10
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'If only Brahms had heard Hough, he would have carried on composing piano sonatas' (Evening Standard)

'Hough has made many fine recordings, but none better than this one' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Stephen Hough is among the very best of the current generation of performing artists ... a thoughtful pianist who plays with great strength and depth of feeling, an impeccable technique, glowing tone colors and suitably flexible rhythms ... his sense of structure is outstanding ... There are other fine recordings of theses pieces... but none are better than these ... His accounts are just plain wonderful... With music as beautiful and pianism as great as this - all in excellent sound - you can't go wrong' (American Record Guide)

'Hough casts a scattered, multicoloured light as if through stained glass... One could write a complete analytical essay on Hough's breathtakingly illuminating playing of the Second Ballade, but no words could convey the beauty he brings to the Fourth ... playing of the purest, most controlled musicality, an approach that is in itself quintessentially Brahmsian ... one is conscious of having been face to face with genius'(Pianist Magazine)

'[Hough's] new disc must be one of the current prime choices in these pieces' (International Record Review)

'Stephen Hough is a great pianist, one of the finest now before the public ... These are deeply pondered, brilliantly executed, and often ravishingly beautiful performances' (Fanfare, USA)

'Thoughtful, poetic and rich-toned readings of youthful Brahms. These pieces [Four Ballades] emerge as little gems, the songful Second as ear-catching as the haunted woodland sprites of the Third' (Gramophone)

'The image of Brahms, the heavily bearded, middle-aged Viennese master of absolute music, has tended to eclipse his younger self. We rarely hear the remarkable works that the 20-year-old firebrand from Hamburg was writing, mainly for his own instrument, the piano - works behind which there is often a more-or-less open programme, and which show the influence of Liszt as much as that of Brahms's later, beloved mentor, Schumann. So, this excellent disc is doubly welcome. Stephen Hough, with his powerfully sprung but flexible rhythm, rich variety of colour and touch, and command of deep-toned pianissimo, gives a compelling account of both the sonata and the four ballades' (The Sunday Times)



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Piano no 3 in F minor, Op. 5
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (01/11/2001-01/12/2001)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1853

>Brahms, Johannes : Ballades (4) for piano, Op. 10
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (01/11/2001-01/12/2001)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1854