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Stephen Hough in recital

Album Summary

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Variations Serieuses (17) for Piano in D minor, Op. 54
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 32 in C minor, Op. 111
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Invitation to the Dance, in D flat major J 260/Op. 65
>Chopin, Frédéric : Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 64
>Chopin, Frédéric : Waltz for piano no 2 in A flat major, Op. 34/1, CT. 208
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Valse nonchalante, for piano in D flat major, Op. 110 (also orchestrated)
>Chabrier, Emmanuel : Pieces pittoresques (10), for piano
>Debussy, Claude : La plus que lente
>Liszt, Franz : Valses oubliees (4) for Piano, S 215
>Liszt, Franz : Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, S 514 "Mephisto Waltz no 1"
>Traditional : Matilda's Waltz
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The Stephen Hough discography is enhanced by this delightful recital disc from the winner of the Gramophone Gold Disc Award, acclaimed recently as, "Britain's finest pianist" (Sunday Times), and as one of the six greatest pianists performing in the world today (The Guardian). The selection of works reflects a concert programme which Hough performed all around the world in the 2007/8 season, with a theme of Variations and Waltzes. These appear in many guises: for instance the 'first half' concludes with Beethoven's piano sonata No. 32, with its extraordinary set of variations. Then Hough takes the listener on a whirlwind tour of the waltz, performing some of the gems of the genre with his trademark immaculate polish and unerring style.

'Listening to this recital I felt as though I were a guest at a sumptuous banquet ... It is the different wines accompanying each course that make this meal special, that is to say the discriminating premier cru tone, touch (what magically hushed pianissimos) and masterly pedalling to which the diners are treated, each element adjusted to each composer yet all unmistakably Stephen Hough - vintage Hough at that, for here is a pianist at the height of his powers ... A great piano recording and front runner for instrumental disc of the year' (Gramophone)

'It's hard to think of another pianist who could encompass such high seriousness - his techincal brilliance is never an alibi for superficiality in Beethoven and Mendelssohn - and high jinks within the same programme ... Hough wears his virtuosity so lightly that the fantastically difficult notes seem to pour off his fingers with effortless ease. His Weber and Liszt are played with staggering bravura, his Chopin is both brilliant and wistful, and his Waltzing Matilda makes you want to laugh out loud' (Sunday Times)

'The glinting wit and thorough seriousness of pianist Stephen Hough's playing - attributes you desire from all virtuosi but do not always find - make this mixed repertoire disc a particular joy' (The Observer)

'Hough's clear-sighted path through both the Mendelssohn and Beethoven, every detail perfectly placed, belies the charm he brings to the bravura glitter of the Weber, the subtle ambiguities of Debussy's La Plus que Lente, and the more insidious allure of the Liszt. It's a beautifully accomplished sequence' (The Guardian)

'Variations sérieuses is given a spontaneous and nimble account, fully relaying Mendelssohn's dazzling invention; and also his heart ... [Beethoven Op 111] The second movement has rarely sounded more luminous ... [Invitation to the Dance] Hough's performance is scintillating and affectionate, notably lucid in how the hands interact. The Chopin waltzes are pleasurable for Hough's unaffected and crisp (but never inflexible) playing ... This thoughtfully conceived, superbly executed and produced release warrants a most enthusiastic recommendation' (International Record Review)



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Works Details

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Variations Sérieuses (17) for Piano in D minor, Op. 54
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 06/04/1841

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Sonata for Piano no 32 in C minor, Op. 111
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1821-1822

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Invitation to the Dance, in D flat major J 260/Op. 65
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1819

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 64
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1846-1847

>Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849) : Waltz for piano no 2 in A flat major, Op. 34/1, CT. 208
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1835

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Valse nonchalante, for piano in D flat major, Op. 110 (also orchestrated)
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1898

>Chabrier, Emmanuel : Pièces pittoresques (10), for piano :: Feuillet d'album
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1881

>Debussy, Claude : La plus que lente
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1910

>Liszt, Franz : Valses oubliées (4) for Piano, S 215
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1881

>Liszt, Franz : Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, S 514 "Mephisto Waltz no 1"
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1859-1862

>Traditional : Matilda's Waltz
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (07/22/2008-07/23/2008)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.