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Grieg, Liszt: Piano Concertos / Stephen Hough, piano

Audio Samples

>Liszt, Franz : Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124
>Liszt, Franz : Concerto for Piano no 2 in A major, S 125
>Grieg, Edvard : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124
>Liszt, Franz : Concerto for Piano no 2 in A major, S 125
>Grieg, Edvard : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

For this new recording, pianist Stephen Hough travelled to Bergen - Grieg's home town - to join forces with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Grieg and Liszt that are set to become landmark recordings. Grieg's Piano Concerto is one of the most popular of all Romantic works, while Liszt's two concertos present unique challenges to both pianist and orchestra. These performances are exciting, magisterial and highly colored, with breathtaking virtuosity harnessed to poetic refinement and finesse - hallmarks of Stephen's playing that have already helped his concerto recordings to win two Gramophone magazine Record of the Year accolades. The Bergen players provide fresh and idiomatic support in the Grieg and revel in the sumptuous scoring of the Liszt. Released to coincide with the twin anniversaries of Liszt's birth (200 years ago) and Stephen's own 50th birthday (in November), this recording is an apt celebration of both.

"Does the world really need another recording of the Grieg piano concerto? The answer has to be an emphatic yes when the soloist is the barnstorming Stephen Hough, a pianist with the fascinating ability to take a venerable work, strip it of its patina and present it as though for the very first time. This is a wonderfully alert performance, mixing novel tempi with awesome technique and breathtaking, tingling tension." -The Observer

Classic FM Magazine
These two like-minded musicians manage to bring to these much-recorded works not merely thrilling virtuosity and lyrical depth but a Mendelssohnian lightness of touch where needed...Litton, himself a fine pianist, is one of the best orchestral accompanists on the planet, following Hough's every nuance with pin-point precision and lovingly shaping the many woodwind and string solos.

Sunday Times
One of the Liszt bicentenary's prime releases, from Britain's greatest living magician of the keyboard...this release is witness to [Hough's] mastery in the mainstream Romantic concertos...Hough highlights [Grieg's] Concerto's debt to Liszt, with its grandiloquent gestures and exhibitionist virtuosity...His vivaces glitter, his agitatos thrill with dramatic éclat, yet essentially he appreciates the songs-without-words that permeate these bravura works.

The Arts Desk
What Stephen Hough excels at is the quick transformation, the mercurial shifts from comedy to heartfelt sincerity. He's also a fantastic chamber player, and the Second Concerto's quieter moments are gorgeous here. There's some particularly lovely playing from the Bergen orchestra's principal cello

Gramophone Magazine
Introspective (but never lost in introspection) one minute, of the most refined bravura the next, he expresses a personality all his own, brilliantly alert to mercurial changes of mood and clearly riding on the crest of a wave of success. With technique honed to a state of diamond-like brilliance, he gives us rapier-like cadenzas and glissandos..that flash like summer lightening.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Grieghallen, Bergen (2011-06-14_2011-06-16&2011-).



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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Andrew Litton
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen (2011-06-14_2011-06-16&2011-)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1835-1856

>Liszt, Franz : Concerto for Piano no 2 in A major, S 125
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Andrew Litton
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen (2011-06-14_2011-06-16&2011-)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1839

>Grieg, Edvard : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16
  • Performer: Stephen Hough (Piano)
  • Conductor: Andrew Litton
  • Ensemble: Bergen Philharmonic
  • Notes: Grieghallen, Bergen (2011-06-14_2011-06-16&2011-)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1868