COMPOSERS: Chaminade,etc,Hough,Moszkowski,Paderewski,Rachmaninoff,Schubert (Arr. Liszt & Godowsky),Tchaikovsky
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Stephen Hough’s New Piano Album
PERFORMER: Stephen Hough (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67043
This latest outstanding release recalls a world of musical enchantment where artifice and sentiment are distinct virtues. The first part of this generous and varied programme evokes the fragrance of fin-de-siècle Vienna. Hough’s deftly fingered ornamental tracery in Liszt’s Soirées de Vienne and his tonal relish in Godowsky’s transcriptions of Schubert’s F minor Moment musical and ‘Morgengrüss’ from Die schöne Müllerin beautifully conjure this music’s perfumed fragrance, culminating in a charmingly idiomatic account of Godowsky’s Alt Wien reminiscence of the Vienna of his youth.
In the next group of pieces, Hough contrasts virtuoso exuberance in Moszkowski’s delightfully elfin sixth Étincelles and Chaminade’s delicately balletic Pierrette with affectionate tendresse in Paderewski’s G flat Mélodie and Chaminade’s Autrefois. Meanwhile, he fully exploits the kaleidoscopic range of the piano in his own highly imaginative arrangements of Kálmán’s Was weiss ein nie geküsster Rosenmund and Richard Rodgers’s Hello Young Lovers and Carousel Waltz.
Hough’s scintillating bravura in his own technically demanding Étude de concert anticipates the Russian selection with which he closes his concert. Beside a glittering performance of Rachmaninoff’s Humoresque and an atmospherically dark-hued rendering of Tchaikovsky’s Dumka, he offers breathtaking, multi-layered readings of the ‘Pas de quatre’ from Swan Lake and the Sleeping Beauty Paraphrase. Encore! Nicholas Rast