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Hyperion Records

HOUGH1 - The Stephen Hough Piano Collection

Recording details: Various dates
Various recording venues
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Mike Hatch
Release date: May 2005
Total duration: 79 minutes 12 seconds

'In all, a cogent overview of and ideal introduction to Stephen Hough's artistry' (Classics Today (USA)

'As a retrospective of a fine pianist, this bargain issue has many virtues … If you have not already added these Hough performances in your collection, here is a painless way of doing so' (American Record Guide)

The Stephen Hough Piano Collection
Stephen Hough (piano) Super-budget price sampler  

The Stephen Hough Piano Collection, available at budget price, brings together tracks from all eleven of Stephen Hough’s acclaimed solo recordings on Hyperion, from Gramophone Award-winning Mompou, through rarely trodden byways of Weber and Reynolds, to the pianistic titans of Chopin, Brahms and Liszt.

Seven tracks are released for the first time on this new recording: the six-movement Suite Osmanthus and the arrangement of Pining for the Spring Breeze show Hough to be a composer with a distinctive voice as well as a consummate master of the piano.

The booklet includes tantalizing commentaries by Stephen Hough, biographical information and a comprehensive discography.

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Stephen Hough has emerged as a unique presence on the international concert scene. From highly acclaimed performances of standard repertoire, in recital and with the world’s finest orchestras, to his interest in discovering unusual and neglected works, he combines the imagination and pianistic colour of the past with the scholarship of the present, illuminating the very essence of the music he plays. He was honoured in 2001 with a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship described as comprising ‘original and creative people of all ages and groups across a wide array of human endeavors linked together by their individual commitments to discovering and advancing knowledge and to improving society’.

Since winning first prize in the Naumburg International Piano Competition in New York in 1983 he has appeared regularly with most of the major American orchestras and with numerous European orchestras under conductors including Abbado, Ashkenazy, Dohnányi, Dutoit, Gergiev, Fischer, Järvi, Levine, Litton, Maazel, Oramo, Rattle, Salonen, Slatkin, Tilson Thomas and Vänskä. He gives recitals regularly in major halls and series all over the world, and has been a frequent guest at many festivals including Aspen, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Blossom, Hollywood Bowl, Mostly Mozart, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Sapporo and the BBC Proms.

He has an extensive catalogue of recordings, many of which have won international prizes such as the Diapason d’Or, the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Classic CD and Gramophone awards. In 1996 his Hyperion CD of concertos by Scharwenka and Sauer with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Lawrence Foster was awarded both Gramophone magazine’s ‘Concerto Record of the Year’ as well as their overall ‘Recording of the Year’; his Mompou recording (a Diapason d’Or and Gramophone award winner) and his 1998 release New York Variations (chosen as Best Classical CD of the Year by Time magazine) further reinforced his status as an artist of the utmost distinction and individuality. More recently his Liszt CD was nominated for a Grammy, and his recording of the complete Saint-Saëns piano concertos with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo collected awards from Diapason d’Or, a Choc from Monde de la Musique, a Grammy nomination and, once again, Gramophone magazine’s ‘Concerto Record of the Year’ as well as ‘Recording of the Year’. Stephen’s 2004 recording of the Rachmaninov piano concertos with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Litton has already won considerable international praise. Stephen is also a keen writer and has provided many of the liner notes for his recordings. These essays have received high praise and have been singled out by several critics as exemplary.

As a chamber musician Stephen collaborates on a regular basis with friends such as Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Tabea Zimmermann and Michael Collins. He has also performed with the Cleveland, Emerson and Juilliard Quartets, recording the complete sonatas of Beethoven and Brahms with the latter’s former first violinist Robert Mann.

Stephen is also strongly committed to performing and promoting contemporary music. Several internationally renowned composers have written, and will write, newly commissioned concertos for him – including George Tsontakis, Lowell Liebermann and James MacMillan. A number of Stephen’s own compositions and transcriptions are published by Josef Weinberger Ltd.

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