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Hyperion Records

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When all is said & done (2006) by Anthony Mastromatteo (b?)
Reproduced by kind permission of the artist / Private Collection
Track(s) taken from CDA67686
Recording details: July 2008
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: March 2009
Total duration: 11 minutes 18 seconds

'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)

'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)

'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)

'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)

'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' (The Sunday Times)

Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke – Erster Mephisto-Walzer 'Mephisto Waltz No 1', S514a
composer
1859/62; revised version with additions

Other recordings available for download
Leslie Howard (piano)
Moura Lympany (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
All four of the Mephisto Waltzes are inspired, to some extent at least, by an episode in Lenau’s Faust, ‘Dance in a Village Inn’. As we know from Don Giovanni, a peasant wedding is an irresistible challenge for any self-respecting seducer who happens to witness the celebrations. Sure enough, Faust arrives at the inn with his demonic companion Mephistopheles, who takes up a violin and whirls the company into an orgiastic dance. Taking advantage of the situation, Faust leads one of the girls out of the inn and into a wood echoing with the sound of nightingales—though not, it seems, to draw her attention to the bird song.

The first Mephisto Waltz, the only one that follows the event at the village inn in detail, begins with a characteristically devilish outrage of convention as Mephistopheles tunes his violin and Liszt piles fifth upon fifth into a harmonic accretion that must have seemed a howling dissonance to his contemporaries. The music Mephisto plays to the villagers is as uninhibited as his preparation for it. His turbulent and unstoppable dance most effectively offsets the central theme of the work, a contrastingly sensitive and hesitantly syncopated but highly erotic waltz tune, marked espressivo amoroso. A seductive of D flat major waltzes, it is awarded to Faust himself to further his enterprise in the wood outside. After an extended and beautifully scored virtuoso development, Faust’s waltz tune is combined at the climax of the construction with allusions to the first theme and driven into an infernal gallop. The voice of the nightingale is heard in poetic isolation just before the rumbling onset of a short but dramatic coda.

from notes by Gerald Larner © 2009


Other albums featuring this work
'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1 – Waltzes' (CDA66201)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1 – Waltzes
'Liszt: Complete Piano Music' (CDS44501/98)
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
MP3 £160.00FLAC £160.00ALAC £160.00Buy by post £200.00 CDS44501/98  99CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)  
'Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952' (APR6011)
Moura Lympany – The HMV Recordings, 1947-1952
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 APR6011  2CDs for the price of 1  

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