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Track(s) taken from CDA67686

Waltz in C sharp minor, Op 64 No 2

composer
published in 1847

Stephen Hough (piano)
Recording details: July 2008
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Rachel Smith
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: March 2009
Total duration: 3 minutes 27 seconds

Cover artwork: When all is said & done (2006) by Anthony Mastromatteo (b?)
Reproduced by kind permission of the artist / Private Collection
 
1

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Reviews

'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)
Where Chopin excels is in his creation of what Schumann described as ‘waltzes for souls much more than waltzes for bodies’. There is no better example than one of his very last works, the Waltz in C sharp minor Op 64 No 2. If it is still a waltz for the body it is for a soulful and solitary one that moves with a pathetic little skip between the sighing parallel sixths of its main theme and then twists away in a nostalgic pirouette. The melodiously expressive middle section—approached by a run of quavers that has the function of a recurring refrain—is harmonized in D flat major but is scarcely less poignant than the C sharp minor episodes on either side of it.

from notes by Gerald Larner © 2009

Chopin excelle il crée ce que Schumann appella «des valses pour les âmes plus encore que pour les corps»—l’une de ses toute dernières œuvres, la Valse en ut dièse mineur op. 64 no 2 en est le meilleur exemple. C’est une valse pour le corps, mais pour un corps attendrissant et solitaire qui avance avec un pathétique petit bond entre les sixtes parallèles soupirantes de son thème principal avant de s’en retourner dans une pirouette nostalgique. La section centrale mélodieusement expressive—abordée par une série de croches faisant office de refrain—est harmonisée en ré bémol majeur mais est à peine moins poignante que les épisodes en ut dièse mineur qui la flanquent.

extrait des notes rédigées par Gerald Larner © 2009
Français: Hypérion

Zwar ist Webers Aufforderung zum Tanz gehaltvoller als die Walzer von Chopin, doch tut sich Chopin insofern hervor, als dass er Walzer für die Seele anstatt den Körper (wie Schumann es ausdrückte) komponierte. Am besten kann man das anhand eines seiner letzten Werke, dem Walzer in cis-Moll op. 64 Nr. 2, nachvollziehen. Wenn dies immer noch ein Walzer für den Körper ist, dann für einen seelenvollen und einsamen, der sich mit kleinen theatralischen Sprüngen zwischen den seufzenden Sextparallelen des Hauptthemas bewegt und sich dann mit einer nostalgischen Pirouette abwendet. Der ausdrucksvolle und melodiöse Mittelteil—auf den mit einer Achtelpassage zugesteuert wird, die später wie ein Refrain wiederkehrt—steht in Des-Dur, ist aber kaum weniger ergreifend als die cis-Moll-Episoden, von denen es eingerahmt wird.

aus dem Begleittext von Gerald Larner © 2009
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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