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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67711/2
Recording details: September 2009
Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Andrés Villalta
Release date: April 2010
Total duration: 2 minutes 9 seconds

'Hough plays with a brilliance that conveys delicacy of feelign as well as virtuosity and power' (The Mail on Sunday)

'The electrifying pace Hough injects into the codas of No 1 and the Concert Fantasia are suitably exciting, though these are nothing compared to the tumultuous final pages of No 2 (a tremendous performance). The audience whoops in amazement … this is a great recording—no doubt about that—and one which, if there is any justice, will garner any number of awards' (Gramophone)

'Anyone who heard Stephen Hough's barnstorming performances of all the Tchaikovsky piano concertos at last year's Proms will want to own these CDs … Osmo Vänskä's suave direction of the Minnesota players allows Hough's brilliance to shine through' (The Observer)

'[Concerto no 1] is injected with exhilharation, the bravura tempered with limpid lyricism … this set is a worthy tribute to the longevity of Hyperion's series' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Stephen Hough's account of the First Piano Concerto, dazzling as it may be, is only one of the highlights in this exceptional collection of all of Tchaikovsky's works for piano and orchestra … Hough's ability to strip off the layers of varnish from a work so that it recaptures much of its startling freshness is remarkable, and his combination of bravura swagger and the most fastidious care with line and texture is utterly convincing' (The Guardian)

'Stephen Hough, without rival in bringing new life to popular repertoire with a romantic sweep … with Hough at the keys, the First Concerto becomes no warhorse taken for a dutiful trot but a freshly imagined masterpiece bouncing with surprises and invention. Beyond Hough's crystalline clarity, dash and power, Vänskä displays complete mastery of the music's architecture, engineering tension particularly well in the finale's hurly burly … but it's the set's lesser pieces that offer the most revelations … the Second Concerto flourishes as never before' (The Times)

'Brilliantly played but thoughtfully reconsidered interpretations … he achieves the remarkable feat of not making the B flat major concerto sound remotely hackneyed. Sparks fly thanks to his outstanding conductor … he makes the strongest possible case for the restoration of the neglected and often reviled G major concerto (No 2)' (The Sunday Times)

'No mere warhorse anymore, the concerto here rises in integrity while Hough time and time again reminds us that this is his carefully considered take on the score… Vänskä is a fine accompanist. A musician who himself revels in rethinking scores, it is as if Hough has met his dream soul mate… the fire comes from Hough's determination; his conductor sticks with him all the way… the audience's enthusiastic reaction says it all… a fitting 50th volume celebration to a series of major importance' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hough has virtuosity to burn and shows it on his recording of the three concertos and Concert Fantasia. But he is also an artist of uncommon sensitivity and taste. Moreover, his recording has the advantage of offering the uncut Second Concerto plus, on supplemental tracks, the seriously cut version of the second movement by Alexander Siloti and his own uncut, but modified, version of the same movement' (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, USA)

Solitude, Op 73 No 6
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