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Track(s) taken from CDA67890

Nocturne No 4 in C minor 'Bal fantôme'

composer
1934; dedicated to Julien Green

Stephen Hough (piano)
Recording details: May 2011
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2012
Total duration: 1 minutes 35 seconds

Cover artwork: Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre (2000-2002) by Peter Doig (b1959)
Collection Nancy Lauter and Alfred L McDougal / The Art Institute of Chicago / Photograph by Grant Hiroshima
 

Other recordings available for download

Piers Lane (piano)

Reviews

'Stephen Hough calls his extremely generous, 79-minute, 17-item French Album ‘a sort of musical dessert trolley’, but that sells it short. It’s much more of a festive hamper, offering a full meal to lovers of French music, mixing up the familiar and the unknown with Stephen’s typical charm and panache' (The Mail on Sunday)

'A substantial gourmet feast of masterly pianism … central to the disc are the works by Fauré and Poulenc, heard to their best advantage when programmed in this way, hand-picked and set beside short works by Massenet and Chabrier. There are some great performances here … the expressive simplicity of his playing can make your eyes burn. In Clair de lune and Chaminade's once ubiquitous Automne, now rarely heard, Hough conjures up a heart-catching melody that puts me in mind of Cherkassky … excellent booklet. Fine recording. De plus, s'il vous plaît!' (Gramophone)

'Once again, Stephen Hough's consummate artistry extends to inspirational programme building … the Fauré group is ravishingly contrasted, with a fluency and limpid style supported by all the necessary backbone and sense of direction to make the composer's tortuous harmonic twists sound as natural as speech … chez Poulenc, the constantly shifting balance of melody, countermelody and accompaniment is defined by subtlety of dynamic shading, deft pedal work and brushstroke rubato … even by Hough standards the whole enterprise is a tour-de-force and easily the most satisfying disc of piano music I've encountered so far this year' (International Record Review)

'Stephen Hough is a treasurable musician of questing intelligence. His latest album is among the most enjoyable … the Fauré selections best display Hough's connoisseur touch. From the adventurous journey of the sixth Nocturne to the restless harmonies of the fifth Barcarolle, each selection springs a new surprise. The lighter French spirit surfaces in Hough's own arrangements of Délibes and Massenet, delivered with delicious wit and grace' (The Times)

'An exquisite arrangement of Massenet's Crépuscule … Ravel's Alborada del gracioso and Fauré's F sharp minor Impromptu are glitteringly played' (The Sunday Times)

'It is a stroke of genius to end with the Liszt/Halévy Réminiscences de La juive. Hough makes this Fantaisie brillante a true tour-de-force … a terrific disc' (International Piano)

'An unhackneyed selection. Everything is beautifully played; whether the four pieces by Fauré or the three by Poulenc, it is a feast of virtousity and poetry' (Dominion Post, New Zealand)
Poulenc’s fourth Nocturne, with its hint of the seventh of Chopin’s Op 28 Preludes, has a kind of lazy rhetoric but always coloured with the composer’s characteristic piquancy. Among his series of eight nocturnes, it is one of the few that actually fits the title in its traditional sense. Subtitled ‘Bal fantôme’, it is prefaced by a quote from the novel Le visionnaire by the writer Julien Green, a friend of the composer: an invalid, confined to his sick-bed, hears distant strains of a ball and recalls happier times of his youth. The sly semitonal movement gives those distant memories of the waltz a distinctly twentieth-century edge.

from notes by Harriet Smith © 2012

Le quatrième Nocturne de Poulenc, avec son allusion au septième des Préludes, op. 28, de Chopin, se déroule dans une sorte de langage paisible mais toujours coloré avec le piquant caractéristique du compositeur. De sa série de huit nocturnes, c’est l’un des rares qui correspond vraiment au titre dans son sens traditionnel. Sous-titré «Bal fantôme», il est préfacé d’une citation du roman Le visionnaire de l’écrivain Julien Green, ami du compositeur: un invalide, confiné dans son lit de malade, entend les échos lointains d’un bal et se souvient des jours plus heureux de sa jeunesse. L’astucieux mouvement semi tonal donne à ces lointains souvenirs de valse un côté nettement XXe siècle.

extrait des notes rédigées par Harriet Smith © 2012
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Poulencs viertes Nocturne, das in gewisser Weise an das siebte der Préludes op. 28 von Chopin erinnert, hat eine etwas träge Rhetorik, ist jedoch durchweg von der charakteristischen Pikanterie des Komponisten durchwirkt. In seiner Serie von acht Nocturnes ist es eins der wenigen, zu dem der Titel im traditionellen Sinne tatsächlich passt. Es trägt den Untertitel „Bal fantôme“ und es ist ihm ein Zitat aus dem Roman Le visionnaire des Schriftstellers Julien Green vorangestellt, der mit dem Komponisten befreundet war: ein an sein Krankenbett gefesselter Invalide hört die Musik eines Balls und erinnert sich an glücklichere Zeiten in seiner Jugend. Die verschmitzte halbtönige Bewegung verleiht den entfernten Walzer-Erinnerungen einen für das 20. Jahrhundert charakteristischen Schliff.

aus dem Begleittext von Harriet Smith © 2012
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Piers Lane goes to town
Studio Master: CDA67967Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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