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Hyperion Records

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Days Gone By (2001) by Anthony Mastromatteo (b?)
Private Collection
Track(s) taken from CDA67267
Recording details: January 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Mike Hatch
Release date: March 2002
Total duration: 16 minutes 40 seconds

'Another winner from the ever-imaginative Stephen Hough. In all these pieces Hough's magic is presented in full, clear Hyperion sound' (Gramophone)

'Powerful, sympathetic and beautifully recorded, and his fans everywhere will be thrilled' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Exquisite presentation … [Hough] is a pianist of such refinement and impeccable technique that he makes everything he plays compellingly interesting … [the Leighton Studies] have a clear awareness of other 20th -century musical styles, including jazz, and there is an element of virtuosity that Hough, of course, delivers brilliantly' (The Guardian)

'Hough's performances are magical – scintillating, refined, sensuous in the smaller works, commanding and powerful in Rawsthorne and Leighton. I hope this superb pianist records many more recitals of British music' (American Record Guide)

'Hough’s pianism is a constant source of wonder – every chord and phrase perfectly judged' (Classic FM Magazine)

'these performances can be regarded as definitive … A CD of revealing personal choices of a master pianist, and one that reveals yet more very worthy British music … Strongly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'(Hough) plays with an astonishing command, great insight and some terrific finesse, in a performance that ranges from the elegant and sensitive to the vigorous and exhilarating' (Hi-Fi News)

'I’ve long admired the unfailingly beautiful, carefully honed, paradoxically rich but lean textures and sonorities Stephen Hough cultivates … a style in which patient, sustained utterance came to seem immediate, fervent and idealistic  … Crystal-sharp sound and superb performances; transcendental technique in the service of music that at least sets itself transcendental goals' (Pianist)

'Hough plays [Leighton] superbly, with marvellous tonal control in the rugged and spiky passages and also in the quiet harmonic episodes that glow with fierce intensity … enjoyable, excellently performed and beautifully engineered CD' (International Piano)

'Hough is one of world’s grandest piano performers, imaginative, graceful, powerful, able to dazzle with both his technique and his mind … a haunting and complex collection' (Philadelphia Post)

'This is a treat for lovers of the piano … Fascinating stuff' (Manchester Evening News)

'scrupulous, full … bodied, and technically impeccable performances … He revels in the sensuous harmonic felicities that color Stephen Reynolds' pastiches and makes an easy task of York Bowen’s fustian textures (ClassicsToday.com)

Six Studies 'Study Variations', Op 56
composer
1969

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Kenneth Leighton had a distinguished life as a composer, pianist and, latterly, as Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University. He wrote his Six Study-Variations in 1969 and they are an important and inexplicably neglected example of English piano music at its best. The rhythmic inventiveness—moving from the pointillism of the second and fourth studies to the snappy, jazz-like syncopations of the ferociously virtuosic final one—is always perfectly judged and paced, and the harmonic tension never strains nor slacks. At the heart of the work is the densely chromatic third study in which slow, repeated notes collide and rise inexorably in thickening clusters to a fist-shaking climax of defiant intensity.

from notes by Stephen Hough © 2002

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