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Hyperion Records

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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
Track(s) taken from CDA67890
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: 13 minutes 21 seconds

'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)

Réminiscences de La juive – Fantaisie brillante sur des motifs de l'opéra de Halévy, S409a
composer
1835
composer
1834/5; La juive

Other recordings available for download
Leslie Howard (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
As he did so often in the early fantasies, Liszt composed his piano work within the year of the first performance of Halévy’s most celebrated work La juive. Using motifs from Acts 3 and 5, Liszt produced a work of much originality; the shape of the opening Molto allegro feroce is entirely his, even if the thematic fragments are Halévy’s, and it is not until the recognizable martial chorus (Marziale molto animato, from bar 131) that he uses a whole theme. The succeeding Boléro is only loosely based on Halévy, but is the theme for two variations. The Finale (Presto agitato assai) begins as if it were a third variation but gives way to frenetically foreshortened recollections of the march and the introductory material. The ferocious opening foreshadows the ‘infernal’ music of Liszt’s Weimar period, but also shows immediate kinship with the Valse infernale from Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable, with which the La juive fantasy was reissued—along with the Huguenots fantasy and the Don Giovanni fantasy—in about 1842.

from notes by Leslie Howard © 1998


Other albums featuring this work
'Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 50 – Liszt at the Opera V' (CDA67231/2)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 50 – Liszt at the Opera V
'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)  

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