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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67043
Recording details: October 1998
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Mike Hatch & Mike Clements
Release date: October 1999
Total duration: 2 minutes 57 seconds

‘the pianist’s giddy romp through ‘The Carousel Waltz’ is a tour de force that brilliantly recaptures both the tender and tough … The unadorned Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky selections are played with heartfelt simplicity and a lean yet singing sonority … Delightful’ (Gramophone)

‘a world of musical enchantment where artifice and sentiment are distinct virtues … Hough’s deftly fingered ornamental tracery [Liszt] … tonal relish [Godowsky] … beautifully conjure this music’s perfumed fragrance, culminating in a charmingly idiomatic account of Godowsky’s Alt Wien reminiscence of the Vienna of his youth … contrasts virtuoso exuberance … with affectionate tendresse … exploits the kaleidoscopic range of the piano in his own highly imaginative arrangements … Encore!' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Few recording pianists can match Stephen Hough in the flair with which he tackles trivial party pieces like the 20 varied items here. He gives such encore material sparkle and point that charms the ear' (The Guardian)

'This is a terrific disc. A master pianist reminds us that the piano can delight, surprise and enchant' (Classic CD)

‘Hough’s own glittering Musical Jewellery Box and his arrangement of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel Waltz are lovely nostalgia fodder … In the hands of a pianist so refined and gentle this is an ideal fireside recital’ (Financial Times)

'Stephen Hough is probably the most Protean pianist of his generation. Not only is he equally adept in the intellectual challenges of the Schumann Fantasie and the delightfully brainless acrobatics of the Award-winning Scharwenka Fourth, but, beyond that, he can tease out the pleasures from the trifles featured here with an old-fashioned wit—and a refreshing lack of pretension—that few living performers can match. What's most striking, on first hearing, is the finesse of his fingers, in particular the kaleidoscopic range of his colour and touch. As you listen again, you're apt to be struck even more by Hough's emotional poise … Excellent … Like any first-class dessert-tray, this one is addictive.' (International Piano)

‘His performances throughout this disc display his acute understanding of Romantic performance practice (finely judged tempo fluctuations and tasteful rubato), his breath … taking digital dexterity, and adept control of piano tone, which ranges from intimate to heroic’ (CD Now)

‘fingers of pliable steel and mind of infinite affection … for he makes one mindful of legendary … virtuosos whose astonishing manual dexterity was matched by spontaneous flights of fancy, making most of today’s keyboard stars sound slightly ham-fisted and emotionally constipated … While one appreciates the impressive clarity of his every interpretive gesture, one also hears an intriguing amalgam of analytical mind and swooning heart’ (Ottowa Citizen, Canada)

'As a perfect continuation of Stephen Hough’s two splendid forerunners (Piano Album), … this New Piano Album displays great conviction and even greater charm, first because its judicious selection and arrangement takes the listener through a constantly changing sound world but also because of Stephen Hough’s brilliant playing. With this repertoire of unusual little piano pieces he firmly establishes himself as a worthy heir to the most famous pianists of the beginning of the twentieth century.' (Répertoire, France)

Musical Jewellery Box

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Stephen Hough’s own Musical Jewellery Box, prompted by previous examples of the genre (Liadov, de Séverac, Friedman etc.) achieves a double magic, its French nonchalance enhanced by the sparkle of jewellery, its innocence mixed with experience, a marvel of wide-eyed wonder and sophistication.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 1999

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