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Hyperion Records

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Cupid and Psyche by Annie Louisa Swynnerton (1844-1933)
Oldham Art Gallery, Lancashire / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67456
Recording details: May 2003
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2004
Total duration: 9 minutes 42 seconds

'This is astonishing piano playing and Chopin interpretation, at its very best, fully measuresup to the greatness of these pieces. And to their freshness, not least; the Ballades and Scherzos, along with just about all Chopin's work, have been constsntly before the public, and Stephen Hough's accounts of them offer plenty of refinement to spirit and senses. It's not given to many to play them as well as he. Hough is unfailingly thoughtful; there's not a note that hasn't been cared for. …he combines a staggering technique with a genuinely engaging musical imagination. Handsomely recorded and produced.' (Gramophone)

'In the use of words like sensational, extraordinary, phenomenal, etc., critics have to be sparing, at risk of their credibility. But these adjectives are all appropriate to this new Chopin recital by Stephen Hough, which vaults him to the top rung in this repertoire, right next to Rubinstein' (American Record Guide)

'Hough has something unique and individual to say, with capricious daring and memorable directness. The beautifully balanced sound quality self-effacingly enhances what seemingly passes for a live experience uninhibited by microphones. Listen well and often for maximum reward and exhilaration.' (International Record Review)

'…to play Chopin with the rhythmic subtlety he requires without it seeming contrived is a rare gift. Stephen Hough has it in abundance' (The Sunday Times)

'Stephen Hough's quicksilver mastery of the idiom proves an unfailing guide throughout' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hough has an awe-inspiring technique and the ability to play even the most rushed passages of Chopin with extraordinary clarity' (Fanfare, USA)

Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor, Op 31
composer
1837

Other recordings available for download
Jorge Bolet (piano)
Irene Scharrer (piano)
Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Artur Pizarro (piano)
York Bowen (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
For Schumann the Second Scherzo (1837) had all the high flown passion of Byron, and Chopin insisted that the opening sinister triplets could never be sufficiently tombé in performance: like a charnel house. Chopin’s volatile question and answer blossom, surprisingly, into one of his most expansive melodies and the A major trio, a marvel of economy, evolves into the most urgent and florid virtuosity. The subsequent ‘development’ is heaven-storming, indeed, and after a nearly exact repetition of the chief material (it is suitably and rhetorically embellished at key points) the fast and furious coda unites many seemingly disparate elements in a final whirl of glory.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 2004


Other albums featuring this work
'Chopin: Reminiscences' (CKD248)
Chopin: Reminiscences
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD248  Download only  
'Chopin: The Complete Works' (CDS44351/66)
Chopin: The Complete Works
MP3 £45.00FLAC £45.00ALAC £45.00Buy by post £50.00 CDS44351/66  16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Chopin: The Four Scherzi' (CDH55181)
Chopin: The Four Scherzi
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'Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings' (APR6010)
Irene Scharrer – The complete electric and selected acoustic recordings
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR6010  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  
'Jorge Bolet – His earliest recordings' (APR6009)
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'Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings' (APR7501)
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'York Bowen – The complete solo 78-rpm recordings' (APR6007)
York Bowen – The complete solo 78-rpm recordings
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