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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: 7 minutes 4 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 3 in C sharp minor, Op 39
composer
1839, begun in Majorca, completed in Nohant; dedicated to Adolf Gutmann

Other recordings available for download
Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)
Simon Barere (piano)
Simon Barere (piano)
Simon Barere (piano)
Jorge Bolet (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Dissonance is again at the heart of the Third Scherzo, and even today the opening octaves can seem harshly novel and uncompromising. The principle theme was inspired by Adolf Gutmann, Chopin’s pupil who could – with a taste of karate – apparently punch a hole in a table. The contrasting chorale with its cascading reply may well echo a liturgical chant heard at the monastery in Valdemosa (where Chopin was a guest in 1842) and its final transformation and expansion in the coda is among Chopin’s most daring masterstrokes.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 2004


Other albums featuring this work
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