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Hyperion Records

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Coxcombs by Ben Moore
Reproduced by permission of the artist / Private Collection
Track(s) taken from CDA66963
Recording details: July 1996
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: August 1997
Total duration: 2 minutes 36 seconds

'Altogether outstanding in every way … a real treat … utterly compelling playing with a recording to match … in the hands of an imaginative pianist like Stephen Hough this other-worldly, almost eremitic [music] becomes revelatory. He catches Mompou's wistful moods to perfection' (Gramophone)

'It's a rare thing for an artist's programme notes to vie in quality with his playing. There is simply no better description of this music, nor any more persuasive, imaginative and spiritually attuned performer of it. Fascinating, hypnotic, mystical. Commended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'In his skilfully planned and superlatively played programme Stephen Hough achieves a vivid sense of contrast, of temporal and spiritual reflection. His rare empathy for such music is reflected in Hyperion's cloudless recording' (BBC Record Review)

'Perhaps the most significant piano release of the year' (The Independent)

'Pianism of a very high order indeed, backed up by a recording of beautiful limpidity. Spellbinding music, immaculately performed' (Classic CD)

'Ce CD est une parfaite introduction à une oeuvre aussi passionante que difficile à cerner. La prise de son d'une qualité exceptionelle de rondeur et de naturel' (Répertoire, France)

Canción y Danza 7
composer

Mompou wrote thirteen Cancións y Danzas for piano between 1921 and 1979 (plus one for guitar in 1972) and they are a richly varied collection. He described the idea behind this form as ‘a contrast between lyricism and rhythm, to avoid a collection of songs and another of dances, and also due to a natural logical coincidence with a form adopted by many composers’. He goes on to cite Liszt and Bartók in their Rhapsodies, although Mompou’s ‘gypsies’ have considerably less of a swagger; these songs come from a more refined voice, and the dance steps are graceful and poised. In fact Wilfrid Mellers insightfully points out a certain affinity to Chopin’s Mazurkas, not least in the wistful nostalgia for home which both composers felt living as exiles in Paris.

from notes by Stephen Hough © 1997

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