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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: 9 minutes 33 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)

Cants Mágics
composer

Energic  [1'29]
Obscur  [1'52]
Profond: Lent  [2'01]
Misteriós  [1'42]
Calma  [2'29]

Cants Mágics (1917) was Mompou’s first published work and is dedicated ‘A mon cher maître F. Motte-Lacroix’. These are ‘songs’ in the loosest, or perhaps ‘most primitive’, sense of the word (‘incantations’, Mellers calls them, describing the vocal lines as ‘pre-melodic’), and the marking ‘Obscur’ at the top of No 2 has surely never seemed more apt. These spells frighten us not through their malevolence, but because we are transported to an unknown, prehistoric world. Here is Mompou’s most deliberate rejection of the cerebral complexity in much artistic thought of the period.

from notes by Stephen Hough © 1997

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