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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: 5 minutes 0 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)

Dialogues I, II
composer

Plaintif  [2'26]
Modéré  [2'34]

In the two Dialogues (1923) the keyboard textures are quite complex and decorative, and the mood is a little solitary and interior—there is an attempt at conversation, if only with oneself. The score is filled with Satiesque asides—‘expliquez’ … ‘questionnez’ … ‘répondez’ … ‘plus suppliant’ … ‘hésitez’ and even, in the second piece, ‘donnez des excuses’. The Dialogues are rather atypical of Mompou’s style in their keyboard writing and in the slightly self-conscious wit of the score’s extra-musical indications. But they come at a point of transition for the composer, the end of an eremitic path which, some twenty years later, he would return to with the composition of Paisajes, written for the pianist Carmen Bravo whom he had recently met and who was to become his wife.

from notes by Stephen Hough ę 1997

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