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Track(s) taken from CKD382

Other Love Songs


The Prince Consort, Stephen Hough (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: October 2010
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by John Fraser
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 21 minutes 34 seconds


'You'd never know it, but this new release, with its teasing title Other Love Songs, is dominated by Brahms's Liebeslieder Walzer and Neue Liebeslieder—and in finely judged, delightfully youthful performances from the vocal ensemble The Prince Consort. But its eponymous 'Other Love Songs' are those composed by the British pianist Stephen Hough; and they form a new song cycle of outstanding achievement … Hough finds language, a style, a startling response for the unique and elusive scent of each poem' (BBC Music Magazine)» More

'Brahms's two groups of Liebeslieder waltzes for piano duet and voices can sound cloying. The Prince Consort, a flexible group of five singers and pianist Alisdair Hogarth (here joined by pianist Philip Fowke), deliver a performance of sparkle and precision, restoring muscularity to Brahms's charming part-songs. In addition they perform Stephen Hough's cycle Other Love Songs, commissioned by the Consort as a touching companion to the Brahms. Using texts by Claude McKay, Julian of Norwich, AE Housman and others, Hough celebrates other kinds of love, religious, gay and in the broadest sense fraternal. The piano writing, not surprisingly given Hough's day job, is original and beguiling, the performances first rate' (The Observer)

'Listening to Brahms's Liebeslieder Walzer and his Neue Liebeslieder in quick succession may be just too much of a good thing; their sentimentality and folksy charm quickly cloy, even in such fresh-toned performances by the five singers of the Prince Consort, with Philip Fowke and the group's usual pianist Alisdair Hogarth the duet accompanists. So it was a bright idea of the group to ask Stephen Hough to compose a song cycle for the same line-up to separate the two helpings of Brahms, and perhaps to provide some palate-cleansing astringency. Hough selects eight poems from a variety of sources, from St John's Gospel and Julian of Norwich to AE Housman and Langston Hughes, to exemplify a much wider range of kinds of love, from religious to fraternal, and sets them with a Ned Rorem-like eclecticism of style and mood. The sequence is perfectly judged, wittily allusive and serves its purpose perfectly. I suspect, in fact, that most who buy the disc will listen to Hough's songs more than the Brahms that flanks them' (The Guardian)

'The provision of a sharply different perspective cuts the sometimes excessive sweetness of the earlier waltz set. So does the singing of the Prince Consort, which adds some muscle and some polyphonic definition to the Brahms pieces, without losing its rhythmic character and its essential charm. Superb sound from Linn's engineers' (AllMusic, USA)» More
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