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Track(s) taken from CDA67267

In Smyrna


Stephen Hough (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: January 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Mike Hatch
Release date: March 2002
Total duration: 4 minutes 26 seconds

Cover artwork: Days Gone By (2001) by Anthony Mastromatteo (b?)
Private Collection


'Another winner from the ever-imaginative Stephen Hough. In all these pieces Hough's magic is presented in full, clear Hyperion sound' (Gramophone)

'Powerful, sympathetic and beautifully recorded, and his fans everywhere will be thrilled' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Exquisite presentation … [Hough] is a pianist of such refinement and impeccable technique that he makes everything he plays compellingly interesting … [the Leighton Studies] have a clear awareness of other 20th -century musical styles, including jazz, and there is an element of virtuosity that Hough, of course, delivers brilliantly' (The Guardian)

'Hough's performances are magical – scintillating, refined, sensuous in the smaller works, commanding and powerful in Rawsthorne and Leighton. I hope this superb pianist records many more recitals of British music' (American Record Guide)

'Hough’s pianism is a constant source of wonder – every chord and phrase perfectly judged' (Classic FM Magazine)

'these performances can be regarded as definitive … A CD of revealing personal choices of a master pianist, and one that reveals yet more very worthy British music … Strongly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'(Hough) plays with an astonishing command, great insight and some terrific finesse, in a performance that ranges from the elegant and sensitive to the vigorous and exhilarating' (Hi-Fi News)

'I’ve long admired the unfailingly beautiful, carefully honed, paradoxically rich but lean textures and sonorities Stephen Hough cultivates … a style in which patient, sustained utterance came to seem immediate, fervent and idealistic  … Crystal-sharp sound and superb performances; transcendental technique in the service of music that at least sets itself transcendental goals' (Pianist)

'Hough plays [Leighton] superbly, with marvellous tonal control in the rugged and spiky passages and also in the quiet harmonic episodes that glow with fierce intensity … enjoyable, excellently performed and beautifully engineered CD' (International Piano)

'Hough is one of world’s grandest piano performers, imaginative, graceful, powerful, able to dazzle with both his technique and his mind … a haunting and complex collection' (Philadelphia Post)

'This is a treat for lovers of the piano … Fascinating stuff' (Manchester Evening News)

'Scrupulous, full … bodied, and technically impeccable performances … He revels in the sensuous harmonic felicities that color Stephen Reynolds' pastiches and makes an easy task of York Bowen’s fustian textures (Classics Today)
Edward Elgar wrote very little for the piano, and what exists has the feeling of someone improvising, playing around with ideas which would come fully to life when later refined and orchestrated. In Smyrna was inspired by a Mediterranean cruise the composer had taken in 1905. It is instantly recognizable as Elgar and thus is a marvellous example of how even a fragment from a great composer can contain his genetic code.

from notes by Stephen Hough © 2002

Edward Elgar n’écrivit que peu pour le piano, et ce qui existe donne l’impression d’une personne en train d’improviser, de jouer avec des idées qui ne s’animeront que pleinement lorsqu’elles auront été par la suite raffinée et orchestrée. À Smyrne puise son inspiration dans la croisière que le compositeur entreprit en 1905 en Méditerranée. Elgar y est d’emblée reconnaissable, si bien que cette œuvre constitue un merveilleux exemple de comment un fragment, fruit d’un grand compositeur, porte en lui tout son code génétique.

extrait des notes rédigées par Stephen Hough © 2002
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Edward Elgar schrieb nur sehr wenig Klaviermusik, und die vorhandene vermittelt das Gefühl, als improvisiere jemand und spiele mit Ideen, die später ausgearbeitet und orchestriert zu voller Blüte erwachen sollten. In Smyrna wurde von einer Mittelmeer-Kreuzfahrt inspiriert, die der Komponist 1905 unternommen hatte. Das Stück ist unmittelbar als Werk Elgars erkennbar und darum ein wunderbares Beispiel dafür, wie selbst ein Fragment den genetischen Code eines großen Komponisten enthalten kann.

aus dem Begleittext von Stephen Hough © 2002
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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