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Track(s) taken from CDA67890

Nocturne No 6 in D flat major, Op 63

3 August 1894

Stephen Hough (piano)
Recording details: October 2010
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2012
Total duration: 7 minutes 43 seconds

Cover artwork: Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre (2000-2002) by Peter Doig (b1959)
Collection Nancy Lauter and Alfred L McDougal / The Art Institute of Chicago / Photograph by Grant Hiroshima

Other recordings available for download

Angela Hewitt (piano)
Kathryn Stott (piano)


'Stephen Hough calls his extremely generous, 79-minute, 17-item French Album ‘a sort of musical dessert trolley’, but that sells it short. It’s much more of a festive hamper, offering a full meal to lovers of French music, mixing up the familiar and the unknown with Stephen’s typical charm and panache' (The Mail on Sunday)

'A substantial gourmet feast of masterly pianism … central to the disc are the works by Fauré and Poulenc, heard to their best advantage when programmed in this way, hand-picked and set beside short works by Massenet and Chabrier. There are some great performances here … the expressive simplicity of his playing can make your eyes burn. In Clair de lune and Chaminade's once ubiquitous Automne, now rarely heard, Hough conjures up a heart-catching melody that puts me in mind of Cherkassky … excellent booklet. Fine recording. De plus, s'il vous plaît!' (Gramophone)

'Once again, Stephen Hough's consummate artistry extends to inspirational programme building … the Fauré group is ravishingly contrasted, with a fluency and limpid style supported by all the necessary backbone and sense of direction to make the composer's tortuous harmonic twists sound as natural as speech … chez Poulenc, the constantly shifting balance of melody, countermelody and accompaniment is defined by subtlety of dynamic shading, deft pedal work and brushstroke rubato … even by Hough standards the whole enterprise is a tour-de-force and easily the most satisfying disc of piano music I've encountered so far this year' (International Record Review)

'Stephen Hough is a treasurable musician of questing intelligence. His latest album is among the most enjoyable … the Fauré selections best display Hough's connoisseur touch. From the adventurous journey of the sixth Nocturne to the restless harmonies of the fifth Barcarolle, each selection springs a new surprise. The lighter French spirit surfaces in Hough's own arrangements of Délibes and Massenet, delivered with delicious wit and grace' (The Times)

'An exquisite arrangement of Massenet's Crépuscule … Ravel's Alborada del gracioso and Fauré's F sharp minor Impromptu are glitteringly played' (The Sunday Times)

'It is a stroke of genius to end with the Liszt/Halévy Réminiscences de La juive. Hough makes this Fantaisie brillante a true tour-de-force … a terrific disc' (International Piano)

'An unhackneyed selection. Everything is beautifully played; whether the four pieces by Fauré or the three by Poulenc, it is a feast of virtousity and poetry' (Dominion Post, New Zealand)
The Nocturne No 6 in D flat major, Op 63, was written after a break of ten years, during which time both Fauré's parents died and he wrote his famous Requiem. It remains one of his most popular pieces for piano and a masterpiece in the piano literature. When asked where he found the inspiration to write the ecstatic opening, he replied ‘in the Simplon Tunnel’. One could write many words about this piece. Perhaps it is best simply to listen. As Nectoux points out, five years later Schoenberg wrote his Verklärte Nacht, and found this same ‘road of stars’ that we hear in the middle section, marked Allegro moderato.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2013

Fauré rédigea son Nocturne nº 6 en ré bémol majeur op. 63 après une décennie d’interruption marquée par la mort de ses parents et l’écriture de son célèbre Requiem. Ce Nocturne, qui demeure l’une de ses plus populaires pages pour piano, s’inscrit parmi les chefs-d’œuvre de la littérature pianistique. Quand on lui demanda où il avait trouvé l’inspiration de son ouverture extatique, il répondit: «sous le tunnel du Simplon». On pourrait écrire des pages sur cette œuvre mais le mieux, c’est peut-être simplement de l’écouter. Comme le souligne Nectoux, Schoenberg, cinq ans après, débusqua lui aussi, avec sa Verklärte Nacht, ce «chemin d’étoiles» que nous entendons dans la section centrale, marquée Allegro moderato.

extrait des notes rédigées par Angela Hewitt © 2013
Français: Hypérion

Das Nocturne Nr. 6 in Des-Dur, op. 63, entstand nach einer zehnjährigen Pause, als seine Eltern beide starben und er sein berühmtes Requiem schrieb. Das sechste Nocturne ist nach wie vor eines seiner beliebtesten Klavierwerke und ein Meisterstück der Klavierliteratur. Auf die Frage, was ihn zu dem ekstatischen Anfang inspiriert habe, gab er zurück „der Simplon-Tunnel“. Man könnte viele Worte über dieses Stück schreiben. Vielleicht ist es aber am besten, es einfach anzuhören. Nectoux weist darauf hin, dass Schönberg fünf Jahre später seine Verklärte Nacht schrieb und denselben „Sternenweg“ fand, der hier im Mittelteil mit der Bezeichnung Allegro moderato zu hören ist.

aus dem Begleittext von Angela Hewitt © 2013
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Fauré: Piano Music
Fauré: Piano Music
Studio Master: CDA67875Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Fauré: The Complete Music for Piano
CDS44601/44CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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