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Track(s) taken from CDA67456

Scherzo No 3 in C sharp minor, Op 39

1839, begun in Majorca, completed in Nohant; dedicated to Adolf Gutmann

Stephen Hough (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: May 2003
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2004
Total duration: 7 minutes 4 seconds

Cover artwork: Cupid and Psyche by Annie Louisa Swynnerton (1844-1933)
Oldham Art Gallery, Lancashire / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Nikolai Demidenko (piano)


'This is astonishing piano playing and Chopin interpretation, at its very best, fully measuresup to the greatness of these pieces. And to their freshness, not least; the Ballades and Scherzos, along with just about all Chopin's work, have been constsntly before the public, and Stephen Hough's accounts of them offer plenty of refinement to spirit and senses. It's not given to many to play them as well as he. Hough is unfailingly thoughtful; there's not a note that hasn't been cared for. …he combines a staggering technique with a genuinely engaging musical imagination. Handsomely recorded and produced.' (Gramophone)

'In the use of words like sensational, extraordinary, phenomenal, etc., critics have to be sparing, at risk of their credibility. But these adjectives are all appropriate to this new Chopin recital by Stephen Hough, which vaults him to the top rung in this repertoire, right next to Rubinstein' (American Record Guide)

'Hough has something unique and individual to say, with capricious daring and memorable directness. The beautifully balanced sound quality self-effacingly enhances what seemingly passes for a live experience uninhibited by microphones. Listen well and often for maximum reward and exhilaration.' (International Record Review)

'…to play Chopin with the rhythmic subtlety he requires without it seeming contrived is a rare gift. Stephen Hough has it in abundance' (The Sunday Times)

'Stephen Hough's quicksilver mastery of the idiom proves an unfailing guide throughout' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hough has an awe-inspiring technique and the ability to play even the most rushed passages of Chopin with extraordinary clarity' (Fanfare, USA)
Dissonance is again at the heart of the Third Scherzo, and even today the opening octaves can seem harshly novel and uncompromising. The principle theme was inspired by Adolf Gutmann, Chopin’s pupil who could – with a taste of karate – apparently punch a hole in a table. The contrasting chorale with its cascading reply may well echo a liturgical chant heard at the monastery in Valdemosa (where Chopin was a guest in 1842) and its final transformation and expansion in the coda is among Chopin’s most daring masterstrokes.

from notes by Bryce Morrison © 2004

La dissonance est à nouveau au cœur du Troisième Scherzo, et même de nos jours, les octaves initiales donnent l’impression d’une nouveauté dure et intransigeante. Le thème principal s’est inspiré d’Adolf Gutmann, un élève de Chopin qui parvenait apparemment à transpercer le bois des tables à main nue – un avant-goût du karaté. Le choral contrasté, avec ses réponses en cascades, pourrait être un écho d’un chant liturgique entendu au monastère de Valdemosa (où Chopin avait séjourné en 1842). Ses transformations et expansions finales dans la coda font partie des coups de génie les plus audacieux de Chopin.

extrait des notes rédigées par Bryce Morrison © 2004
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Die Dissonanzen spielen auch im Dritten Scherzo eine zentrale Rolle und auch heute können die Oktaven am Anfang des Stückes noch schroff, modern und unerbittlich klingen. Die Inspiration zu dem Hauptthema lieferte Adolf Gutmann, ein Schüler Chopins, der anscheinend – in Vorwegnahme von Karate – ein Loch in einen Tisch hauen konnte. Der kontrastierend angelegte Choral mit einer abwärts gerichteten Antwort könnte eine Nachahmung des liturgischen Gesangs sein, den Chopin 1842 in einem Kloster in Valdemosa zu hören bekam, und seine letzte Verwandlung und Ausdehnung in die Coda hinein gehört zu den kühnsten Meisterleistungen Chopins.

aus dem Begleittext von Bryce Morrison © 2004
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Chopin: The Complete Works
CDS44351/6616CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Chopin: The Four Scherzi
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