A concerto album from Stephen Hough is always a significant event. For this new recording Stephen travelled to Bergen—Grieg’s home town—to join forces with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Grieg and Liszt that are set to become landmark recordings of all three concertos.
Grieg’s A minor Piano Concerto, with its plethora of great tunes, is one of the most popular of all Romantic works, while Liszt’s two highly original concertos present unique challenges to both pianist and orchestra. These performances are exciting, magisterial and highly coloured, with breathtaking virtuosity harnessed to poetic refinement and finesse—hallmarks of Stephen’s playing that have already helped his concerto recordings to win two Gramophone ‘Record of the Year’ accolades.
Stephen Hough and Andrew Litton continue the astonishing success of their collaboration in Rachmaninov’s concertos, Hyperion’s fastest-selling recording. The Bergen players provide freshly idiomatic support in the Grieg and revel in the sumptuous scoring of the Liszt. The results are thrilling, and this deserves a place in any music lover’s collection, no matter how familiar the music.
Released to coincide with the twin anniversaries of Liszt’s birth (200 years ago) and Stephen’s own 50th birthday (in November), this recording is an apt celebration of both.