Dan Cairns
The Sunday Times
April 2022

What a joy it is to bask in Stephen Hough’s musicianship. This magical disc pairs the late G major sonata and the A major from 1819, with the tantalising 'fragment' of the abandoned D 769a sonata, an intriguing interstitial morsel. The G major andante, with its strange echoes of the allegro from Beethoven’s 18th piano sonata, is pure Houghian delight: precision, phrasing, suspension, a delicacy of touch coexisting with an unfettered robustness. The carefree innocence of the A major’s opening movement is meat and drink to the pianist, and his playing of it demonstrates—again—why he is a supreme interpreter of Schubert: the nuance, shading and sonority seem both acutely focused and entirely innate.