[ Hyperion / CD ]
Release Date: Monday 1 August 2011
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"Hough's playing has such authority and panache, its balance between virtuosity and vividly communicated expression so finely judged, that every perfectly scaled moment is as intensely realised as every other. Few other pianists around today play Chopin with as much understanding and poised mastery as this." The Guardian, 21st July 2011 *****
"one sense how sensitive he is to Chopin's variety, in a corpus of music not generally recognised as being so various...He can charm and beguile, and be bold in his contrasts, but he gets on with it, and it is the music he gives us, with true sentiments, and not merely a take on received ideas. And what a lovely sound he makes - on a Yamaha, excellently recorded in a concert-hall acoustic."
(Gramophone Award Finalist 2012)
'Launching his latest album with the earliest of waltzes to which Chopin gave an opus number, Stephen Hough sets a sparkling tone for what follows on this altogether brilliant disc … Hough is a pianist with all the elegance, wit and virtuosity required for these pieces, yet he also finds the deep vein of melancholy that runs through many of them' (BBC Music Magazine)
Stephen Hough has a unique affinity for the music of Chopin, whose music has always been a central part of his repertoire. His earlier Chopin recordings for Hyperion garnered huge critical acclaim. Hough's name has become synonymous with pianistic elegance, flawless technique and immense musicianship and he has become globally renowned for his engaging and refined Chopin interpretations.
In his published Waltzes Chopin brought a new level of sophistication to this popular dance form. His unpublished Waltzes are generally less complex but display considerable wit and charm, qualities ideally suited to Hough's pianism.
The disc is rounded off with the famous E flat major Nocturne, which gives a more lyrical expression to the metre of the waltz.
These illuminating and compelling performances are not to be missed.
Piano Waltzes Nos. 1 - 20
Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 9 No. 2