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Stephen Hough: French Album (French Piano Music) (Stephen Hough) (Hyperion: CDA67890)

Stephen Hough Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £13.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Hough was born in Heswall (then in Cheshire) on the Wirral Peninsula, and grew up in Hoylake, where he began piano lessons at the age of five. In 1978, he was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and won the piano section. In 1982, he won the Terence Judd Award in England. In 1983, he took first prize at the Naumburg International Piano Competition in New ... Read more in Amazon's Stephen Hough Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Stephen Hough: French Album (French Piano Music) (Stephen Hough) (Hyperion: CDA67890) + Stephen Hough - Spanish Album + Stephen Hough, 'My Favorite Things' - virtuoso encores and transcriptions
Price For All Three: £37.05

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Product details

  • Performer: Stephen Hough
  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, Jules Massenet, Emmanuel Chabrier, et al.
  • Audio CD (3 Sep 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B008FR3ME6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,789 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565 arranged by ALFRED CORTOT (18771962) & STEPHEN HOUGH (b1961) [8'40] [JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH]
2. Arioso from Keyboard Concerto No 5 in F minor BWV1056 arranged by ALFRED CORTOT (18771962) [2'33] [JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH]
3. Nocturne No 6 in D flat major Op 63 [GABRIEL FAURE] [7'43]
4. Improvisation in C sharp minor Op 84/5 [GABRIEL FAURE] [2'07]
5. Impromptu No 5 in F sharp minor Op 102 [GABRIEL FAURE] [2'10]
6. Barcarolle No 5 in F sharp minor Op 66 [GABRIEL FAURE] [5'49]
7. Alborada del gracioso from Miroirs [MAURICE RAVEL] [6'25]
8. Crépuscule from Poëme pastoral arranged by STEPHEN HOUGH (b1961) [JULES MASSENET] [2'00]
9. Mélancolie from Dix Pièces pittoresques [EMMANUEL CHABRIER] [1'51]
10. Mélancolie [FRANCIS POULENC] [5'40]
11. Nocturne No 4 in C minor Bal fantôme [FRANCIS POULENC] [1'35]
12. Improvisation No 8 in A minor [FRANCIS POULENC] [1'17]
13. Automne Op 35/2 [CÉCILE CHAMINADE] [5'35]
14. La chanson de la folle au bord de la mer Op 31/8 [CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN] [4'11]
15. Clair de lune from Suite bergamasque [CLAUDE DEBUSSY] [4'55]
16. Pizzicati from Sylvia arranged by STEPHEN HOUGH (b1961) [CLÉMENT PHILIBERT LÉO DELIBES] [2'34]
17. Réminiscences de La juive Fantaisie brillante sur des motifs de lopéra de Halévy S409a FRANZ LISZT [13'21]

Product Description

Product Description

Exquis! Stephen Hough presents an enchanting programme of French music, played with the filigree perfection and total command of the music's expressive world that make him one of the most admired pianists of today. In typical Houghian style this recital is full of surprises and lesser-known gems from the repertoire, as well as works by the masters Faure, Ravel, Debussy and Poulenc. A particular delight is Hough's own arrangement of the Massenet song Crepuscule, a ravishing exercise in creative yet faithful transcription. This release is both a tribute to the lyric genius which flowered in nineteenth- and twentieth-century France, and a glimpse into the musical mind of a great pianist.

Product Description

Œuvres de Bach, Fauré, Ravel, Massenet, Chabrier, Poulenc, Chaminade, Alkan, Debussy, Délibes & Liszt / Stephen Hough, piano

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting 9 Sep 2012
By Elpenor
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Stephen Hough's French Album is a great collection that follows the mix-and-match model of a number of earlier releases, such as the Spanish Album. We get a mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar - from Debussy's Clair de Lune and Ravel's Alborada del Gracioso to Faure, Poulenc, Alkan, Hough's own transcriptions of pieces by Delibes and Massenet, Cortot transcriptions, a Liszt opera paraphrase and plenty of other delectable pieces. Hough's playing is impressive, as we have come to expect, not least in the amazing sense of light and shade he finds in Ravel's Alborada del Gracioso. The Faure pieces are a model of expression and restraint, and the Massenet/Hough features some of the most beautifully delicate piano playing you're ever likely to encounter. Hough is a true master of colour, and his beautifully shaded and graded dynamics are to die for.

The main draw of the album is the brilliant programming - nobody is better than Hough at bringing together various pieces around a theme and moulding them into a cogent album that's a delight from beginning to end. Compared to the earlier Spanish Album, this collection has arguably a little less variety - despite the occasional brilliant showpiece, it is very much dominated by a nocturnal mood, but in Hough's hands it makes for great listening any time. Another success by one of the most interesting pianists of our times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb playing 21 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This disc contains some very attractive pieces and some which are perhaps too subtle for me - I don't find that they hold the attention as such, but the playing is lovely and the selection a nice introduction to some composers to whom I would not otherwise give shelf-space
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant as ever! 2 Jan 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Stephen Hough is brilliant and this album is excellent. Range of music, some perhaps unusual in their piano arrangements but the exciting and different experience one has come to expect from Stephen Hough
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real French Fancy 17 Sep 2012
By Entartete Musik TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Stephen's Hough French Album is anything but a national stereotype. There are welcome hints of long evenings, glasses of wine and laissez faire, but Hough regularly gives us a dose of acid and the glimmer of steel. From the swaggering but muscular Bach arrangements by Alfred Cortot to Liszt's Réminiscences de La juive, this is a dazzling showcase of pianism, sans frontières.

Cortot was Swiss, Liszt was a Hungarian, the cover image on the CD is an English painting of a Saxon retreat and Hough is British born. Yet despite the geographic plurality of this 'French' album, the whole thing is united by a notably Gallic sense of class and swagger. Hough's Bach has breathless lines and the fresh attack of improvisation. More surprising is the fluid transition into a stream of works by Fauré. Sensual, warm, Hough has programmed a beautiful sequence of keys leading to ever more capricious harmonic terrain. Ravel's Alborada del gracioso finally cuts through, adding a dash of lemon juice.

After such flashy precision, Hough gives a caring touch to miniatures by Massenet, Chabrier and Poulenc. Water-droplet placement of bass notes, an erotic blooms in the melody line and seamless cantabile playing make for a potent heart to the disc. Alkan's La chanson de la folle au bord de la mer then undercuts their warmth with an eerie frisson.

Hough's own arrangement of the 'Pizzicati' from Delibes' Sylvia provides a deft balance of the racy and the refined, before Liszt's muscular 'Fantasie brillante' takes over. Hough describes the disc as 'a sort of musical dessert trolley'. There's enough sugar to sate the sweetest tooth, but a lot more besides.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hough 13 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I found this a bit disappointing. I would like Stephen Hough to apply his obvious talent to something a little more serious. Also the title was misleading. The performance was good. Choice of work less so.
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