Stephen Hough has been a favorite pianist of mine since he won the Naumburg competition in 1983. For me, he is in the line of romantic pianists like Shura Cherkassky, and his choices for this CD reflect the sentimental and nostalgic piano music that was a concert staple of the past. This CD has 20 such piano works all impeccably played by Mr. Hough, including an Etude de Concert and Musical Jewel Box that were written by him. The works by Richard Rogers (Hello young lovers and Carousel Waltz) were edited by Mr. Hough and he plays them with absolute joy.
The collection included in the piano album cover quite a bit of ground from Schubert to Richard Rogers, and it is impossible to pick a favorite. Among the pieces I am fond of are Pierrette - Air de ballet by Chaminade, Moszkowski's Etincelles, Godowsky and the selections of Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. Among the Tchaikovsky works is the Sleeping Beauty Paraphrase by Eugene Pabst which Stephen Hough altered a bit. The works by Schubert (edited by Liszt and Godowsky) are light and charming. The entire CD is one of relaxing and colorful works for piano, beautifully played, that anyone who wants an alternative to more formidable music for piano will want.