Stephen Hough's imaginative series of mixed recital piano albums explores Spain this time around, showcasing authentic Spaniards for nine selections before moving on to ersatz Spaniards like Debussy, Ravel, Godowsky, Scharwenka, Niemann, and Stephen Hough disguised as Falla. Each composer's style suits Hough, whose breathtakingly agile technique, ravishing tone, and gift for characterization will massage your ears and melt your senses. Who cares if Hough's infinite gradations of diminuendo in the Soler F-sharp major Sonata are contrived as hell, when they sound so gorgeous? Conversely, his feeling for internalized rubato and parsing melodies over bar lines in the Evocación and Triana fromRead more Albéniz's Iberia make me curious to hear Hough in the rest of the cycle. He imbues Granados' Valses poeticos with variety and meaning, making these salonish pieces sound more interesting than they are.
While Hough's elegant, transparent Mompou is a known quantity via his earlier Hyperion release entirely devoted to that composer, his sultry, seductively nuanced La Puerta del Vino wins 2007's Sexiest Debussy Recording of the Year Award. True, Hough doesn't gild the Godowsky/Albéniz Tango lily so impishly as Shura Cherkassky, yet his own "On Falla" (pun intended!) is a loving, skillfully-crafted parody guaranteed to stump even the most advanced players of "Guess the Composer". A truly delectable disc.
On Fallaby Stephen Hough Performer:
Stephen Hough (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 2005
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
StunningSeptember 1, 2012By Peter H. See All My Reviews"A wonderful assembly of French based pieces, some familiar others not so.. I have always felt Stephen`s genius lay in his incomparable touch and this is aii I would have hoped for."Report Abuse