Notes and Editorial Reviews
Stephen Hough has devised a provocative and effective program that juxtaposes Mozart piano pieces with works by later composers that use Mozart as a jumping-off point. Given Hough's knack for transforming Romantic keyboard fluff into gold, his eloquently sung-out Cramer etude and marvelous "piano-stration" of the Friedman K. 334 Menuetto arrangement's garish textures (those super-clean, utterly magical trills!) should come as no surprise. Hough himself gussies up two bits of Mozartian juvenilia (the K. 1 Minuet and the K. 33 Klavierstücke) and the late song "Sehnsucht nach dem Frühlinge" with naughty but nice bitonal seasoning.
Tremendous verve and crisp
fingerwork vitalize the Liszt/Busoni Figaro paraphrase, where Hough's wide spectrum of tone color belies the fact that he pedals very sparingly. Similarly, Hough's non-legato articulation in the Mozart works manages to bring out the music's bold dramatic contours and vocally informed nuances while still conveying a tactile immediacy that characterizes the best fortepianos. The K. 333 sonata's repeats also provide opportunities for Hough to make subtle shifts in voicing or emphasis, such as in the first movement's left-hand underpinnings. Harriet Smith's lively, informative annotations ably complement Hough's superlative pianism, as do Hyperion's sonics at their finest. More solo Mozart from Stephen Hough, please!
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Fantasia for Piano in C minor, K 396 (385f) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Stephen Hough (Piano)
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria
Length: 9 Minutes 28 Secs.
Notes: Arranger: Maximillian Stadler.
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