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Broken Branches - Compositions By Stephen Hough

Hough / Hasel / Reinhard / Imbrailo / Isserlis
Release Date: 11/22/2011 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1952  
Composer:  Stephen Hough
Performer:  Marion ReinhardMichael HaselStephen HoughJacques Imbrailo,   ... 
Conductor:  Gábor Takács-Nagy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

As the internationally-renowned pianist Stephen Hough writes in his liner notes to this composer portrait, he began composing at the age of six, around the time he began to play the piano. Until the age of twenty he continued to write music, but then, ‘owing to a combination of diminishing time and fading compositional self-confidence’, stopped almost entirely. Hough describes the closing work on this disc, The Loneliest Wilderness from 2005, as his ‘first serious piece in two decades’, but this has been followed by a steady stream of works, including two Masses. The focus of the present programme, compiled to celebrate the composer's 50th birthday, is on chamber music – with Hough himself appearing in three of the works: the piano sonata Read more broken branches, his settings of five autumnal poems by Rilke sung by the baritone Jacques Imbrailo, and the trio Was mit den Tränen geschieht. The latter work was composed for Michael Hasel and Marion Reinhard of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, an ensemble with which Hough has collaborated on several occasions, and features the piccolo and the contrabassoon, a striking combination described by the composer as possessing ‘great poignancy: the alienation of two instruments unable to meet on the same pitch.’ The elegiac The Loneliest Wilderness is based on a previous song setting by Hough of a poem by Herbert Read, and again the work was written for a close collaborator of the composer, namely Steven Isserlis who performs it here together with the Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy.

"There’s something awe-inspiring about the sheer multifariousness of Stephen Hough’s achievements." - The Daily Telegraph

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Works on This Recording

1. Was mit den Tränen geschieht by Stephen Hough
Performer:  Marion Reinhard (Contrabassoon), Michael Hasel (Piccolo), Stephen Hough (Piano)
Notes: Subtitled: Trio for Piccolo, Contrabassoon and Piano 
2. Bridgewater by Stephen Hough
Performer:  Stephen Hough (Piano), Marion Reinhard (Bassoon)
3. Herbstlieder (5) by Stephen Hough
Performer:  Jacques Imbrailo (Baritone), Stephen Hough (Piano)
4. Sonata for Piano "Broken Branches" by Stephen Hough
Performer:  Stephen Hough (Piano)
5. The Loneliest Wilderness by Stephen Hough
Performer:  Steven Isserlis (Cello)
Conductor:  Gábor Takács-Nagy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
Written: 2005 

Sound Samples

Was mit den Tranen geschieht: I. Lento giusto
Was mit den Tranen geschieht: II. Allegro brilliante
Was mit den Tranen geschieht: III. Andante
Piccolo Sonatina: I. Allegretto
Piccolo Sonatina: II. Andante
Piccolo Sonatina: III. Vivace molto ritmico
Bridgewater
Herbstlieder: No. 1. Herbsttag
Herbstlieder: No. 2. Klage
Herbstlieder: No. 3. Tranenkruglein
Herbstlieder: No. 4. Besturz mich, Musik
Herbstlieder: No. 5. Herbst
Piano Sonata, "Broken Branches"
The Loneliest Wilderness

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