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Grieg & Liszt: Piano Concertos [Import]

Stephen Hough , Franz Liszt , Edvard Greig , Andrew Litton , Bergen Philharmonic Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Named by The Economist as one of 20 Living Polymaths, British pianist Stephen Hough is a rare renaissance man of our time. Over the course of a long and distinguished career as one of the world’s leading concert pianists, he ... Read more in Amazon's Stephen Hough Store

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Grieg & Liszt: Piano Concertos + Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 + Stephen Hough's French Album
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Bergen Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Andrew Litton
  • Composer: Franz Liszt, Edvard Greig
  • Audio CD (November 8, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B005OCES4I
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,857 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4): Allegro maestoso. Tempo giusto
2. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4): Quasi adagio
3. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4): Allegretto vivace
4. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4): Allegro marziale animato
5. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125 (LW H6): Adagio sostenuto assai - Allegro agitato assai
6. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125 (LW H6): Allegro moderato - Allegro deciso - Marziale, un poco meno allegro
7. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125 (LW H6): Un poco meno mosso
8. Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major, S. 125 (LW H6): Allegro animato
9. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: Allegro molto moderato
10. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: Adagio
11. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: Allegro moderato molto e marcato

Editorial Reviews

For this new recording, pianist Stephen Hough travelled to Bergen - Grieg's home town - to join forces with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Grieg and Liszt that are set to become landmark recordings. Grieg's Piano Concerto is one of the most popular of all Romantic works, while Liszt's two concertos present unique challenges to both pianist and orchestra. These performances are exciting, magisterial and highly colored, with breathtaking virtuosity harnessed to poetic refinement and finesse - hallmarks of Stephen's playing that have already helped his concerto recordings to win two Gramophone magazine Record of the Year accolades. The Bergen players provide fresh and idiomatic support in the Grieg and revel in the sumptuous scoring of the Liszt. Released to coincide with the twin anniversaries of Liszt's birth (200 years ago) and Stephen's own 50th birthday (in November), this recording is an apt celebration of both.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry and Fireworks aplenty here February 27, 2012
Format:Audio CD
It has become so common to see the Grieg and Schumann Concertos coupled together on CD that this Liszt - Grieg compilation comes as a surprise. The Grieg - Schumann combo makes a certain kind of sense, in that both concertos are in A Minor, primarily lyrical, and start with an orchestral hit followed by a cadenza-like passage for piano. But the Liszt - Grieg makes historical sense because Liszt was among the first to see this concerto before it was published, and was notably enthusiastic.

Critics tend to compare pianists with legendary elders (Volodos is the new Horowitz; Brendel was the new Schnabel, etc.). Stephen Hough reminds me not so much of any pianist as of a conductor: Arturo Toscanini. No, Hough is not temperamental like the Italian Maestro. But his approach to music interpretation seems to be to discard traditional tempo changes, rubatos, and the like (which Toscanini derided as "the last bad performance"), study the score as if it were being played for the first time, and make any interpretive decisions on that basis.

Hough's rendition of the Liszt E-flat Concerto effectively melds virtuoso fireworks in the outer movements, with melting poetry in the second. I've seldom heard those first movement octaves tossed off with such sharpness. Too often, I've heard pianists play the second movement flatly, passing time until they can move on to the "fun" parts. Not here - Hough makes it seem like we're encountering this music for the first time. The finale is given at a steadier tempo than customary, so the structure of the piece emerges clearly - not something Liszt often gets credit for. Those tricky repeated note passages are played to perfection, unlike Arthur Rubinstein's two recordings where they sound garbled.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bread and Butter" concertos November 10, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The first time that I heard Stephen Hough's extraordinarily great pianism was in his "on fire" and fantastically great performance of the unknown Scharwenka fourth ( 4th ) piano concerto. That performance turned me into an ardent fan of Hough's playing. Now, of course, he has "graduated" to the "big leagues" of the piano playing world and is now recording what I consider to be the "bread and butter" piano concertos. Evidence of that fact is this his most recent recording release of the Grieg A minor concerto and the two (2) known concertos by Liszt in E flat and A major accompanied by the very sensitive conducting of Andrew Litton with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra playing most wonderfully.

Did I really need yet another recording of the above mentioned concertos by Grieg and Liszt that are contained in this recording? After listening to this very fine recording by Stephen Hough and the forces mentioned above, the answer is a resounding YES. Hough plays these very well known works brilliantly with astounding flashes of technical bravado along with "heartfelt" tenderness--his technique is awesome. At the same time, I felt that I was hearing especially the Grieg for the first time. In the aforesaid work, to me, Hough has stripped away a lot of that work's so-called "traditions" Instead we are left with much clarity and lightness that sounds, to me, what I imagine were Grieg's intentions. Don't misunderstand me and be assured that there is "jaw dropping" brilliance on display that Stephen Hough most assuredly delivers. The same applies to the Liszt concertos which I am afraid to admit have never been particular favorites of mine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful March 12, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Mr. Hough is an amazing technician, and the pieces he plays in this recording really allow him to display his prowess and that of these 2 great composers.
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