Magazine article Gramophone

'In the Night'

Magazine article Gramophone

'In the Night'

Article excerpt

'In the Night'

Beethoven Piano Sonata No 14, 'Moonlight', Op 27 No 2 Chopin Two Nocturnes, Op 27 Hough Piano Sonata No 2, 'Notturno luminoso' Schumann Carnaval, Op 9. Fantasiestucke, Op12-In der Nacht

Stephen Hough pf

Hyperion [C] CDA67996 (77' * DDD)

A new disc from Stephen Hough is always welcome. How will he surprise us this time and where will he take us? The answer is into the night--but not gentle or with a mug of cocoa.

There's the dark and turbulent eponymous tone-poem and the far-from-restful presto finale of the Moonlight, given additional agitation by Hough's spiky left-hand off-beats. The two adroitly chosen Nocturnes show that Chopin's nocturnal reveries could be as dark and threatening in their own way as Hough's, if his Sonata Notturno luminoso is anything to go by. Angular, dissonant, fiery and often bleak, this work (18'23" in length) suggests, among its many images, 'the irrational fears or the disturbing dreams which are only darkened by the harsh glare of a suspended, dusty light bulb' (the composer's useful route map in a note appended to Harriet Smith's thoughtful booklet). …

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