Monday, 22 June 2015

Grieg - Lyric Pieces - Hough

Rating: 5/5

A very fine disc

I tried this disc because I like Stephen Hough's work very much and I think this is well up to his usual extraordinarily high standard.

I make no pretence at being any kind of an expert on Grieg, and many of these pieces were new to me so I cannot offer comparisons or profound insights into Hough's interpretation, but to me these recordings ring with an unfussy sincerity and a genuinely lyrical sense which really makes them speak to me. There is a variety of tone and mood - surprisingly forceful at times, tender or meditative at others, but untrammelled by self-indulgence or empty gesture. There is an unsentimental freshness throughout which is underpinned, I am sure, by deep scholarship and thought.

Hyperion do their usual excellent job on the recorded sound and the presentation, and Jeremy Nicholas's notes are interesting and readable. Others with more knowledge of this repertoire will doubtless be along shortly with more in the way of analysis, but for what it's worth I think this is a very fine disc of lovely music, beautifully played and I can recommend it very warmly.

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