Dvorák, Schumann: Piano Concertos

Dvorák, Schumann: Piano Concertos

by Stephen HoughStephen Hough


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Dvorák's "Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 33," might be thought to be the main attraction of this Hyperion release; recordings of the earliest of Dvorák's three concertos are not common. The work manages to be bruisingly difficult for the pianist without creating a piano part that stands out from the orchestra, a fact that Dvorák himself conceded and caused him to ask others to revise the work (it is the original version that's played here). Pianist Stephen Hough masters the technical complexities, but does little to deal with the lengthy first movement's diffusion and the finale's awkward qualities. But the recording is well worth your time, for Hough delivers a superb reading of the Schumann "Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54," among the most recorded pieces in the entire piano concerto repertory. There are grander versions of the concerto about, but Hough's reading, probing and sensitive, is absolutely his own. Sample abundantly in the first movement: there are no "transitional" passages here, for Hough has shaped each one to point toward something later in the music. The finale is not epic, but it is crisp and resolute, and Hough is matched at every step by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons. The sound, from the orchestra's Birmingham Symphony Hall home base, is clear. This is a quintessentially British reading of the Schumann concerto (despite the conductor's Latvian origins), and it's worth a space on a shelf of 19th century concertos.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/01/2016
Label: Hyperion
UPC: 0034571280998
catalogNumber: 68099
Rank: 67248


  1. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
  2. Piano Concerto in G minor, B. 63 (Op. 33)

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