Variations sérieuses, Op.54
Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111
Invitation to the Dance, Op.65
Waltzes – in C sharp minor (Op.64/2) & in A flat (Op.34/1)
Valse nonchalante, Op.110
La plus que lente
Valse oubliée No.1
Mephisto Waltz No.1
Matilda’s Waltz [arrangement of Waltzing Matilda]
Stephen Hough (piano)
Recorded 22-23 July 2008 in Henry Wood Hall, London
Reviewed by: Ben Hogwood
Reviewed: May 2009
CD No: HYPERION CDA67686
Duration: 79 minutes
The remainder of Hough selections consists of early Romantic treats juxtaposed with some French delights and concludes with Hough’s own languorous Matilda’s Waltz, which is an amusing send-up of “Waltzing Matilda”.
Weber’s Invitation to the Dance blows away the cobwebs with its bounce and some sparkling right-hand runs. The two Chopin waltzes are nicely restrained and beautifully shaded, and Liszt’s (first) Mephisto Waltz, a real crowd-pleaser, comes across as quite ‘modern’.
Of the ‘lesser’ pieces, Saint-Saëns’s waltz is not the throwaway piece its title suggests; it has a nice lilt to it, as does the soft textures of Chabrier’s lightly coloured ‘album leaf’. Hough plays these with the same dedication as he does the substantial works. Excellent sound completes a fine release that is pleasurable to dip into and satisfying to play complete.