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Broken Branches – compositions by Stephen Hough

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Label
Catalogue numberBIS-CD-1952
Release date2012-03-31
Discs1
Orig. sample rate44100Hz, 88200Hz

As the internationally-renowned pianist Stephen Hough writes in his liner notes to this composer portrait, he began composing at the age of six, around the time he began to play the piano. Until the age of twenty he continued to write music, but then, ‘owing to a combination of diminishing time and fading compositional self-confidence’, stopped almost entirely.

Hough describes the closing work on this disc, The Loneliest Wilderness from 2005, as his ‘first serious piece in two decades’, but this has been followed by a steady stream of works, including two Masses. The focus of the present programme, compiled to celebrate the composer's 50th birthday, is on chamber music – with Hough himself appearing in three of the works: the piano sonata broken branches, his settings of five autumnal poems by Rilke sung by the baritone Jacques Imbrailo, and the trio Was mit den Tränen geschieht. The latter work was composed for Michael Hasel and Marion Reinhard of the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, an ensemble with which Hough has collaborated on several occasions, and features the piccolo and the contrabassoon, a striking combination described by the composer as possessing ‘great poignancy: the alienation of two instruments unable to meet on the same pitch.’

The elegiac The Loneliest Wilderness is based on a previous song setting by Hough of a poem by Herbert Read, and again the work was written for a close collaborator of the composer, namely Steven Isserlis who performs it here together with the Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Gábor Takács-Nagy.
 
Extra material for download
 
 
  Composer: Hough, Stephen
  Was mit den Tränen geschieht - Trio for piccolo, contrabassoon and piano 14:00
01 1. Lento giusto 05:32 $ 1.16 USD
02 2. Allegro brilliante 03:51 $ 0.81 USD
03 3. Andante 04:37 $ 0.97 USD
 
 
  Composer: Hough, Stephen
  Un Piccolo Sonatina for piccolo solo 06:44
04 1. Allegretto 02:04 $ 0.43 USD
05 2. Andante 02:55 $ 0.61 USD
06 3. Vivace molto ritmico 01:45 $ 0.37 USD
 
 
  Composer: Hough, Stephen
  Bridgewater - Romantic idyll for bassoon and piano
07 Bridgewater 06:34 $ 1.38 USD
 
 
  Composer: Hough, Stephen
  Herbstlieder 15:07
08 Herbsttag 03:58 $ 0.83 USD
09 Klage 02:56 $ 0.62 USD
10 Tränenkrüglein 01:41 $ 0.35 USD
11 Bestürz mich, Musik 03:01 $ 0.63 USD
12 Herbst 03:31 $ 0.74 USD
 
 
  Composer: Hough, Stephen
  Sonata for Piano (broken branches)
13 Prelude (Autumn) – desolato – fragile – inquieto –
piangendo – immenso – sentimento – malincolico –
passionato – freddo – volando – ritmico – non credo
– morendo – crux fidelis – Postlude (Spring)
17:33 $ 3.69 USD
 
 
  Composer: Hough, Stephen
  The Loneliest Wilderness
14 Elegy for cello and orchestra 16:37 $ 3.49 USD
 
  Album total 01:16:35
ComposerHough, Stephen
PiccoloHasel, Michael
ContrabassoonReinhard, Marion
PianoHough, Stephen
CelloIsserlis, Steven
OrchestraTapiola Sinfonietta
ConductorTakács-Nagy, Gábor
BassoonReinhard, Marion

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