Broken Branches


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Broken Branches



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Release date:

31st Oct 2011




76 minutes


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Broken Branches

Compositions by Stephen Hough


Was mit den Tränen geschieht - trio for piccolo, contrabassoon and piano

Bridgewater, romantic idyll for bassoon and piano

Un Piccolo Sonatina for piccolo solo

Herbstlieder (5) for baritone and piano to texts by Rainer Maria Rilke

Sonata for Piano (broken branches)

The Loneliest Wilderness, elegy for cello and orchestra

Stephen Hough (piano), Michael Hasel (piccolo), Marion Reinhard (bassoon & contrabassoon), Jacques Imbrailo (baritone) & Steven Isserlis (cello)

Tapiola Sinfonietta, Gábor Takács-Nagy


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One of the finest pianists performing in the world today, Stephen Hough here turns to composition in a disc of his works. This disc was compiled to celebrate Hough’s 50th birthday.

Having composed music from the age of six, The 2005 work The Loneliest Wilderness was the ‘first serious piece in two decades’, but this has been followed by a steady stream of works.

The principal work on this disc is the Sonata for Piano Broken Branches, with the première taking place at Wigmore Hall in June 2011. At a glance, the work looks to be a set of miniatures, but Hough maintains there are lots of links between the pieces. And the end marks a return to the beginning, but now autumn has become spring.”

This work is accompanied by some of Hough’s other important works: Was mit den Tränen geschieht was commissioned in 2009 by members of the Berlin Philharmonic, and 5 Herbstlieder – a setting of five autumnal poems by Rilke, here performed by baritone Jacques Imbrailo who performed the world première of the work in 2010.

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.

'There’s something awe-inspiring about the sheer multifariousness of Stephen Hough’s achievements.' The Daily Telegraph

Stephen Hough: Was mit den Tranen geschieht

I. Lento giusto

II. Allegro brilliante

III. Andante

Stephen Hough: Piccolo Sonatina

I. Allegretto

II. Andante

III. Vivace molto ritmico

Stephen Hough: Bridgewater


Stephen Hough: Herbstlieder

No. 1. Herbsttag

No. 2. Klage

No. 3. Tranenkruglein

No. 4. Besturz mich, Musik

No. 5. Herbst

Stephen Hough: Piano Sonata, "Broken Branches"

Piano Sonata, "Broken Branches"

Stephen Hough: The Loneliest Wilderness

The Loneliest Wilderness

Gramophone Magazine

February 2012

“His eclectic tonal style embraces a wide array of influences yet maintains its own personality....In short, Hough's music speaks with susbtance, fluent ease, confidence and communicative immediacy. That makes him a real composer. It goes without saying that Hough and his colleagues serve up ideal, splendidly engineered performances. A cherishable release.”

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