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Stephen Hough, Piano

Friday, December 8, 2017 | 8:00 pm

Piano Recital Series

Baldwin Auditorium


Stephen Hough is a renaissance man. A composer, writer, poet, painter, and MacArthur Fellow, the British-born Hough’s reputation long ago moved beyond classical circles, making him an unlikely crossover star. Still, during the last forty years, he has established himself as one of the world’s great pianists, with definitive takes on many masterpieces in the repertoire. Vanity Fair praises his “beautifully articulated inner voices, the crystalline quality of lyrical passages, the precision of the pedal.”

In Durham, Hough heads immediately for the emotional center of his program, playing Debussy’s exquisite and fluttering Clair de lune and both books of the composer’s ruminative and engrossing Images, including the preludes to Book II. While those works alone would make for a substantial program, Hough also offers Schumann’s pensive Fantasie and Beethoven’s grand “Appassionata.” One of Beethoven’s best-known sonatas, it is a dramatic yet highly concentrated piece that culminates in a sweeping climax.

Program

Debussy: “Clair de lune” from Suite Bergamasque

Debussy: Images, Book II

Schumann: Fantasie, op. 17

Debussy: “La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune” from Préludes, Book II

Debussy: Images, Book I

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57 (“Appassionata”)



“Hough’s impeccable ear for the inner voice, his way with line, the sheer musicality of his approach came through with crystal clarity. He’s truly an exquisite player.”

Musical America

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