Stephen Hough
Stephen Hough
Stephen Hough


Chopin: Nocturnes

Chopin: Nocturnes

‘Be clear about one thing: this is not just another recording of Chopin’s Nocturnes. The roll-call of pianists who have recorded these much-loved pieces is long and prestigious, but in comparisons with a dozen of the best this new recording is immediately distinctive … nobody else creates quite this magic … a memorable recording’ (Financial Times)

Schumann: Arabeske, Kreisleriana & Fantasie

Schumann: Arabeske, Kreisleriana & Fantasie

‘To call playing ‘intelligent’ might seem to imply that it’s all a bit dry and analytical. But as fans of Stephen Hough will know, that’s far from the case with this extraordinary pianist. Above all, he always gives the impression that he’s thought everything through and come up with something authentically fresh—no striking attitudes or provoking for the sake of it … if you’re still perplexed or simply unconvinced by Schumann this may be the recording to open the door on a unique imaginative world’ (BBC Music Magazine)

Vida Breve

Vida Breve

‘To call this a concept album would be to diminish its power and timeliness. It is both a meditation on the fragility of life and a Bergmanesque game of chess with Death, for which Hough has laid out his pieces and pawns in a masterstroke of programming … there is a poised and noble feel to Hough’s Chopin, subtly embellished as it is with effortless rubatos. Listen to the Trio section of the Scherzo for a masterclass in unselfconscious artistry. Or marvel at the natural flowing tempo for the Funeral March, supporting a cinematographic contrast of ever more invasive death knells and subdued mourning … two of Hough’s own arrangements, of a Korean traditional song and of Gounod/Bach, are at once transcendental and defiant: checkmate Death’ (Gramophone)

Beethoven - The Piano Concertos

Beethoven: The Piano Concertos

‘Stephen Hough’s long-awaited recording of the complete five piano concertos is a partnership with conductor Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the sparks struck between their crisp responsiveness and Hough’s immaculate blend of imagination and control are considerable. Magisterial one moment, wry the next, Hough is a whole orchestra in himself, and not a note is wasted’ (The Guardian)

Brahms - The Final Piano Pieces

Brahms: The Final Piano Pieces

‘Blend imaginative yet learned interpretation, profound sensitivity and poetry, and personal charisma, and you have here one of the finest accounts of Brahms's late piano works on record, one that stands head and shoulders above most contenders.’ (Gramophone)

Dream Album

Dream Album

‘The glory of the album lies in its demonstration of Hough's gifts as arranger, transcriber and composer. I would go a long way just to hear him play his two-minute arrangement of Blow the wind southerly, with its shimmering layers of colour and a deceptive simplicity. This is pianism of the highest order’ (Pianist)

Debussy: Piano Music

Debussy: Piano Music

‘Stephen Hough's new recording of a clutch of Debussy pieces is as beautifully played and subtly shaped as you would expect from this fine pianist.’ (Daily Telegraph)

‘In La Plus que Lente [on his new Debussy CD] Hough captures every bit of the piece’s lazy, sensuous languor, just as his account of L’Isle Joyeuse bristles with superbly controlled energy, while those of the two series of Images draw on a fabulous palette of keyboard colour.’ (The Guardian)

Dvorak & Schumann: Piano Concertos

Dvořák & Schumann: Piano Concertos

'Hough joins forces with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons for a robust, grand reading that nonetheless leaves room for lyricism and introspection' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Not only is this CD a further tribute to Stephen Hough’s skills as one of the world’s finest pianists, but also to the standards achieved by the CBSO under Nelsons' (Classic FM)

Scriabin, Janacek - Sonatas & Poems

Scriabin, Janáček - Sonatas & Poems

'The highlight is Janáček’s On an Overgrown Path book one, played with such inward feeling that one hardly dares to breathe — simple, tender, pure magic.' (Financial Times)

'Hough brings orientation and direction without sacrificing sensuality or mystical aura. He accomplishes this through an almost uncanny variety of touch, tone production and judicious pedalling […] Shape and direction are the operatives in Vers la flamme, creating an impact unlike any other recording I know.

Listening to dozens of new piano recordings each year, a sort of private rating system inevitably develops. For me, discs warranting the highest praise are those that persuasively introduce new music, that chart new interpretative territory for a work or that demonstrate something fresh and heretofore unrecognised in music long familiar […] Hough’s contribution in this release could scarcely be more generous.' (Gramophone)

Grieg Lyric Pieces

Grieg: Lyric Pieces

'With his virtuoso technique, poetic eloquence and cantabile playing […] the entire programme shows Hough in his element: our foremost Romantic pianist.' (The Sunday Times)

Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem; Hough: Missa Mirabilis

Vaughan Williams: Dona nobis pacem; Hough: Missa Mirabilis

'Not only does Andrew Litton draw a terrifically agile response from his combined Colorado Symphony forces, he masterminds a reading which in its expressive urgency, arresting conviction and dramatic bite grabs the listener from the word go' (Gramophone)

In the Night

In the Night

'Hough’s own Sonata proves the high point: its one extended movement is rich in textural variety and harmonic colour, full of massive chunks of sound like sculpted blocks of marble lit from within, and quirky, obsessive toccatas that whirl by like a runaway roundabout that keeps changing direction. It is unsettling, playful and original […] and hearing a masterful pianist performing his own work is a special experience in itself.' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Extremely original in concept, this interpretation is seasoned throughout with a unique tempo rubato that is both apt and uncannily subtle. I don’t think I’ve sat through another Schumann Carnaval that was quite this much fun.' (International Record Review)

Brahms: The Piano Concertos

Brahms: The Piano Concertos

'Brahms's concertos have rarely sounded more brilliant, energetic and innovative' (The Sunday Times)

'Hough brings an unusually wide range of keyboard colour to bear on Brahms's piano writing. Added to that his complete understanding of the broadest trajectory and subtlest nuances of these works is reflected in his subtle flexibility of tempo and dynamics to underline expressive points that in some other performances go for nothing … this admirable set richly deserves its five stars' (BBC Music Magazine)

Stephen Hough's French Album

Stephen Hough's French Album

'Once again, Stephen Hough's consummate artistry extends to inspirational programme building … The Fauré group is ravishingly contrasted, with a fluency and limpid style supported by all the necessary backbone and sense of direction to make the composer's tortuous harmonic twists sound as natural as speech … Chez Poulenc, the constantly shifting balance of melody, countermelody and accompaniment is defined by subtlety of dynamic shading, deft pedal work and brushstroke rubato … Even by Hough standards the whole enterprise is a tour-de-force and easily the most satisfying disc of piano music I've encountered so far this year' (International Record Review)

Grieg/Liszt Piano Concertos

Grieg/Liszt: Piano Concertos

'Time and again, Hough's traversals of familiar works are played with such insight, probity and sage musical understanding that we feel almost as if we are hearing them for the first time … [Grieg] Each phrase is shaped with the utmost refinement within an exquisitely fluid tempo that is perfectly matched by Litton and his musicians … This full-blown, go-for-broke, unapologetically Romantic approach yields one of the most intensely dynamic, emotionally authentic readings of this score we are likely to hear for some time … Stephen Hough's steady ascent to the summit of his profession exhibits equally supreme mastery of his instrument and the deep humanity from which it has flowered' (International Record Review)

Hough - Broken Branches

Broken Branches: compositions by Stephen Hough

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

Chopin - The Complete Waltzes

Chopin: The Complete Waltzes

'Hough's playing has such authority and panache, its balance between virtuosity and vividly communicated expression so finely judged, that every perfectly scaled moment is as intensely realised as every other. Few other pianists around today play Chopin with as much understanding and poised mastery as this' (The Guardian, 5 stars)

Other Love Songs

Other Love Songs

'[Other Love Songs composed by Stephen Hough] form a new song cycle of outstanding achievement. [...] Hough finds language, a style, a startling response for the unique and elusive scent of each poem. There are solos and various pairings of voices, interwoven with often surprising and always thrilling piano writing.' (BBC Music Magazine)

Tchaikovsky - Piano Concertos

Tchaikovsky: Complete Piano Concertos

'Hough's ability to strip off the layers of varnish from a work so that it recaptures much of its startling freshness is remarkable, and his combination of bravura swagger and the most fastidious care with line and texture is utterly convincing' (The Guardian, 5 stars)

Chopin - Late Masterpieces

Chopin: Late Masterpieces

'A new Hough disc is one of life's pleasure [...] a masterclass in pianistic command and stylistic poise with the most heartfelt playing of any of his recent recordings' (Gramophone)

In Recital

Stephen Hough In Recital

'The glinting wit and thorough seriousness of pianist Stephen Hough's playing - attributes you desire from all virtuosi but do not always find - make this mixed repertoire disc a particular joy' (The Observer)

Mozart Album

Mozart Album

'Here's another winning, imaginatively conceived disc from Britain's finest pianist … It is unexpected and delightful programme-building. Prized for his pianism, Hough is also a superb Mozartian. He lends these Fantasias an almost Beethovenian weight and depth of expression … Hough's playing is dazzling throughout' (Sunday Times)

Brahms Piano Quintet

Brahms: Piano Quintet

'Stephen Hough and the Takács Quartet push the music about as far as it can go … One senses from the start that [Hough] is really fired up and the Takács follow him every inch of the way with playing of beguiling tonal sophistication and thrilling intensity … This is an exceptional account of a truly exceptional masterwork' (International Record Review)

Tsontakis Man of Sorrows & Piano works by Schoenberg, Berg, Webern

Tsontakis: "Man of Sorrows" & Piano works by Schoenberg, Berg, Webern

'Bewitching, otherworldly and playful music … If ever a composer wanted to share a sheer joy in sound, it's Tsontakis … The Dallas Symphony Orchestra plays like a dream and Stephen Hough brings an Apollonian sense of beauty and control to the proceedings' (Metro)

Spanish Album

Spanish Album

'Hough again has a more intimate stance than many pianists, quietly brilliant in the cross-cutting between musical ideas. Everything is wonderfully fresh and nothing is laboured - it's a superb and surprising recital' (BBC Music Magazine)

Brahms Cello Sonatas

Brahms: Cello Sonatas

'there is no doubting the sweep and passion, or the tenderness and intimacy, of their performance. These two outstanding musicians give an equally fine account of the earlier E minor sonata. In both works, and in some pleasing miniatures by Dvorák and Suk, they interact with the combined sensitivity and freedom of true chamber-music players' (The Sunday Times)

Liszt - Années de pèlerinage Premiére Annèe (Suisse)

Liszt: Années de pèlerinage Premiére Annèe (Suisse)

'Even were Hough's technique less secure and Hyperion's engineering less realistic, this would be a major addition to the catalogue. As it stands, this recording of the first book of Années is the top choice.' (International Record Review)

Piano Collection

Piano Collection

'As a retrospective of a fine pianist, this bargain issue has many virtues … If you have not already added these Hough performances in your collection, here is a painless way of doing so' (American Record Guide)

Rachmaninov - Piano Concertos

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos

'These are exhilarating performances, freshly conceived and texturally pristine…With such committed advocacy and technical bravura, Hough’s interpretations demand to be heard.' (Classical CD of the Week, 4 Stars (out of 4), The Sunday Times, October 2004)

Chopin - Four Ballades & Four Scherzos

Chopin: Four Ballades & Four Scherzos

'These seem to me outstanding performances. The pianist and conductor Charles Halle said that Chopin's own playing was remarkable for its freedom of rhythm, yet sounded entirely natural. That is the ideal, but to play Chopin with the rhythmic subtlety he requires without seeming contrived is a rare gift. Stephen Hough has it in abundance. Listen to how he shapes the opening theme of Ballade No 1: tentative, hesitant, then gradually gaining momentum. Hough is equally at home with the sparkle of the fourth scherzo and the ferocity of the first. He also commands like a master the almost orchestral range of colour these works demand.' (David Cairns, The Sunday Times)

Hummel - Piano Sonatas

Hummel: Piano Sonatas

'Stephen Hough turns his attention to the three most compelling of Hummel’s five mature solo piano sonatas. The F sharp minor, Op 81, and D major, Op 106, from 1819 and 1824, are large-scale works, revelling in an early-Romantic virtuosity that was to attract both Chopin and Liszt. The four-movement Op 106 is a huge creation of dramatic rhetorical gestures, while the much earlier F minor sonata, Op 20 (1807), gives a taste of the youthful Hummel’s exuberantly Haydnesque style. Hough proves a dazzling advocate for all three works.' (The Sunday Times)

Rachmaninov & Franck Cello Sonatas

Rachmaninov & Franck: Cello Sonatas

Stephen Hough joins cellist Steven Isserlis ( in performances of Sergei Rachmaninov's Sonata for cello and piano in G minor Op 19 and César Franck's Sonata for cello and piano in A major M8.

Stephen Hough's English Album

Stephen Hough's English Album

'Another winner from the ever-imaginative Stephen Hough. In all these pieces Hough's magic is presented in full, clear Hyperion sound' (Gramophone)

Camille Saint-Saëns - 5 Piano Concertos

Camille Saint-Saëns: 5 Piano Concertos

'Marvellous performances, full of joy, vigour and sparkle. The recording is in the demonstration bracket and this Hyperion set includes no fewer than four encores. An easy first choice' (Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

Brahms - Piano Sonata No 3, Four Ballades

Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 & Four Ballades

'Hough casts a scattered, multicoloured light as if through stained glass ... One could write a complete analytical essay on Hough’s breathtakingly illuminating playing of the Second Ballade, but no words could convey the beauty he brings to the Fourth' (Pianist Magazine)

Liszt - Sonata, Ballades & Polonaises

Liszt: Sonata, Ballades & Polonaises

'Stephen Hough's performance of the Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor [on Hyperion Records CDA67085] sets him apart from the rest. Utilizing all of his capabilities as a pianist, he expertly conveys the changing character of the music. At times, it sounds as if he's playing several different pianos as he moves from a brilliant tone to a broader sound and back again. This piece requires not only the technical ability to play difficult music over a long period of time, but also the intellectual grasp to pull the threads together. Hough possesses both.' (Ted Libbey, NPR)

Stephen Hough's New Piano Album

Stephen Hough's New Piano Album

'Few recording pianists can match Stephen Hough in the flair with which he tackles trivial party pieces like the 20 varied items here. He gives such encore material sparkle and point that charms the ear' (The Guardian)

Schubert - Piano Sonatas

Schubert: Piano Sonatas

'This is, quite simply, some of the most beautiful Schubert I have heard in years, or (why not come out and say it?) ever. Irresistible. That is, indeed, the word for everything about this superb release' (Fanfare)

New York Variations

New York Variations

'Startling virtuosity and probing musicality. I have never heard Copland's Variations played with such variety of tone and pinpoint articulation, nor the Corigliano rendered with such plasticity of tempo and mood' (Piano & Keyboard)

Mendelssohn - Works for Piano and Orchestra

Mendelssohn: Works for Piano and Orchestra

'The soft, stylish arpeggios that open the first work on the disc announce immediately that something special is on the way. Hough is now clearly first recommendation in the concertos' (Gramophone)

Lowell Liebermann - Piano Concertos

Lowell Liebermann: Piano Concertos

'Another winner. Fascinating, bold and fresh; a visit to the past without the smell of the museum. One of the most oddly attractive issues of the year so far' (The Independent on Sunday)

Federico Mompou - Piano Works

Federico Mompou: Piano Works

'In the hands of an imaginative pianist like Stephen Hough this other-worldly, almost eremitic [music] becomes revelatory. He catches Mompou's wistful moods to perfection' (Gramophone)

César Franck - Piano Music

César Franck: Piano Music

'Only the most exalted comparisons will do for Stephen Hough's latest disc, and even they are struggling to compete. Hough has a dream-ticket combination of virtues - astonshing agility, a faultless ear for texture, fine-tuned stylistic sensibility and an exceptional understanding of harmonic and structural tensions. [His] recent Hyperion issues have given him a lot to live up to. This recital triumphantly does that' (Gramophone)

York Bowen - Piano Music

York Bowen: Piano Music

'Few new discs of piano music match this for sheer magic: magnetic performances that come as a revelation. Vivid piano sound' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

Bird Songs at Eventide

Bird Songs at Eventide

'If these ardent renderings ... do not find a place in your heart then you should wonder what your heart's made of. RECORD OF THE MONTH' (Classic FM Magazine)

Scharwenka & Sauer Piano Concertos

Scharwenka & Sauer: Piano Concertos

'This Gramophone Award-winning disc thrills from start to finish. Anyone who has yet to catch up with this remarkable disc should do so without delay' (Piano International)

Mozart & Beethoven Quintets

Mozart & Beethoven: Quintets

BIS has released a recording of Stephen playing Mozart and Beethoven Quintets with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. The Mozart was issued previously (and was praised by the American Record Guide as ‘The best recording of Mozart's Quintet I have ever heard.’); the Beethoven Quintet is released here for the first time.

Children's Cello

Children's Cello

In this recital of known and unknown gems from the repertoire for aspiring cellists, Steven Isserlis and Stephen Hough make full use of their consummate musicianship in carving each of the 30 tracks into beautiful miniatures.

Hummel - Piano Concertos

Hummel: Piano Concertos

'In Stephen Hough's virtuosic hands, the coruscating final coda of the A minor Concerto is one of the most exciting things I've heard for years. Bravo' (Gramophone)

Schumann - Davidsbündlertänze & Fantasie in C

Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze & Fantasie in C

'This Gramophone Award-winning disc thrills from start to finish. Anyone who has yet to catch up with this remarkable disc should do so without delay' (Piano International)

Britten - Holiday Diary

Britten: Holiday Diary

with Ronan O'Hora (Second Piano)

Chamber Music Trios - Brahms, Schumann & Fruhling

Chamber Music Trios: Brahms, Schumann & Fruhling

with Michael Collins (Clarinet) and Steven Isserlis (Cello)

'A highly imaginative programme, one that is characterized above all by fine balancing - musically, interpretatively and technically.' (Gramophone)

Forgotten Romance

Forgotten Romance

with Steven Isserlis (Cello)

'With Steven Isserlis and Stephen Hough an inspired duo, natural recording artists both, this is one of the most enjoyable new cello discs I have heard in years. I should be sorry if the sentimental title, “Forgotten Romance”, taken from the shortest and least ambitious piece in the collection, deterred any serious listener from investigating it.' (Gramophone)

Richard Strauss - Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6

Richard Strauss: Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6

with Steven Isserlis (Cello)

'...the works here are superbly realized, and demonstration sound quality completes the deal. Outstanding.' ( 10/10 Rating)

Stephen Hough