Hough keeping up with Chopin

Pianist Stephen Hough is determined to excel in the calm and stormy extremes of Chopins' Ballades and Scherzos

Composer: Chopin
Repertoire: Ballades 1-4; Scherzos Nos.1-4
Artists: Stephen Hough (piano)
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Hyperion CDA 67456

The ballades and scherzos are among Chopin’s most volatile creations, demanding high-reflex sensibilities capable of encompassing whirlwind passages of unstoppable momentum and moments of exquisite calm. Stephen Hough’s quicksilver mastery of the idiom proves an unfailing guide throughout, ensuring that even the emotional changeability of the fourth Ballade sounds convincing. But Hough is a little reluctant to truly storm the heavens.