“Nobody plays this music more authoritatively and eloquently,” wrote London’s Sunday Times of Stephen Kovacevich in Beethoven. “He is in his element, responding wholeheartedly to the extreme physicality that Beethoven brought to music … but the wit and delicacy of the playing are also remarkable.”Kovacevich himself has spoken of his love for the “fun and virtuosity” of the composer’s early sonatas, while in the often
Folk-pop singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop has bounced around from one record label to another, but he had his greatest success on the ABC label in the mid-'70s when he scored the Top 40 pop hits "Save It for a Rainy Day" and "On and On." In fact, his two ABC LPs, Careless (1977) and the gold-certified Bish (1978), are his only ones to sell well enough to make the charts. ABC was absorbed into MCA, which is now part of Universal, the major label responsible for the 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection series of discount-priced best-of compilations, and the Bishop number draws heavily from those two albums, which provide nine of the 12 tracks. Unusually for the series, however, the compilers have licensed a track from outside Universal, Bishop's chart-topping adult contemporary hit "It Might Be You," the theme from the 1983 movie Tootsie, which is controlled by Warner Brothers Records.
For many, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the sound of carols sung from King’s College Chapel, and each year over the festive period millions around the world enjoy the Choir’s A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols. This two-part collection celebrates 100 years of the iconic service with a mix of brand-new performances and historical recordings not heard since the original BBC broadcasts.
As a world-renowned piano virtuoso, Stephen Hough has demonstrated time and again his prodigious skills in brilliant performances of the great concertos, though as a recording artist, he has revealed a wider range of repertoire and unexpected interests. This Hyperion release of Edvard Grieg's Lyric Pieces is an example of how Hough sometimes ventures into quiet, less familiar byways that offer him a variety of expressive possibilities. These miniatures are far removed from blockbuster showpieces, and their picturesque scenes and delicate melodies suggest the careful handiwork of the craftsman. They also reflect Grieg's nostalgia for the Romantic past and love for Norwegian fairy tales and folkways, which he expressed with disarming simplicity and succinctness. Hough's program of 27 selections from the larger collection of 66 pieces, published in 10 books, extends from the early Arietta of 1867 to Remembrances of 1901, giving a generous representation of Grieg's intimate musings and evocative character studies.
While most classical composers attempt to spread around their artistry among various mediums, Stephen Scott has put all of his eggs into the proverbial one basket, specializing in bowed piano music as founder/leader of the Bowed Piano Ensemble, est. 1977. This is not as limited a resource as it sounds; in 1930, Henry Cowell stated he had discovered 165 ways to play the inside of a piano, though if he made a list of all those methods no one has been able to find it. Moreover, Stephen Scott doesn't seem to mind being regarded as "the Bowed Piano Guy." New Albion's The Deep Spaces is his sixth bowed piano CD and demonstrates some measure of stepping out of the box on Scott's part; The Deep Spaces is a song cycle, set to poems by Shelley, Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Pliny, and Pablo Medina and sung by soprano Victoria Hansen.