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20.4.12

NSO and Stephen Hough

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Charles T. Downey, NSO program has British flavor
Washington Post, April 20, 2012

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Rachmaninoff, Piano Concertos, S. Hough, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, A. Litton
The National Symphony Orchestra has so far followed a busy March — given Christoph Eschenbach’s major festival of Austrian, Hungarian and Czech music — with a less hectic April. The musicians haven’t had much chance to rest, though, with guest conductor Andrew Litton leading a full program with a decidedly British flavor. A praiseworthy trend in music selection continued Thursday night at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall: Two of the pieces had not been heard from the NSO since the 1990s, and one was given its NSO debut.

The new piece was Frank Bridge’s “The Sea” from 1911 — a charming alternative to such other British marine depictions as Britten’s “Sea Interludes” or Vaughan Williams’s “Sea Symphony.” Bridge used evocative extended harmonies reminiscent of Debussy (which have now made their way into American film-score composition) to create a majestic vista of the ocean in the first movement (“Seascape”), which Litton and the musicians punctuated with vivid dynamic swells. [Continue reading]
National Symphony Orchestra
With Stephen Hough (piano) and Andrew Litton (conductor)
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Frank Bridge, "The Sea" (online score)
Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 1 (online score)
Elgar, Symphony No. 1 (online score)

PREVIOUSLY:
Andrew Litton: 2009 (Higdon, Piano Concerto) | 2009 (Lang Lang) | 2007 (Bergen Philharmonic)

Anne Midgette, Hugh Wolff: All the Right Moves (Washington Post, April 25, 2008) -- Stephen Hough in Saint-Saëns' fifth piano concerto ("Egyptian")

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