Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Near to genius

Stephen Hough flirts with true brilliance

Stephen Hough
Stephen Hough
Video:

Stephen Hough - Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven (Verbier 2011)

Stephen Hough - Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven (Verbier 2011)

Stephen Hough - Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven (Verbier 2011)

I’m not sure I’ve used the term genius in the past when describing a performer. I’m not sure it applies here either, but it’s pretty darn close.

Stephen Hough was a candidate for genius while playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the San Diego Symphony on Saturday night, May 23, but I will shy away from a true pronouncement of genius. I would say that his interpretation of the Third was brilliantly indulgent.

It was not self-indulgent. There are pianists out there who are self-indulgent but Hough is not one of them. I had no doubt that his performance was dedicated to Beethoven and the audience but this was clearly Hough’s version of Beethoven — and I like that.

This was a well thought out experience of Beethoven. I’m not sure there was much spontaneity. Hough had clearly mapped out his path. Mapped out his path? More like pinpointed his path with military-grade GPS.

I’m not a big period performance lover. I like a musician to give their own interpretation instead of trying to mimic what the composer intended. Which is, of course, an interpretation.

What made Hough’s performance indulgent? What he did with the solo part made more of the third than it actually is.

This performance leaned more toward the Emperor Concerto which Beethoven wrote about 10 years later, instead of the late Mozart Piano Concerti written about 10 years earlier.

To my casual ear, this music lies almost exactly in the middle of that range. I’m not a musicologist and I have done zero research on the subject. “I’m just saying” what it sounded like. There are elements that recall Mozart and others that herald later Beethoven.

However, the Third is neither of these completely, which affords a performer the opportunity to go either way or even both as was probably the case with Hough, now that I think about it.

We’ll talk about Brahms another time.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Ellen Sturgis Hooper: cited as the most gifted of the Transcendentalist Movement

Ralph Waldo Emerson often commissioned her to write verse for The Dial
Next Article

Antebellum: Janelle Monáe’s Moment

If one must remake a movie, make sure it’s a bad one.
Stephen Hough
Stephen Hough
Video:

Stephen Hough - Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven (Verbier 2011)

Stephen Hough - Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven (Verbier 2011)

Stephen Hough - Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven (Verbier 2011)

I’m not sure I’ve used the term genius in the past when describing a performer. I’m not sure it applies here either, but it’s pretty darn close.

Stephen Hough was a candidate for genius while playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the San Diego Symphony on Saturday night, May 23, but I will shy away from a true pronouncement of genius. I would say that his interpretation of the Third was brilliantly indulgent.

It was not self-indulgent. There are pianists out there who are self-indulgent but Hough is not one of them. I had no doubt that his performance was dedicated to Beethoven and the audience but this was clearly Hough’s version of Beethoven — and I like that.

This was a well thought out experience of Beethoven. I’m not sure there was much spontaneity. Hough had clearly mapped out his path. Mapped out his path? More like pinpointed his path with military-grade GPS.

I’m not a big period performance lover. I like a musician to give their own interpretation instead of trying to mimic what the composer intended. Which is, of course, an interpretation.

What made Hough’s performance indulgent? What he did with the solo part made more of the third than it actually is.

This performance leaned more toward the Emperor Concerto which Beethoven wrote about 10 years later, instead of the late Mozart Piano Concerti written about 10 years earlier.

To my casual ear, this music lies almost exactly in the middle of that range. I’m not a musicologist and I have done zero research on the subject. “I’m just saying” what it sounded like. There are elements that recall Mozart and others that herald later Beethoven.

However, the Third is neither of these completely, which affords a performer the opportunity to go either way or even both as was probably the case with Hough, now that I think about it.

We’ll talk about Brahms another time.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Finding a different world inside Samarkand Uzbek Café

Don’t miss this overachieving tent restaurant tucked away in a City Heights parking lot
Next Article

De Anza Cove terrorized, La Jolla Cove cesspool, doomed life in Eastlake, South vs North Park, displaced persons in City Heights

Quirky San Diego neighborhoods
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close