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Hough mixes the familiar with the rare (Alkan rubs shoulders with Debussy’s Clair de lune, for example), adding his own voice to the transcribers in the Cortot version of the famous D minor Toccata and Fugue (which almost works – it is clear Hough believes in it, anyway) and the Massenet Crépuscule. The Bach/ Cortot Arioso (from BWV1056) is well done, but one need only listen to any of Cortot’s own versions to appreciate its real worth. It is a stroke of genius to end with the Liszt/Halévy Réminiscences de ‘La juive’. Hough makes this Fantaisie brillante a true tour-de-force. The inclusion of Alkan’s La chanson de la folle au bord de la mer is of real value; the infinitely more famous Alborada del gracioso (Ravel) is wonderfully spiky. A terrific disc.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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