First off, I must admit I'm a huge fan of Stephen, and have known him since his school days. Second, I'm a huge fan of the Saint Saens 4th piano concerto. Alexander Brailowsky did a phenomenal performance of this work way back when.

Unfortunately, I can't really tell you too much about this program because my seats were so close to the stage, I felt like I was under the piano.

While I'm sure I had a distorted experience of the concert fromm that vantagepoint, I could tell that the S&S piano onstage had seen better days.

Still, Stephen was engrossed and played well. I just can't say that I heard a balanced rendering of the work.

Hough played this work in 3 different halls on 3 consecutive days. Not for the faint-hearted.

I spoke with him briefly during intermission. I mentioned working on his "Carousel" transcription. He said he as somewhat unhappy with his performance of the work on the recording, that it lacked some of the felicity that it should have. I'm not sure I can agree with his assessment, but it suggests that kind of standard he sets for himself -- scary.