Other Love Songs: Prince Consort

Album review
Other Love Songs: Prince Consort

The Prince Consort

Other Love Songs

Label: Linn
Media: SACD
Genre: Classical

Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzer (“Love-Song Waltzes”) evoke the peasant’s slower ländler rather than the Viennese waltz, suiting Brahms’s temperament better. The superb notes point out that listening to 18 brief waltzes in a row can be like eating a little too much cake; the songs are all optimistic in tone, though shaded by the pain of love. Stephen Hough’s Other Love Songs come after the Brahms for contrast and diversion, and were commissioned for this purpose. Hough, best known as a pianist, has set eight excellent poems exploring types of love other than male-female romance. “Kashmiri Song” is a gem, seductive and spooky, with unforced exotic touches and some fascinating polyrhythms. Brahms’ later Neue Liebeslieder (New Love-Songs) are tinged with bitterness and violence, and the intervening Hough makes their constant triple meter bearable, an anchor rather than an aggravation. The Prince Consort, five singers and a pianist, is young and fresh-sounding. The singing is all very clear and expressive, and appropriately Teutonic in the Brahms; the pianists play a little dryly there, but they’re grand in the Hough. The space is perfect for the group and the music, though the pianos’ lows could be stronger. 

More Info

  • primary artist, The Prince Consort
  • SACD

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