Andrew McGregor
BBC Record Review
May 2020

From the opening bars of the First Concerto I was captivated: there's an attractive bounce and suppleness to the playing of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, a sense of air and openness to the recording as well. Tempos not too hard pushed by conductor Hannu Lintu, but there's a crisp immediacy to the articulation. The first concertos seem to reach back to the Mozartian models Beethoven admired—essential simplicity to the slow movements [with] effortlessly spun lines and long phrases from Hough that match the orchestral playing. And then the last two concertos; the solo piano opening of the Fourth, the gateway to another Beethovenian world as his ideas take us places undreamt of by Mozart. And the 'Emperor' Concerto, Beethoven's Fifth, the breadth and firmness of the noble opening chord and the improvisatory piano flourish that follows … one of the things that struck me here as much as anywhere was the perfect poise of Hough's quieter playing—he's frequently less dynamically forceful than other pianists. Call it a thoughtful approach if you like but it's better than that, fully thought through and memorably realized … if you liked the poise and nobility of the opening [the first movement of No 5] then I suspect you'll appreciate the gently flowing poetry of the slow movement before the outburst of joy in the finale … my Record of the Week.