First there was Rough Ideas: Reflections on Music and More (2019). Now there’s Enough: Scenes from Childhood. Both are glorious patchwork quilts without ever being patchy. Perhaps it’s the only way a busy concert pianist can produce a book: to write occasional pieces for newspapers and magazines; to write liner notes for his own recordings; to blog; to keep a diary or a journal; to make quick notes on the fly. And then to stitch together enough of them to form a pleasing pattern.
Yet British pianist Stephen Hough also finds the time to be a composer, paint and write a novel. Like the celebrated pianist and writer Charles Rosen before him, Hough is a true polymath.
I once asked Stephen Hough whether he was able to locate a single source for the diverse theatre of his creativity. “I think it all comes from a poetic sense – finding words, sounds, colours beyond the everyday,” he told me. “Finding expression for the powerful forces within, that human reaching beyond ourselves . . . literally ecstasy.”
And yet, behind that source was...