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Hyperion Records

SACDA67451/2 - Bach: The English Suites

Recording details: Various dates
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: September 2003
Total duration: 143 minutes 37 seconds

CD OF THE WEEK (Daily Telegraph)

'…this might well be the finest set of English Suites on the piano' (Goldberg Early Music Magazine)

'Now regarded as one of the most consistently refreshing interpreters of Bach on the modern piano…As ever, Hewitt brings this music to life with remarkably crisp articulation in the brisk contrapuntal movements, deep feeling in the sarabandes and exhilarating joie de vivre in the final gigues' (The Sunday Times)

'Once again, Angela Hewitt proves that she's one of the most penetrating interpreters of Bach on the piano, with a superlative account of the six English Suites. She's an astonishingly supple player, elegant in the French dance elements, brilliant in the Italianate flourishes, and fully in control of the works' complex chromaticisms. Another tour de force from this wonderful player' (The Independent)

'The standard of excellence Angela Hewitt has set in previous installments in her Hyperion Bach cycle continues unabated with the English Suites' (BBC Music Magazine)

'I thoroughly enjoy Hewitt's unaffected playing, her easy-going virtuosity, careful dynamics, and frequent grace, as well as power' (Fanfare, USA)

'This is arguably the finest recording of these works on modern piano. Hewitt projects the different characters of individual dances, as well as those of entire suites, with great beauty, clarity and refinement' (Goldberg Early Music Magazine 'Best of 2004')

The English Suites
Angela Hewitt (piano) 2CDs Super-Audio CD — Deleted  

With the English Suites (the 'English' is not Bach's and there is nothing particularly English about them) Angela Hewitt all but completes her survey of Bach's keyboard works (there will be one further CD mopping up various odds and ends). These six suites, along with the French Suites and the six Partitas, present Bach's mature thoughts on the standard baroque suite of dances and as such are the greatest examples of the form.

Unlike the smaller scale French Suites the English all begin with a large-scale prelude, often rather concerto-like and very virtuosic; these are works for a very accomplished professional player rather than the amateur that much keyboard music of the 18th century would have been aimed at.

Angela Hewitt rises to all the challenges in her usual superb style and needless to say these performances will meet with the acclaim of her previous Bach recordings.

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