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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Front illustration by Donya Claire James (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67767
Recording details: September 2008
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 4 minutes 58 seconds

'Jonathan Plowright plays everything with calm, unforced assurance, nicely balancing Bach style and 1930s period manners, and making light of all the left-hand skips needed to suggest Bach's organ pedal parts. An immaculate recording and Calum MacDonald's detailed notes enhance the disc's appeal' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Every so often a CD comes along that I simply can't stop playing. Here's one such example … glorious interpretations by Jonathan Plowright' (The Observer)

'There are some gems here … this is an invaluable addition to Hyperion's Bach Piano Transcriptions series and Plowright has done us an enormous service in resurrecting these transcriptions and in rendering them so eloquently' (International Record Review)

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV645
composer
circa 1748/9; Schübler Chorale No 1; arrangement of Cantata 140 movement 4
arranger
commissioned by Harriet Cohen and first published by Oxford University Press in A Bach Book for Harriet Cohen; first performed at the Queen's Hall on 17 October 1932

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Bach Book for Harriet Cohen, arranged alphabetically by composer, opens with Sir Granville Bantock’s version of the chorale prelude Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV645 (originally based on a chorus from Cantata No 140). The wide left-hand leaps in which Bantock indulges on the first appearance of the chorale tune, where the bottom note is sounded as a grace-note before the rest of the harmony, were a feature which especially excited Ronald Stevenson’s derision, and several of the other contributors are guilty of this rather makeshift stratagem. Stevenson compared the Bantock, to its detriment, with Busoni’s famous treatment of the same piece. Later appearances are in octaves, however, while a brief episode in pastoral sixths and a sensitive underpinning of the figuration in thirds are among the felicities of the setting. Bantock made a version of this arrangement for small orchestra in 1945.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2010

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