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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67191/2
Recording details: June 1996
Beethovensaal, Hannover, Germany
Produced by Otto Ernst Wohlert
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: April 1997
Total duration: 20 minutes 5 seconds

'Effortlessly eclipsing all competition … the whole disc gives unalloyed pleasure; definitely one of my choices of the year' (Gramophone)

'One of the outstanding Bach pianists of our time, her playing of the great Partitas is something very special indeed. She is formidably equipped for this demanding music – technically, musically, intellectually. These are discs to play again and again and marvel at the artistry' (The Sunday Times)

'Everything has been deeply considered. Everything works. Hewitt makes a beautiful, limpid sound; her ornaments are exquisitely precise as well as sounding natural; she uses the subtle shadings and variations of volume possible on the piano without swamping the music. Technically the paying is faultless … superbly poised, light and joyous. Indeed, that would sum up the entire set' (Classic CD)

'Hyperion gives us something to treasure here. I recommend this set without reservation' (Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland)

'For this pair of discs only superlatives will do. Replete with inventiveness at its most outstanding. My appreciation of this Canadian pianist is enormous; I classify her among the top performers of our time' (Soundscapes, Australia)

'Pouvait-on imaginer Bach aussi limineux, brillant? … Un exercice 'parfait', à écouter et é réécouter pour un savourer toute la puissance, toute l'éloquence (Répertoire, France)

'Une interprète qui mérite d'être suivi avec la plus grand attention' (Diapason, France)

Partita No 2 in C minor, BWV826

Allemande  [4'27]
Courante  [2'28]
Sarabande  [3'16]
Rondeaux  [1'39]
Capriccio  [3'40]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Great musical and technical challenges are present in the Partita No 2 in C minor. The Sinfonia is remarkable for the drama of the opening Grave adagio, the lyrical beauty of the Andante (a rare tempo marking in Bach), and the energetic counterpoint of the two-part fugue that brings this movement to a close. After this powerful beginning the Allemande and Courante can seem slightly sober, but the counterpoint is masterful and always imaginative. The Sarabande is calm and flowing, with a steady stream of semiquavers. Then the excitement begins to build up – first with a jaunty Rondeaux, the theme of which is characterized by leaps of a seventh, and then, in place of the customary jig, a Capriccio of tremendous strength, ingenuity and humour. It is not at all hard to imagine a stringed-bass player having fun with the pizzicato leaps of a tenth in the left hand. Though difficult to play (Malcolm Boyd has called it ‘a graveyard for all but the most nimble-fingered executants’), it is one of Bach’s most enjoyable pieces.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 1997

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