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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: 32 minutes 18 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 4 in D major, BWV828
composer
1729

Allemande  [8'35]
Courante  [3'42]
Aria  [2'17]
Sarabande  [5'47]
Menuet  [1'31]
Gigue  [3'58]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Partita No 4 in D major is a glorious work. It has both intimacy and grandeur in abundance and, with the sixth Partita, is the longest of the set. The French Ouverture with which it begins immediately captures our attention with its flourishes, trills and double-dotting. Orchestral in nature, it moves on to a fugal section in concerto style that is nevertheless wonderfully dance-like. One of my favourite moments in all of the Partitas is the D major Allemande with its long singing phrases and beguiling intimacy. A calm but flowing tempo is needed for the ear to follow the harmonic progressions under the florid melody. After a joyful, rhythmically inventive Courante, Bach does the unusual and inserts an Aria before the Sarabande. It has been suggested that this was just to fill up some blank space on the engraver’s page, but for me this is a perfect way to prolong the lively mood established by the Courante before returning to intimate feelings with the Sarabande. The opening motif of this movement, with its ascending flourish, seems to ask a question – which is then answered in the following two bars. The delicate, two-part counterpoint roams about, again like the Allemande in long, poignant phrases. A brief Menuet, deftly combining duple and triple rhythms, is followed by a Gigue sharing Bach’s infectious vigour and zest for life.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 1997

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'Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach' (CDS44421/35)
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