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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67371/2
Recording details: November 2003
Reitstadel, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Germany
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: November 2004
Total duration: 5 minutes 22 seconds

'In a catalogue boasting many distinguished Chopin Nocturne cycles, Angela Hewitt's commands attention' (BBC Music Magazine)

'One of the most elegant pianists around, the Canadian virtuoso Angela Hewitt interrupts her epic Bach and Couperin cycles for Hyperion to explore some of Chopin's most refined music, the complete Nocturnes and Impromptus. Hewitt's innate sophistication and delicacy of touch are perfectly suited to these exquisite pieces, 25 of them over two discs, by a master of the genre at the height of his fragile powers. Spanning almost his entire creative life, the Nocturnes amount to a remarkable graph of Chopin's emotional maturity, touchingly reflected in the affectionate care Hewitt brings to what sounds like a labour of love' (The Observer)

'Hewitt is not given to grand effects, whether an extreme rubato or rude dynamic change. Still, she can play grandly as well, as we hear on her powerful performance of the great Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor. This new recording of the nocturnes is what Marlon Brando would have called, if he had cared, a contender. It's richly recorded and beautifully played: it has art's final seal' (Fanfare, USA)

'Angela Hewitt is a sound buy … the delicacy of touch and manicured precision of the phrasing is a delight' (The Scotsman)

Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op 66
composer
1834; published posthumously, contrary to Chopin's wishes, by Julian Fontana in 1855

Other recordings available for download
Garrick Ohlsson (piano)
Artur Pizarro (piano)
Wilhelm Backhaus (piano)
Harold Bauer (piano)
Grigory Ginzburg (piano)
Irene Scharrer (piano)
Irene Scharrer (piano)
Eileen Joyce (piano)
Moura Lympany (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Fantasy Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op 66 was published posthumously in 1855 by Chopin’s lifelong friend and fellow musician, Julian Fontana. It is not known why Chopin didn’t publish it himself, but has been suggested that he was a bit too conscious of its resemblance to Moscheles’s Impromptu Op 89. It certainly has become one of his most popular compositions. The outer sections are a moto perpetuo marked allegro agitato. Even in the midst of all those notes, however, there is a melody that sings out clearly. The middle section does indeed have one of those tunes that somebody always puts words to (in this case, ‘I’m always chasing rainbows’), but it is also beautiful in its simplicity. In fact, that is what Chopin sought in the end:

‘Simplicity is everything. After having exhausted all the difficulties, after having played immense quantities of notes and more notes, then simplicity emerges with all its charm, like art’s final seal. Whoever wants to obtain this immediately will never achieve it: you can’t begin with the end. One has to have studied a lot, even tremendously, to reach this goal; it is no easy matter.’

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2004


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