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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67499
Recording details: February 2004
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: July 2004
Total duration: 7 minutes 59 seconds

'a series of performances where freedom over articulation, phrasing, embellishment, dynamics and tempo is governed by an artistic sense of responsibility; and the whole recital is heard in a shrewdly balanced recording of fine tonal verisimilitude' (Gramophone)

'when Hewitt's technical refinement merges with the spirit as well as the letter of the music, miracles happen' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Here is another out and out winner from Angela Hewitt … The hallmark of her playing derives from just such a sharp definition of musical character. Be it light or solemn, her outlook on Bach is consistently enlivening' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This disc makes a piquant, unexpected conclusion to Hewitt's Bach cycle. Her many admirers will want to acquire it' (International Record Review)

'Hewitt plays all of this unfamiliar material with her usual flair and beguiling sound' (The Sunday Times)

'Hewitt's playing is tremendously well thought-out, the contrapuntal lines always shining clear, the articulation sprightly and the musicality unfailing' (Classic FM Magazine)

'the statuesque, beautiful, and brilliantly gifted Angela Hewitt has now joined the ranks of the great interpreters of Bach's keyboard music, and the effortless and natural readings on this and the other CDs in her cycle for Hyperion unquestionably number among the finest available. After discussion, debate—call it what you will—Angela Hewitt's recordings may be deemed unquestionably definitive' (Fanfare, USA)

'Angela Hewitt continues to confirm her status among pre-eminent Bach specialists…the individual pieces and Suites consitently reward the ear—novel and timeless at once' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'She continues to display the virtues that have made her one of the foremost Bach pianists on record, including beautiful tone, textural clarity, acute sensitivity to patterns of tension and resolution, a strong sense of dance, and refined attention to detail … In sum, a beautiful, profoundly satisfying recital and a fitting conclusion to a landmark (Goldberg)

'Hewitt has already exhausted the supply of critical superlatives in her devotion to Bach. Those who have loyally followed the Hyperion cycle will find that this terminal issue meets and exceeds the stringent standards which she set for herself. Hewitt presents a Bach of sensitivity and integrity for our time and always. Enjoyment of the disc is enhanced by the performer's lively and informative booklet note. Conventional CD sound quality is in the demonstration class. SACD playback (stereo is preferable to multi-channel) is as close as most of us will ever get to having Miss Hewitt and her concert Steinway perform in our listening rooms' (The Scene Musicale, Canada)

Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV904
composer

Fantasia  [3'37]
Fugue  [4'22]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
BWV904 does seem like an organ piece at times. It is not hard to imagine the descending bass at the opening of the fantasia doubled by the pedals, giving it even more gravity and weight than it already has. (Some pianists try to imitate this by adding the extra octave, but this is a case where that can only be done with the addition of a lot of sustaining pedal, thus blurring the wonderful counterpoint.) It is marked alla breve and resembles the stile antico style of writing (the Baroque adaptation of Renaissance polyphony). The opening ritornello appears four times with three interspersed episodes, all emphasizing the contrapuntal nature of the piece. The fugue has two subjects: the first boldly characterized by leaps and punctuated by rests; the second a slow, descending chromatic scale that makes a dramatic appearance halfway through. They could not be more different. But that is exactly what Bach wants, especially when he combines the two in the final section. That way there are easily distinguishable. Making that audible to the listener, however, is not easy as his counterpoint in this case is awkward and doesn’t lie well under the fingers. It is thought that Bach was not responsible for placing these two movements together; in fact they don’t appear that way until early in the nineteenth century – and then only by accident. However, I don’t think we would realize this if we didn’t already know, as they make such good companions.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2004

Other albums featuring this work
'Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach' (CDS44421/35)
Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach
MP3 £45.00FLAC £45.00ALAC £45.00Buy by post £50.00 CDS44421/35  15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Bach: Fantasia, Aria & other works' (SACDA67499)
Bach: Fantasia, Aria & other works
This album is not yet available for download SACDA67499  Super-Audio CD — Deleted  
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