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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: 8 minutes 49 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)

Sonata in D major, BWV963

[no title]  [2'35]
[no title]  [1'08]
Fugue  [2'13]
Adagio  [1'01]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This is the only keyboard sonata by Bach that is, as far as we know, both totally original (several others use material by Reinken) and not a transcription (as is his Sonata in D minor, BWV964). It could also be named ‘Toccata’, as its form is very similar to the keyboard pieces of that title, except for the omission of an opening flourish. The Sonata has five sections of which two are contrasting fugues. It opens with a very instrumental-like movement using antiphonal entries and with that feeling of festivity that so often comes with the key of D major in Bach. Then suddenly arrives an F sharp major chord, announcing a brief improvisation that seems to require the use of organ pedals to sustain the bass notes (I make use of the middle or sostenuto pedal to do the trick). This leads us nicely into the first fugue which is in B minor. Despite its rather percussive subject (four repeated notes) it remains calm and doesn’t get too excited. Another brief passage marked adagio uses the same musical material repeated many times to take us to the point where Bach wants to go (as he does in both the D minor and F sharp minor Toccatas). Finally we have the closing fugue, now firmly back in D major. Its title is intriguing: Thema all’ imitatio Gallina Cuccu (‘Theme in imitation of the chicken and the cuckoo’). And yes, there is the hen clucking away in the subject, and the cuckoo doing its thing in the countersubject. By the end, it’s quite a noisy farmyard! This was not the first time a composer had written a piece using bird-calls: Frescobaldi evidently wrote a Capriccio sopra il Cucco in 1624. It may not be Bach’s greatest inspiration, but it is amusing and brings this Sonata to a lively conclusion.

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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