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Track(s) taken from CDA67767

Wir glauben all an einen Gott, BWV740

doubtful attribution
commissioned by Harriet Cohen and first published by Oxford University Press in A Bach Book for Harriet Cohen; first performed at the Queen's Hall on 17 October 1932

Jonathan Plowright (piano)
Recording details: September 2008
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 4 minutes 34 seconds

Cover artwork: Front illustration by Donya Claire James (b?)


'Jonathan Plowright plays everything with calm, unforced assurance, nicely balancing Bach style and 1930s period manners, and making light of all the left-hand skips needed to suggest Bach's organ pedal parts. An immaculate recording and Calum MacDonald's detailed notes enhance the disc's appeal' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Every so often a CD comes along that I simply can't stop playing. Here's one such example … glorious interpretations by Jonathan Plowright' (The Observer)

'There are some gems here … this is an invaluable addition to Hyperion's Bach Piano Transcriptions series and Plowright has done us an enormous service in resurrecting these transcriptions and in rendering them so eloquently' (International Record Review)
William Gillies Whittaker (1876–1944), who at the time he was invited to contribute to the Bach Book was simultaneously Professor of Music at Glasgow University and Principal of the newly founded Scottish National Academy of Music, was a Northumbrian composer of quite progressive instincts (as his visionary setting of Psalm 139 for unaccompanied double chorus in 1924 attests) but was more celebrated as a scholar of early music. In addition to editing Bach he had founded the Newcastle Bach Choir and would eventually be known for his posthumously published standard study of all the Bach cantatas. In his otherwise restrained treatment of the chorale prelude Wir glauben all an einen Gott BWV740, Whittaker’s persistent accents on the melody notes rather seem to war against his marking Sempre dolcissimo e legato, but this in fact makes an interesting study in balance, since the pianist must maintain the serenely devotional mood throughout.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2010

William Gillies Whittaker (1876–1944)—qui, lorsqu’on l’invita à contribuer au Bach Book, enseignait la musique à l’université de Glasgow et dirigeait la Scottish National Academy of Music, fondée depuis peu—, était un compositeur northumbrien intuitivement très progressiste (en atteste sa visionnaire version du psaume 139 pour double chœur a cappella, en 1924) mais c’est comme spécialiste de la musique ancienne qu’il était surtout connu. Éditeur des œuvres de Bach, fondateur du Newcastle Bach Choir, il accéda finalement à la célébrité grâce à son étude de toutes les cantates bachiennes (un classique du genre, publié à titre posthume). Dans son traitement, par ailleurs tout en sobriété, du prélude-choral Wir glauben all an einen Gott BWV740, ses accents persistants sur les notes de la mélodie semblent en guerre contre son indication Sempre dolcissimo e legato, ce qui constitue cependant une intéressante étude de l’équilibre, le pianiste ne devant rien lâcher du climat de dévotion sereine.

extrait des notes rédigées par Calum MacDonald © 2010
Français: Hypérion

William Gillies Whittaker (1876–1944) war zum Zeitpunkt der Anforderung seines Beitrags zum Bach Book gleichzeitig Professor für Musik an der Universität Glasgow und Leiter der neu gegründeten Scottish National Academy of Music. Er war ein aus Northumbria stammender Komponist mit recht fortschrittlicher Tendenz (wie seine visionäre, 1924 entstandene Vertonung von Psalm 139 für unbegleiteten Doppelchor beweist), genoss jedoch höheres Ansehen als Experte für frühe Musik. Neben der Bearbeitung von Bach hatte er den Newcastle Bach Choir gegründet und wurde letztendlich durch sein posthum veröffentlichtes Standardwerk über sämtliche Bachkantaten bekannt. In seiner in anderer Hinsicht zurückhaltenden Bearbeitung des Choralvorspiels Wir glauben all an einen Gott BWV740 scheint Whittakers beharrliche Akzentuierung der Melodienoten im Widerspruch zu seiner Vortragsbezeichnung Sempre dolcissimo e legato zu stehen, doch ergibt sich daraus eher eine interessante Studie über Ausgewogenheit, denn der Pianist muss die gelassen-fromme Stimmung von Anfang bis Ende aufrecht erhalten.

aus dem Begleittext von Calum MacDonald © 2010
Deutsch: Henning Weber

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