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Track(s) taken from CDA67607/8

Triple Concerto in A minor, BWV1044


Angela Hewitt (piano), Richard Tognetti (violin), Alison Mitchell (flute), Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti (conductor)
Recording details: February 2005
Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: June 2005
Total duration: 20 minutes 7 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Malcolm Proud (harpsichord), Maya Homburger (violin), Rachel Beckett (flute), The English Baroque Soloists, Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)


'Her playing is absolutely captivating: she decorates the solo part with playful, come-hither ornamentation—twirls, flutters, arabesques—and yet it never disturbs the clear, logical path she forges through the course of each work. Her staccato touch has the force of sprung steel and yet her legato line is a miracle of smoothness and transparency. An absolute joy' (Gramophone)

'Hewitt's Bach is well-known for its expressive restraint, lucid textures and rhythmic grace. These virtues are abundantly present in her thoughtful, unmannered approach to the Concertos. Contrapuntal arguments are admirably clear and Hewitt's restricted use of the sustaining pedal ensure a pleasing clarity of dialogue. These virtues are mirrored by the lightly articulated bowing of the strings of the Australian Chamber Orchestra under the direction of its leader Richard Tognetti … my own prefernce lies just with Hewitt and her Australian musicians' (BBC Music Magazine)

'These two discs, while available separately, go in tandem as a beguiling example of what can be achieved in performances of Baroque music on the piano when they have been prepared with such thought and are blessed with such compelling artistry as Angela Hewitt's. Her Bach catalogue for Hyperion is already extensive, and here she joins the outstanding Australian Chamber Orchestra for the six concertos and two other works that spotlight the keyboard, the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto and the A minor Triple Concerto with flute (Alison Mitchell) and violin (Richard Tognetti, who also directs the orchestra). The performances call on different traditions: Hewitt plays a modern Fazioli grand, the orchestra deploys certain historically aware techniques, to the extent of having a discreet harpsichord in the continuo part. But such is Hewitt's sensitivity to style, and such is the orchestra's versatility, that there is no sense of compromise or jarring anachronism. Rather, the two coalesce in interpretations of remarkable synergy and fascinating textures. The familiar argument that Bach would have written for a piano if only he had had one is nowhere given more persuasive advocacy than in Hewitt's singing melodic lines, her judicious range of tonal colouring and in her touch, which combines the crispness and full flavour of a fresh apple. Take a bite of any of these concertos, and you will want to make a whole meal of them' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Her fingers dance as well as sing: in the outer movements, rhythms are buoyantly sprung, and this communicates itself to the members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, whose slender string accompaniment in no way lessens their energy, while Hewitt responds by projecting the piano parts with all due attention to Bach's overall texture' (International Record Review)

'Here the Fazioli is heard at its exquisite best, its spongey bass chords pumping with clarity, its treble caressing a heart-tuggingly beautiful legato out of the slow movement, while the dainty strings sketch an almost tongue-in-cheek pizzicato in the background. Hewitt's sense of phrase is masterful … the statements have regal import under the authoritative hands of this queen of keyboard playing' (The Times)

'As always, she really sparkles in the allegros, infusing the music with wit as well as technical bravura' (The Sunday Times)

'The result of their historically informed modern-instrument take on the music is stunning, with crisp rhythms and singing melodic lines' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hewitt's performances are brilliantly alive. Her subtle lyricism adds a rich, occasionally dark dimension, possibly not as Bach himself would have envisaged, but always with a deep sense of musical integrity' (The Scotsman)

'These are warmly involving interpretations of pioneering pieces' (HMV Choice)

'Her [Hewitt's] success comes from the shaping of each concerto, these are rhythmical, warm interpretations shimmering with boundless energy and skilled virtuosity' (Cathedral Music)

'Her playing is absolutely captivating: she decorates the solo part with playful, come-hither ornamentation—twirls, flutters, arabesques—and yet it never disturbs the clear, logical path she forges through the course of each work. Her staccato touch has the force of sprung steel and yet her legato line is a miracle of smoothness and transparency. An absolute joy' (Metro)
The Triple Concerto in A minor, BWV1044 uses the same solo group as does the Brandenburg Concerto No 5 (keyboard, flute and violin). It is, however, totally different in many ways, the first being that the keyboard part (with the exception of the cadenza of the Brandenburg) is far more present and is easily the most prominent of the three solo instruments in the outer movements. Perhaps this is because those movements originated as a solo keyboard work, the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV894. It makes a fascinating study to compare the two versions to see how effortlessly he turned a solo prelude into an imposing concerto movement. It also is a clue to how we should conceive and interpret many of his solo pieces in orchestral terms. This long movement is driven forward with the use of triplets, dotted notes and pizzicatos.

The second movement is a transcription of the middle movement of the Trio Sonata in D minor, BWV527 for organ. Originally in F major, it is set here in C major. It is almost in the style galant of his son, C P E Bach, although the chromaticisms give him away, as do the amazing shifts in tonality. The dialogue between the three soloists is continuous, but finally comes to rest on the dominant of A minor (the same type of cadence is used at the end of the slow movement of the F minor Concerto). To the original tempo marking of Adagio Bach adds ma non tanto which should serve as a warning not to take it too slowly.

In the solo harpsichord version, the last movement was a fugal moto perpetuo that simply allowed the soloist to show off. With the addition of the orchestra and other soloists, however, Bach produces a work of amazing impact and religious fervour. The swirling triplets of the keyboard part are introduced, interrupted, and finally concluded by a rousing chorus written in alla breve time and reminiscent of the stile antico (Renaissance polyphony). Throughout, everyone but the keyboard player sticks with subject material from this introduction, which is really a variation of the harmonic outline of the fugal subject. Outbursts of quite ferocious chords from the orchestra seem like a condemnation of the sinners. The climax comes with a cadenza for keyboard written over a long pedal point. The final tutti has two different endings in various editions: either major or minor. We have opted for the feeling of hope and salvation that the major mode implies.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2005

Le Triple Concerto en la mineur, BWV1044 recourt au même ensemble solo que le Concerto brandebourgeois no 5 (clavier, flûte et violon), dont il diffère pourtant à bien des égards, à commencer par la présence renforcée du clavier (la cadenza du Concerto brandebourgeois exceptée), lequel prime même volontiers, dans les mouvements extrêmes, sur les trois instruments solo. Ceci tient peut-être au fait que ces mouvements étaient à l’origine une œuvre pour clavier solo: le Prélude et Fugue en la mineur, BWV894. Il est fascinant de comparer les deux versions pour voir comment Bach transforma sans peine un prélude solo en un imposant mouvement de concerto. Voilà qui nous indique aussi comment concevoir et interpréter nombre de ses pièces solo en termes orchestraux. Triolets, notes pointées et pizzicatos propulsent ce mouvement long vers l’avant.

Le deuxième mouvement est une transcription du mouvement central de la Sonate en trio en ré mineur, BWV527 pour orgue. Originellement en fa majeur, il est ici mis en musique en ut majeur et est presque dans le style galant du fils de Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel, même si les chromatismes et les surprenants changements de tonalité trahissent la patte paternelle. Le dialogue ininterrompu entre les trois solistes finit par se poser sur la dominante de la mineur (on retrouve le même type de cadence à la fin du mouvement lent du Concerto en fa mineur). À l’indication de tempo originale, Adagio, Bach ajoute un ma non tanto qu’il faut voir comme une incitation à ne pas le jouer trop lentement.

Le dernier mouvement de la version pour clavecin solo était un moto perpetuo fugué qui permettait simplement au soliste de se faire valoir. Mais l’ajout de l’orchestre et des autres solistes débouche sur une œuvre surprenante d’impact et de ferveur religieuse. Les tourbillonnants triolets de la partie de clavier sont introduits, interrompus et finalement conclus par un chœur vibrant, écrit dans une mesure alla breve et renouvelé du stile antico (polyphonie de la Renaissance). De bout en bout, chacun, hormis le claviériste, colle au matériau thématique à partir de cette introduction, véritable variation du contour harmonique du sujet fugué. Des explosions d’accords absolument féroces fusent de l’orchestre comme pour condamner les pécheurs. L’apogée survient avec une candenza dévolue au clavier, écrite sur une longue pédale. Le tutti final présente deux conclusions différentes selon les éditions: en majeur ou en mineur. Nous avons opté pour le sentiment d’espoir et de salut inhérent au mode majeur.

extrait des notes rédigées par Angela Hewitt © 2005
Français: Hypérion

Im Tripelkonzert in a-Moll BWV1044 musizieren dieselben Soloinstrumente wie im Fünften Brandenburgischen Konzert (Tasteninstrument, Flöte und Geige). Die beiden Werke unterscheiden sich jedoch grundlegend in verschiedenerlei Hinsicht; der Cembalopart etwa ist hier (mit der Ausnahme der Kadenz im Brandenburgischen Konzert) viel präsenter und in den Rahmensätzen sogar der dominanteste der drei Soloinstrumente. Vielleicht liegt das daran, dass diese Sätze ursprünglich ein Werk für Solotasteninstrument waren, nämlich Präludium und Fuge in a-Moll BWV894. Es ist faszinierend, die beiden Werke miteinander zu vergleichen und zu beobachten, mit welcher Mühelosigkeit Bach ein Solopräludium in einen eindrucksvollen Konzertsatz verwandelt. Es verbirgt sich hier auch ein Hinweis darauf, dass viele seiner Solowerke orchestral aufgefasst und interpretiert werden sollten. Der lange Satz wird mit Hilfe von Triolen, Punktierungen und Pizzicati vorangetrieben.

Der zweite Satz ist eine Bearbeitung des mittleren Satzes der Triosonate in d-Moll BWV527 für Orgel. In der ursprünglichen Fassung stand das Werk in F-Dur, hier steht es in C-Dur. Es ist dies fast der style galant seines Sohnes, C. Ph. E. Bach, doch können die chromatischen Passagen und die einzigartigen Tonartenwechsel nur von Bach Vater stammen. Der Dialog zwischen den drei Solisten ist fortlaufend, kommt jedoch auf der Dominante (a-Moll) zur Ruhe (dieselbe Art von Kadenz erklingt am Ende des langsamen Satzes des f-Moll Konzerts). Zu der ursprünglichen Tempoangabe Adagio fügt Bach hier ein ma non tanto hinzu, was als Warnung davor aufgefasst werden sollte, den Satz zu langsam zu nehmen.

In der Version für Solo-Cembalo ist der letzte Satz ein fugaler moto perpetuo, in dem der Solist seine Virtuosität unter Beweis stellen kann. Zusammen mit einem Orchester und anderen Solisten jedoch erzeugt Bach ein Werk von besonderer Wirkung und religiöser Leidenschaft. Die umherwirbelnden Triolen des Tasteninstruments werden von einem mitreißenden Alla-breve-Chor, der an den Stile antico (Renaissance-Polyphonie) erinnert, eingeleitet, unterbrochen und schließlich beendet. Während des gesamten Satzes bleiben alle – bis auf den Spieler des Tasteninstruments – bei dem Themenmaterial der Einleitung, das eigentlich eine Variation der harmonischen Struktur des Fugenthemas ist. Die heftigen Akkord-Ausbrüche des Orchesters scheinen eine Art Verurteilung der Sünder zu sein. Der Höhepunkt kommt mit einer Kadenz für das Tasteninstrument über einem langen Orgelpunkt. Das letzte Tutti hat in verschiedenen Ausgaben verschiedene Schlüsse: entweder Dur oder Moll. Wir haben uns für das Gefühl von Hoffnung und Erlösung entschieden, das in der Durtonart impliziert wird.

aus dem Begleittext von Angela Hewitt © 2005
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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