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Track(s) taken from CDA67310

Toccata in C minor, BWV911


Angela Hewitt (piano)
Recording details: January 2002
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: July 2002
Total duration: 12 minutes 12 seconds


'Her performances could hardly be more stylish or impeccable, more vital or refined; and, as a crowning touch, Hyperion's sound is superb' (Gramophone)

'Angela Hewitt’s intelligent virtuosity, stylish command and uncluttered musicianship not only serve the composer well, but also prove how vibrant and expressive the toccatas can and should sound on the modern concert grand' (BBC Music Magazine)

'imaginative and exciting performances' (The Observer)

'She proves once again that she is an exemplary exponent of Bach’s keyboard music on the piano, making these complex pieces flow with uninterrupted inspiration' (The Independent)

'a lovely tone, a seamless legato, some delicious dissonances – perfectly gauged and subtly nuanced – and some probing recitatives’ (American Record Guide)

'In Hewitt’s hands [the toccatas] evince a molten quality that places the listener in close proximity to the act of composition' (International Record Review)

'Like the music itself, the performances brim with that improvisatory spontaneity that is the hallmark of this player’s style' (The Sunday Times)

'faultless articulation and sensitive phrasing' (Classic FM Magazine)

'interpretations that are first class from beginning to end' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hewitt brings a sublime grace and thoroughly musical fluidity to Bach’s endlessly creative writing … fabulously involving and beautifully performed' (HMV Choice)

'She succeeds remarkably in giving each work a differently slanted emotional colour, while every detail emerges with glittering definition … a fine disc' (Pianist)

'This album is now the benchmark recording of these works on the piano' (Goldberg)

'There is much brilliant playing here … the total impression is of interpretations that are superbly performed, clean, clear and serious' (International Piano)

'Exquisite playing … This disc reinforces Hewitt's position as one of the supreme Bach interpreters and provides the ideal entry point for newcomers to her' (Music Week)

'This disc is a delight from start to finish, a disc to lift the saddest of spirits' (BBCi)

'Interpretations of the highest quality … For sheer virtuosity she makes us hold our breath at the combination of clarity, dynamic variety and structural comprehension, which is faultlessly conveyed' (Musical Opinion)

'La pianiste possède en effet une très belle sonorité, travaillée et personelle’ (Classica, France)
The Toccata in C minor, BWV911 opens with a flourish, and quickly establishes the no-nonsense mood that pervades the work. A motet-like adagio then appears, the end of which returns briefly to the improvisatory style of the beginning. The rest of the toccata is taken up by one of Bach’s longest but most arresting fugues. Its very extended subject, with the teasing repetition of the opening motive, is typical of his younger years. After already going on for four pages, he introduces, after a pause, a second subject that is a terrific accompaniment to the original one, adding rhythmic impulse and excitement. Not quite content to end there, Bach returns briefly to an adagio, only to let loose in the final line with a presto descent to a low C.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2002

La Toccata en ut mineur, BWV911 s’ouvre par un trait orné et établit rapidement l’atmosphère de sérieux qui imprègne toute l’œuvre. Un adagio aux allures de motet apparaît ensuite, à la fin duquel on retourne brièvement au style improvisé du début. Le reste de la toccata est constitué d’une des fugues les plus longues de Bach qui est aussi une des plus saisissantes. Son sujet étonnamment long, avec la répétition taquine du premier motif, est typique de ses années de jeunesse. Ce n’est qu’après quatre pages qu’il introduit, après une pause, un second sujet lequel constitue un accompagnement superbe au premier, ajoutant une impulsion et une excitation rythmiques. Non content de s’y arrêter, Bach retrouve brièvement l’adagio, et ne se libère que dans le dernier système, avec une descente presto vers un do grave.

extrait des notes rédigées par Angela Hewitt © 2002
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Die Toccata in c-Moll, BWV911 beginnt mit einer schwungvollen Geste und führt schnell in die nüchterne Stimmung ein, die im ganzen Stück vorherrscht. Dann erscheint ein motettenartiges Adagio und an dessen Schluss kehrt für kurze Zeit der improvisatorische Stil des Anfangs wieder. Der restliche Teil der Toccata besteht aus einer der längsten, aber auch einer der atemberaubendsten Fugen Bachs. Das weit ausgedehnte Thema mit der neckenden Wiederholung des Anfangsmotivs ist für seine früheren Jahre typisch. Nach immerhin vier Seiten wird nach einer Pause ein zweites Thema eingeleitet, das eine hervorragende Begleitung zum ersten ist und rhythmische Impulse und Spannung einflicht. Bach gibt sich nicht damit zufrieden, an dieser Stelle zu schließen, sondern kehrt kurz zu einem Adagio zurück, um dann das Stück mit einem Presto-Abstieg zum tiefen C zu beenden.

aus dem Begleittext von Angela Hewitt © 2002
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach
CDS44421/3515CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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