Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67310

Toccata in D minor, BWV913


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: 11 minutes 42 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 D minor, BWV913 was possibly the first to be composed. It is one of the longest of the seven but, in a lively interpretation, holds our interest throughout. The counterpoint in its two fugues is slightly less complicated, making it easier for students to grasp. The other sections, however, require an excellent sense of timing and understanding of harmonic progressions which need to be innate. There are quick changes of mood and tempo in the opening pages, the bulk of which are occupied by a passage including the ‘sighing’ motif that was very prevalent at the time (and which we also hear in the early Capriccio on the Departure of his Beloved Brother, BWV992). Both fugues are built on fairly short subjects that stay rooted in D minor, rapidly moving from voice to voice. The concluding one is very orchestral in style, ending abruptly in the major key. In between the fugues we have another of those curious bridge passages where Bach seems to wander (as much as he ever wanders!) from key to key, repeating the same figuration. In this case the wandering has the effect of calming us down, and preparing us for the final allegro.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2002

La Toccata en ré mineur, BWV913 est peut-être la première à avoir vu le jour. Si elle est la plus longue des sept, elle soutient néanmoins notre attention tout du long, en particulier lorsque l’interprétation en est enjouée. Le contrepoint de ses deux fugues est légèrement moins compliqué, ce qui permet aux étudiants de l’appréhender plus facilement. Les autres sections, cependant, requièrent un sens excellent du moment juste et une compréhension fine des marches harmoniques, deux éléments qui doivent être innés. De brusques changements d’humeur et de tempo apparaissent dans les premières pages où figure un passage plus important élaboré sur un motif « en soupir », une figure omniprésente à l’époque (et que l’on peut aussi entendre dans le Caprice sur le départ de son frère bien-aimé, BWV992). Les deux fugues sont écrites sur des sujets relativement concis ancrés en ré mineur, évoluant rapidement de voix en voix. De style particulièrement orchestral, la dernière fugue prend fin abruptement, en majeur. Entre les fugues, nous pouvons découvrir de curieux passages transitionnels, des ponts où Bach semble vagabonder (pour autant qu’il ne le fit jamais !) de tonalité en tonalité, répétant le même motif. Dans le cas présent, ce vagabondage a pour effet de nous calmer et de nous préparer à l’allegro final.

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

Die Toccata in d-Moll, BWV913 ist möglicherweise als erste komponiert worden. Sie gehört zu den längsten der sieben Toccaten, vermag jedoch in einer lebhaften Interpretation die Spannung durchweg aufrechtzuerhalten. Der Kontrapunkt der beiden Fugen ist weniger komplex und daher für Schüler einfacher zu bewältigen. Die anderen Teile verlangen jedoch ein besonders gutes und angeborenes Rhythmusgefühl und Verständnis der harmonischen Fortschreitungen. Auf den ersten Seiten sind viele Stimmungs- und Tempowechsel, von denen viele eine Passage mit dem „Seufzermotiv“ enthalten, das zu jener Zeit vorherrschend war (es ist ebenso hörbar in dem frühen Capriccio sopra la lontananza del fratello dilettissimo, BWV992). Beide Fugen haben relativ kurze Themen, die in d-Moll verwurzelt bleiben und sich schnell von Stimme zu Stimme bewegen. Das letzte klingt sehr orchestral und endet abrupt in-Dur. Zwischen den beiden Fugen steht eine der kuriosen Brückenpassagen Bachs, in der er von Tonart zu Tonart zu wandern scheint (so Bach je „wandert“!) und dieselbe Figurierung wiederholt. In diesem Falle hat das „Wandern“ die Funktion, den Hörer zu beruhigen und auf das schließende Allegro vorzubereiten.

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)
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...