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Track(s) taken from CDA67310

Toccata in D major, BWV912


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 22 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 major, BWV912 is no doubt the most popular today. The brilliant opening bars, reminiscent of the Prelude and Fugue, BWV532 for organ in the same key, already contain a tremolo figure that will reappear later on. Then comes an allegro that happily exchanges the motifs between treble and bass. After its final flourish, Bach introduces an adagio in recitative style – the melody being interrupted by the tremolo figure, now heard as a distant murmur rather than a brilliant rattle. An expressive bridge, using the ‘sigh’ motif, leads us into a fairly tranquil fugue in F sharp minor. Another transition, this time marked ‘con discrezione’, suddenly turns into a presto in which the excitement can hardly be contained. It then breaks loose into a gigue fugue of tremendous energy and rhythm. Then Bach goes one step further and writes a truly virtuoso passage to finish with – or at least almost, as he returns to the improvised adagio style for the final cadence.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2002

La Toccata en ré majeur, BWV912 est sans aucun doute la plus populaire à l’heure actuelle. Rappelant le Prélude et Fugue, BWV532 pour orgue écrit dans la même tonalité, les premières mesures pleines de brio dévoilent un motif tremolo qui sera ultérieurement exploité dans la partition. Puis survient un allegro où le soprano et la basse échangent avec bonheur les éléments thématiques. Après le dernier embellissement, Bach introduit un adagio conçu dans le style récitatif – la mélodie étant interrompue par le motif tremolo, lequel est alors perçu comme un murmure distant et non un colifichet éclatant. Un pont expressif, exploitant le motif « en soupir » nous mène à une fugue assez tranquille en fa dièse mineur. Une autre transition, marquée cette fois « con discrezione », se transforme soudainement en un presto où l’excitation peut difficilement être contenue. Celui-ci s’épanouit en une gigue fuguée d’une énergie et d’un rythme époustouflants. Allant encore plus loin, Bach écrit ensuite un passage véritablement virtuose en guise de conclusion – ou du moins quasiment en conclusion puisqu’il retrouve le style improvisé de l’adagio pour la cadence finale.

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

Die Toccata in D-Dur, BWV912 ist heutzutage sicherlich die beliebteste. In den brillanten Anfangstakten, die an Präludium und Fuge derselben Tonart, BWV532 für Orgel erinnern, erscheint schon eine Tremolofigur, die später wiederkehren wird. Dann kommt ein Allegro, in dem die Motive fröhlich zwischen Sopran und Bass ausgetauscht werden. Nach dessen Schlussgeste leitet Bach ein rezitativisches Adagio ein – die von der Tremolofigur unterbrochene Melodie wird nun als entferntes Gemurmel wahrgenommen und nicht mehr als brillantes Rasseln. Eine expressive Überleitung führt mit dem „Seufzermotiv“ in eine relativ ruhige fis-Moll-Fuge. Eine weitere Überleitung, diesmal mit „con discrezione“ überschrieben, verwandelt sich plötzlich in ein Presto, das vor Lebhaftigkeit fast übersprudelt. Es folgt eine sehr energische und rhythmische, Gigue-artige Fuge. Dann geht Bach noch einen Schritt weiter und fügt fast zum Schluss eine hochvirtuose Passage an. In der Schlusskadenz kehrt er zu dem improvisierten Adagio-Stil zurück.

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

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