Jeremy Siepmann
BBC Music Magazine
October 2014

Replete with all the Angela Hewitt virtues—among them, unfailing clarity, innate elegance, an unerring sense of proportion, a finely honed mastery of style, melodic finesse and an unobtrusive grasp of harmonic rhythm—these are exemplary performances. Stylistically, they are very much of their time, falling midway between the 'Beethovenian', 'revisionist' tendency of the mid-20th century, repudiating the earlier essentially miniaturist 'Dresden China' tradition, and the sometimes rather antiseptic, musicologically-'enlightened' approach of the century's final third. The prevailing tonal palette, from soloist and orchestra alike, is appropriately lean but always beautifully focused and elegantly applied. Operatic in the best sense, Hewitt is more concerned with dialogue, not only between the two hands but within all levels of the texture, than with conventional notions of 'vocal' cantabile.

But what finally renders Mozart's operas supreme (and I maintain, loosely, that he never wrote anything but opera) is not the matchless subtlety and characterisation of the dialogue, but the continuous development of the individual characters and the relationships between them. What I most miss here, and I recognise that I may be in a small minority, is precisely that feeling of development, which necessarily relies on vivid and varied characterisation in the first palce. I feel this throughout, though never more so than in the C minor Concerto, especially the slow movement, where the uniquely Mozartian tension between harmonically loaded melody and the essentially neutral, often near-static nature of metre is spoiled by an excessive sense of symmetry.