Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, USA
March 2015

Not only are there no bad Angela Hewitt records, there are no merely mediocre ones. Nevertheless, if you were to speculate that she is far from an optimal Liszt pianist—simply on the basis of her history with Bach and Beethoven, among others—you wouldn’t be wrong here. Her essays accompanying her discs are as much a reason to treasure them as most of her performances of the music. When, here, she begins by saying that 'no young pianist eager to make his or her mark should totally ignore the works of Franz Liszt' you know already that she is talking about a composer that didn’t immediately speak to her. She admits as much freely but also says that she learned and now says 'throughout my career I’ve brought the Sonata in B-Minor out of the cupboard at regular intervals and always dreamed of recording it…[it] is quite simply one of the greatest works ever written for solo piano by any composer. I am as moved performing it as I am playing Bach’s Goldberg variations—although of course in a different way. Both works leave me feeling that our everyday worries are so trivial and unimportant.' Her disc is filled out with exceptional performances of the Sonetto 47 del Petrarca, Sonetto 104 del Petrarca, Sonetto 123 del Petrarca and Après une lecture du Dante–Fantasia quasi Sonata.' They are, writes Hewitt, from 'Liszt’s earlier years when his fame as a virtuoso was at its peak.' She is a fine Liszt pianist, however temperamentally out of perfect sync with the Lisztian universe (not always a fatality for a pianist. Louis Lortie was by no means temperamentally perfect to play Liszt on disc but his Liszt recording is magnificent.)