Warwick Thompson
July 2021

When, like all musicians, Angela Hewitt saw her work dry up in March 2020, she used her time to realize a 20-year ambition to record an album of love song transcriptions. Whether it was the extra time for research, or the emotional upheaval of the pandemic, or just happenstance, the results have an irresistible passion and emotional openness. If, like me, you’ve appreciated Hewitt as a performer of control and precision, then prepare to throw your hat in the air listening to the wild rubato of Widmung (Schumann/Liszt), or thrill to her joyously uninhibited Cäcilie (Strauss/Reger). But even these are topped by two arrangements of her own, of Bist du bei mir (Stölzel attr. Bach) and the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No 5.

The simplicity, variety of colour, emotional intensity, the unabashed pathos … I could almost thank the pandemic for giving her the chance to reflect such love as this, with all its pain, tears and joy.