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PERFECT LEGATO

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'... as honest and durable a tribute to the unending delights
of Bach's mastery as one could wish for.'

Angela Hewitt plays Bach -
by DAVID WILKINS

 

Current political debates notwithstanding, J S Bach, it seems, can be claimed as a Europhile ahead of his time. This lovely disc from recent history's second great Canadian Bach pianist might pose other questions about Commonwealth loyalties. Suffice it to say, however, that Angela Hewitt has none of Glenn Gould's (irritating or irresistible according to taste) mannerisms. She plays the music of Italian and French influenced -- but always, of course, irrepressibly Germanic, Bach -- with affection entirely free of affectation, cleanly and honestly recorded by Hyperion's superb engineering and absolutely without intrusive point-making.

Bach - French Overture, Italian Concerto, Four Duets, Two Caprices - Angela Hewitt (p) 2001 Hyperion Records Ltd.

The two vital works here are those from the second part of the Klavierubung. In the first movement of the Italian Concerto, she immediately establishes a degree of piano / forte dynamic differentiation that refutes any argument that you must have a two-manual harpsichord for this music. The Andante has a fine sense of inwardness, not overburdened with pathos and a perfectly-weighted continuity of the bass line's legato and staccato elements. There is no sense of the clockwork in the Presto's joyous exchanges between hands -- enough to inspire the amateur pianist or, more likely, make him weep.

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Copyright © 5 August 2001 David Wilkins, Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - HYPERION CDA67306

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