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Angela Hewitt (Piano)

New Album by Angela Hewitt


Bach Arrangements

Bach-d'Albert: Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582, transcribed for piano [11:45]
Bach-Bauer: Aria for Soprano (Mvt. 3) from Cantata BWV 127, transcribed for piano [5:29]
Bach-Berners: Chorale prelude In Dulci Jubilo, BWV 729, transcribed for piano [2:01]
Bach-Cohen: Chorale Ertödt uns durch dein Güte (Mvt. 5) from Cantata BWV 22, transcribed for piano [2:28]
Bach-Hess: Chorale Jesu, joy of man’s desiring (Mvt. 10) from Cantata BWV 147, transcribed for piano [3:50]
Bach-Hewitt: Chorale Prelude Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 614, transcribed for piano [2:40]
Bach-Hewitt: Chorale Prelude Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV 641, transcribed for piano [2:29]
Bach-Hewitt: Chorale Prelude Alle Menchen müssen sterben, BWV 643, transcribed for piano [3:15]
Bach-Howe: Aria for Soprano Schafe können sicher weiden (Mvt. 9) from Cantata BWV 208, transcribed for piano [5:47]
Bach-Howells: Chorale Prelude O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross, BWV 622, transcribed for pianos [5:24]
Bach-Ireland: Chorale Prelude Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn, BWV 648, transcribed for piano [1:20]
Bach-Kempff: Sinfonia (Mvt. 1) from Cantata BWV 29, transcribed for piano [4:01]
Bach-Kempff: Siciliano in G minor from Flute Sonata BWV 1031, transcribed for piano [3:54]
Bach-Kempff: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659, transcribed for piano [5:43]
Bach-Kempff: Wacht auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 645, transcribed for piano [4:18]
Bach-Kempff: Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639, transcribed for piano [2:48]
Bach-Walton: Chorale Prelude Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727, transcribed for piano [2:36]

Angela Hewitt (piano)


Apr 2001

CD / TT: 69:57

Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, London, England.
Review: Hewitt Bach arrangements
Buy this album at:

Mark Zimmerman wrote (October 2, 2001):
There's a new CD by Angela Hewitt of peoples transcriptions of pieces by Bach by many people for piano. I heard excerpts from it last week on WFMT here in Chicago and from what I heard both sound and performances are fantastic. It's on Hyperion and the catalog number is 67309.

Stuart Sinclair wrote (October 2, 2001):
Greetings from New Zealand. I fully agree wityh the comments below. I have had this CD for a month now and it is hardly ever out of the CD player/(well almost not.) It has transcriptions of Sleepers Awake, Sheep, may safely Graze, and Jesu Joy of Man`s desiring to name but 3.May I reccomend you purchase this? It really is superb.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (October 2, 2001):
[To Mark Zimmerman] Here's my review of it:

The latest release in Angela Hewitt's recording of Bach's keyboard music for piano, is very different from the other discs she has recorded. This disc comprises a set of transcriptions of Bach's music for other instruments - organ works, orchestral pieces, chorales from cantatas. Many composers have tried their hands at arranging various works by Bach. Bach himself did so as well, in many cases, altering his own compositions in the adaptation for other instruments.

One can easily criticize such an endeavor, saying (justly so) that these arrangements are not Bach's music, but the music of Bach and Kempff, or Bach and Busoni, or, even, Bach and Hewitt, for the pieces she arranged herself. But Hewitt gives an excellent explanation of her motivation for doing this: "Nowadays, at the beginning of the twenty-first century and after the huge early music revival and its preoccupation with 'authenticity', it is still possible to present such transcriptions and awaken interest in many a listener to a work previously unknown to them (or indeed shed a different light on music generally familiar). They will be cherished as long as performers, amateur or professional, want the challenge of playing something on an instrument for which it wasn't originally conceived (and, in the case of Bach and the piano, is very different from the instrument known to the composer) simply to say in their own way how beautiful, wondrous, or monumental a certain work may be, and to share their enthusiasm for it."

In any case, this disc contains a wide variety of works, much less homogeneous than Hewitt's other Bach recordings. This is, in fact, its strength, but also its weakness. It is more of a recital disc than her other recordings, each of which was (with one exception) a complete set of a specific series of works. Here we have chorale preludes for organ together with choral movements from cantatas; the well-known chorale prelude Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, with its familiar melody, sounds nothing at all like its organ version, yet fits well with this type of transcription. The long Passacaglia in C minor, originally for organ, works relatively well on the piano as well. While many of the nuances are very different from the powerful organ, the piano brings out different tones and gives this interesting work a new sound.

Yet, I cannot help but be disappointed by this disc. Overall, it is a hodgepodge of pieces that lack coherence. Not all the organ chorals work on the piano - the more sombre ones sound fine when played on the lower notes of the keyboard, but some of the more upbeat chorale preludes, such as Sanctify us by Thy goodness, lack depth.

Perhaps Angela Hewitt is running out of Bach - she has, indeed, recorded all of his keyboard music, with the exception of the Art of Fugue. She has decided to record this disc, it seems, to be able to have more Bach to play. While not in any way a poor disc, it sounds, to me, as the weakest recording in her series, partly because of the actual music, and partly because it does not all fit together well.

One cannot, however, be disappointed by Hewitt's recordings of Bach's music. This disc will please those who are true lovers of her wonderful technique. But, if you have not yet acquired her other Bach recordings, you would be better off heading for her wonderful Goldberg Variations, or her exquisite French Suites. One can only hope that she will soon record the Art of Fugue, culminating her excellent series of Bach recordings.


Feedback to the Review

Peter Bright wrote (October 2, 2001):
Yes, this transcriptions recording was released in the UK in early to mid August. I wrote a (very) brief review at the time which I've reposted below in case anyone is interested.

See: Hewitt Bach arrangements [Bright]


Angela Hewitt: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
A Stunning New Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 / Bach Recording for 1999 | Review: Toccatas played by Angela Hewitt | Hewitt’s English Suites | Review: Hewitt’s Goldberg Variations | Angela Hewitt Bach’s Recital Disc on Hyperion | Hewitt Bach arrangements [Bright] | New Album by Angela Hewitt [McElhearn]

Instrumental Works: Recordings, Reviews & Discussions - Main Page | Order of Discussion
Recording Reviews of Instrumental Works: Main Page | Organ | Keyboard | Solo Instrumental | Chamber | Orchestral, MO, AOF
Performers of Instrumental Works: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


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