Angela Hewitt

Bach: The Six Partitas [2018 Recording]

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As a specialist in Johann Sebastian Bach's keyboard music, Angela Hewitt has recorded some of his works more than once, as she did with the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Goldberg Variations. It's not surprising that she has recorded the Six Partitas on two occasions for Hyperion, the first time in 1996-1997, and then this double-disc late in 2018, as part of her "Bach Odyssey" recital series. This interpretation doesn't differ greatly from her earlier set, but mostly in small matters of dynamics and phrasing, so the listener may have to flip a coin to choose between them. Even so, something must be said for a performer who periodically revisits the touchstones of her career, and lets the differences arise naturally from her years of thinking, playing, and recording, rather than by introducing radical changes or distracting novelties. Hewitt's consistent expressions have given her performances an organic quality, so the music always feels particularly shaped according to her sound and touch. This recording was made on Hewitt's own Fazioli piano, so the personal connection between the artist and a favorite instrument must not be overlooked. Hyperion's sound is immaculate, recorded in the Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel in Dobbiaco, Italy, and the recording is fully audible with credible presence.

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