Angela Hewitt

Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in A minor; Aria Variata; Sonata in D major; Suite in F minor

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AllMusic Review by

At the best of times under the best of circumstances, Glenn Gould was compelling, but the rest of the time, he was just nuts. Nope, when it comes to the question of who the greatest Canadian Bach pianist is, the answer is Angela Hewitt, just like when it comes to the question of who the great living Bach pianist is, the answer is Angela Hewitt. In her series of recordings of the keyboard works of Bach for Hyperion, Hewitt's brilliant virtuosity, lively intelligence, and deep musicianship have defined what it means to play Bach on the piano at the turn of the second millennium. Even in this the last volume of the series containing some of his least-known works, Hewitt is not playing "the last and the least" but, as she remarks in his notes, the best of the rest. While not the best known of Bach's works, they are, at least in Hewitt's hands, supreme works of musical craft and sublime works of spiritual beauty. From the pair of Fantasias and Fugues in A minor that open and close the program through the dolorous Variations alla Maniera Italiana to the exquisite pair of chorale preludes, Hewitt has assembled her program with taste and sensitivity. Hewitt's performances here are as fine as those of the rest of her series, as serious, as witty, as virtuosic, as lucid, and as lovely as the rest of her Bach recordings. And Hyperion's sound captures Hewitt's performances in sound as clear and warm as the rest of their wonderful recordings.

A magnificent conclusion to a monumental cycle, Hewitt's final Bach disc will appeal to anyone who loves life and Bach.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Fantasia and Fugue, for keyboard in A minor, BWV 904 (BC L136)
1
3:37
2
4:22
Aria variata, for keyboard in A minor ("In the Italian Style"), BWV 989 (BC L179)
3
2:15
4
1:19
5
1:19
6
1:24
7
1:05
8
1:30
9
1:56
10
0:55
11
0:48
12
0:59
13
2:42
Sonata for keyboard in D major, BWV 963 (BC L182)
14
2:35
15
1:08
16
2:13
17
1:01
18
1:52
Suite for keyboard in A major, BWV 832 (BC L174)
19
2:03
20
2:31
21
1:45
22
1:04
23
1:20
Suite for keyboard in F minor (fragment), BWV 823 (BC L167)
24
2:08
25
4:15
26
2:02
27
5:08
28
1:22
29
2:48
30
2:14
Fantasia and Fugue, for keyboard in A minor, BWV 944 (BC L135)
31
0:56
32
4:54
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