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Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier / Angela Hewitt


Release Date: 09/11/2007 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 44291   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Angela Hewitt
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Among modern-day piano recordings of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Angela Hewitt's has long held a favored place for its stylish perception, controlled virtuosity, intelligent application of dynamics, and warm, beautifully balanced sonics. The pianist phrases fugue subjects and answers with remarkable uniformity and uses sectional repeats as opportunities for subtle ornamentation or shifts in voicing. For the more extroverted Preludes, don't expect the vehemence and bravura in which Koroliov and Ashkenazy revel. Instead, Hewitt's tempos, no matter how slow or fast, always appear to be governed by the precepts of song and dance, or else relate to analogous motivic and rhythmic gestures in Bach's choral and orchestral works.
Read more /> This especially seems true when the tempos surprise. For instance, the granitic, pesante character Hewitt brings to the A minor fugue in Book 1 justifies her uncommon deliberation, while by contrast she imparts a feeling of two rather than six beats to the bar in the Book 2 G-sharp minor fugue that casts a refreshing, lilting light on a piece that's often interpreted in a severe, overly reverential manner.

To mark Hewitt's 2007/08 Bach World Tour, Hyperion brings Books 1 and 2 together at a reduced price in a space-saving box, with preludes and fugues separately tracked, excellent booklet notes by Hewitt, and a catchy cover photo. If you missed Hewitt's "48" the first time around, don't look this gift horse in the mouth.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, BWV 846-869 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Angela Hewitt (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Venue:  Beethoven Hall, Hannover, Germany 
Length: 116 Minutes 37 Secs. 
2. Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, BWV 870-893 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Angela Hewitt (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1742; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Beethoven Hall, Hannover, Germany 
Length: 147 Minutes 34 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Fugue no 9 in E major
The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude no 11 in F major
The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude no 6 in D minor

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