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Bach: Bach Arrangements CD

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MIDEM Classical Awards 2010: Instrumentalist of the Year
GRAMOPHONE: Artist of the Year 2006

“It was a positive sensation. The Canadian pianist is one of the reliably mesmerising musicians of the day. You sit entranced….it would have been more accurate to say I was floating just below the ceiling. She seems to me the complete performer, gifted not only with fingers that ... Read more in Amazon's Angela Hewitt Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: Bach Arrangements + Bach: Art Of Fugue [Angela Hewitt] [Hyperion: CDA67980]
Price For Both: £25.46

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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (25 July 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00005N8CU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sinfonia in D Minor
2. Siciliano in G minor
3. Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland
4. Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme
5. Ich Ruf' Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ
6. Sheep May Safely Graze
7. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
8. Wenn Wir in Hochsten Noten Sein
9. Das Alte Jahr Vergangen Ist
10. In Dulci Jubilo
11. Herzlich Tut Mich Verlangen
12. Meine Seele Erhebt Den Herrn
13. O mensch, bewein' dein' Sunde gross
14. Sanctify us by Thy Goodness
15. Die Seele Ruht in Jesu Handen
16. Passacaglia in C Minor
17. Alle Menschen Mussen Sterben

Product Description

Product Description

This delightful disc offers a selection from the wealth of piano transcriptions of Bach's music. The Bach revival that gathered momentum during the nineteenth century created a climate for many composer-pianists to interpret his works through their own piano transcriptions, whether of chorale preludes, organ works or other instrumental music. Much of Bach's music was made domestically available via such arrangements (and the tradition continued well into the twentieth century, even after Bach originals were well known). Indeed, the practice of such transcriptions was widely used by Bach himself, who freely adapted his own and others' music for different instrumental settings. One of today's finest Bach pianists, Angela Hewitt concentrates primarily on those arrangements of Bach that keep pianistic elaboration and virtuosity in proportion: whatever instrument his music is played on, Bach should still sound like Bach. Eugen d'Albert's magnificent transcription of the C minor Passacaglia and Fugue for organ, BWV582, is included, as are five beautiful transcriptions by Wilhelm Kempff, and a number of arrangements by English composers that were included in A Bach Book for Harriet Cohen (a collection compiled for the pianist Harriet Cohen, who knew many English composers of the early twentieth century). Angela Hewitt also includes three transcriptions of her own. A fascinating companion to Angela Hewitt's acclaimed Bach recordings for Hyperion, this ravishing disc will appeal to lovers of Bach as much as connoisseurs of the piano.


Since Bach constantly reworked his own music, it's always been seen as fair game that others should do so too. Angela Hewitt's disc of Bach arrangements thus stands in a noble tradition, as well as carrying it boldly on into the future. But if three of these 17 short pieces are Hewitt's own recompositions, others are welcome discoveries from the near-forgotten past. None of Busoni's majestic arrangements is here, but instead we find fascinating pieces by a plethora of English composers including Lord Berbers, Herbert Howells and William Walton. Hewitt's own liner notes are a mine of information--some of it being comic, much of it highly illuminating--as well as providing a guide to her own keyboard philosophy. And her playing is as superb as we now expect: in D'Albert's version of Bach's stupendous Passacaglia in C Minor, she somehow manages to make the piano sound like a large organ echoing through a church. In other modes she can be plangent, frisky, hesitant or imbued with the most gorgeous cantabile: she seems to have a hotline to the religious fervour Bach wanted to evince. This disc may be built up out of a collection of favourite encores, but in sum it's a feast. --Michael Church

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Aug 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection of Bach 'arrangements' makes a fascinating addition to Angela Hewitt's excellent ongoing series of Bach recordings for Hyperion. Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the disc is that Hewitt avoids the well-known transcriptions by Busoni and opts, alongside transcriptions by Wilhelm Kempff and Myra Hess, for less frequently heard pieces. Kempff's transcriptions have of course been made famous by his own stunning recording for DG (recently reissued!). They are gems of their kind and Hewitt gives lovely performances of five of them here - including the chorale preludes 'Ich ruf zu Dir', 'Wachet auf' ('Sleepers' wake') and the haunting G minor Siciliano. Alongside Myra Hess's famous arrangement of 'Jesu, joy of man's desiring' other highlights of the disc are Mary Howe's 'Sheep may safely graze' and Lord Berner's 'In dulci jubilo'. The disc also contains three transcriptions by Hewitt herself, who imparts to them a wonderful and tender reflective quality. Hewitt's own beautiful and simple version of 'Wenn wir in hoechsten Noeten sein' (from the Orgelbuechlein) was for me the most exquisite piece of playing on the recording. An important feature of the disc is that Hewitt - whose Bach recordings are of an exemplary purity - plays the pieces as transcriptions and as products of the time when the works were transcribed, not afraid to invest them with a pianistic flourish or a romantic gesture when appropriate. All of which makes for a rewarding release: possibly the best Bach piano transcription recording since Kempff himself?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nina Peterson-Tait on 7 Jan 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Angela Hewitt is a inspiring exponent of Bach. I was particularly thrilled to hear the great Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor a favourite piece which I have never heard on the piano. I was not disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Simon Dismore on 21 Jun 2004
Format: Audio CD
It's worth emphasising that this CD is in the best sense music for everyone. You don't need any knowledge of the original works to enjoy these transcriptions which are often vastly different in tone and vigour but still retain their essences of reflection and spiritual uplift. I received it as a surprise gift and was won over by the first track. Expert listeners will not be disappointed by the quality and Ms. Hewitt's sleeve notes are superb. Having played a few tracks back-to-back vs. the Deutsche Grammophon Orgelwerke CDs I suspect that even the most austere Bach followers will find some of the changes stimulating - for example, releasing the Passacaglia (track 16) from slow pedal work on the organ. You will not regret adding this to your CD collection.
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