on 6 July 2003
It is amazing that Bach's Partitas are the first compositions that he published, though he had written hundreds of others before them. It is also sobering that he had to pay for their publication, as he did for many of the 12 works that were published in his lifetime. [About 1080 compositions have survived, but it is thought that Bach probably wrote about 2000.]
These pieces are among the best of Bach's keyboard works and are played beautifully by Angela Hewitt. I enjoy hearing them played on harpsichord, too, but when they are played on the piano, I want the performer to treat it like a piano as Ms Hewitt does.
She plays stylistically, but is not afraid to occasionally use the pedal and to use the dynamic resources of the piano. I also recommend her set of French Suites.
on 28 March 2000
This is Bach-playing of the highest possible standard. Angela Hewitt writes that she aims to make this music sing and dance, and she succeeds perfectly. The melodies and phrasing are those we would expect of the finest singer - the minute variations in tempi enable every phrase to breath, and the wonderfully subtle gradations of loud and soft give shape to the simplest tune. Her tempi are always well-judged, and the pointing of the rhythms give bounce and spring.
If you have been put off Bach's keyboard music by performances that chug along like a sewing machine, forget them. If you have been bored to tears by performers who have been taught that Bach must be played with strict tempi and no rubato, then this is the place to start your listening again.
The simpler the music looks on the printed page, the greater the skill needed to play it well. In Angela Hewitt we have a performer with this skill in abundance.
The recording is close but pleasantly resonant.
on 11 March 2009
Bach's Partitas by Angela Hewitt are absolutely marvellous and captivating, specially the Menuet of Partita No 1, as well as the Partita No 6 as a whole, which doesn't lessen the other Partitas, as the two CDs are exceptionally beautiful and enrapturing.
on 18 December 2010
Angela Hewitt is certainly one of the best piano players of our time. She did an excellent job in this collection, and I truly wonder how vividly she has brought out all the inspiration and beauty of the Bach's work. Recommended to every one who wants to enjoy Bach's keyboard pieces to the most!