Customer Review

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish, 17 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Bach: English Suites (Audio CD)
What makes Angela Hewitt one of the most consistently stylish performers of Bach on the piano? On the one hand there is the way she exploits the resources of the modern piano. Even among today's excellent Bach pianists (Schiff, Perahia and Anderszewski spring to mind), Hewitt has developed an individual sound: consider her buoyant, almost springy touch; her bright sound; her neat articulation; her judicious application of sustaining pedal; and her use of the dynamic extremes of the piano. But one of the strengths of Hewitt's playing on the other hand is her exceptional grasp of historical style. For Glenn Gould, a self-proclaimed admirer of Nietzsche, Bach's keyboard writing was contrapuntal material to be given shape by the will (and in Gould's case, some would say whim) of the interpreter. Hewitt by contrast understands the suites as the product of Bach's unique engagement with the styles of the period. Particularly important is the influence of the 'French' style for the pieces; there is little, as her excellent liner notes observe, that is 'English' about these pieces. So even the courantes (played, Hewitt notes, in the manner of a 'romp' by most pianists) are given a charming and elegant, courtly treatment, and are taken at a slower pace than is often heard. Though admittedly one may miss some of the drive which Schiff or Perahia bring to these, Hewitt is probably right and her playing wholly engaging. There are Italian echoes too, which Hewitt brings out in her colourful playing of the concerto-like opening of no. 3, for example; and, lastly, no shortage of Teutonic vigour, too (the opening of no. 6 is awesomely played). It's this attention to style and detail which makes for a striking and individual recording of the English suites, which must count as one of the best since Perhaia and Schiff. To think of Hewitt simply as a tasteful player (which she is) doesn't do justice to the combination of elan and idiom she brings to much of this music. A gripe, however, is the quality of the sound. Suites no 1,3,6 were recorded separately from 2,4,5. To my ears, the latter (for example in the vigorous opening movement of no. 2) sounded a little muddy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.1 out of 5 stars (8 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
A Customer