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Bach: English Suites Double CD

3.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Double CD, 22 Aug 2003
£22.72 £8.17
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (22 Aug. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0000BX5L4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,666 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Prelude
  2. Allemande
  3. Courante 1
  4. Courante 2
  5. Sarabande
  6. Bourree 1 and 2
  7. Gigue
  8. Prelude
  9. Allemande
  10. Courante
  11. Sarabande Et Les Agrements De La Meme Sarabande
  12. Bouree 1 and 2
  13. Gigue
  14. Prelude
  15. Allemande
  16. Courante
  17. Sarabande Et Les Agrements De La Meme Sarabande
  18. Gavotte 1 and 2
  19. Gigue

Disc: 2

  1. Prelude
  2. Allemande
  3. Courante
  4. Sarabande
  5. Menuets 1 & 2
  6. Gigue
  7. Prelude
  8. Allemande
  9. Courante
  10. Sarabande
  11. Passepied 1 and 2
  12. Gigue
  13. Prelude
  14. Allemande
  15. Courante
  16. Sarabande
  17. Gavotte 1 and 2
  18. Gigue

Product description

Product description

Suites anglaises n°1 BWV806, n°2 BWV807, n°3 BWV808, n°4 BWV809, N°5 BWV810, n°6 BWV811 / Angela Hewitt, piano

BBC Review

These Bach Suites are about as English as...Angela Hewitt, who follows in fellow Canadian pianist Glenn Gould's footsteps as a revered performer of Bach's keyboard music, while sounding absolutely nothing like him. The English Suites seem to have got the name because Bach intended them for 'an Englishman of rank' as an early biographer put it. The First Suite is positively French in style, while the others are more Italianate...if you've ever shuddered at the extremes of expression, interpretation, tempi and noises-off in Gould's Bach, then Hewitt should be a profound pleasure.

This is playing of such clarity and intelligence that you're encouraged to follow every strand of Bach's counterpoint, and in contrast to performers who make Bach feel brow-knittingly complicated, there's a luminous simplicity about Hewitt's playing. Gould fans (and I have my moments) shouldn't find this emotionally pallid either; with Hewitt the expressive nuances and dynamic contrasts don't feel as though they're superimposed. Instead you're drawn into her world, and Bach's, where you're never yelled at or forced to be impressed.

That's not to say that there isn't effervescent, energetic playing - there's plenty, but while brisk tempi are allowed, there's no rush, which gives Hewitt time to let every voice speak, and for her ornamentation to be impeccably delivered. Her early training in classical ballet seems to have paid off as well: she never forgets the origins of Bach's movements in dance numbers, and they step lightly and elegantly, with no vulgar whirling or posturing. The two famous Gavottes from the Third Suite are a perfect example, poised and clearly voiced, with the detached brilliance of the first Gavotte in complete contrast to the finger-legato of the second, so there's no need to change the tempo.

Some listeners may feel that Hewitt's English Suites are under-characterised, but she never needs to shout to make her point. Her booklet notes are as clear and engaging as her playing, and on the pair of hybrid CD/SACDs to which I've been listening, the recorded sound matches the musical qualities on show; crystal clear and pleasantly resonant. Everything just so, nothing out of place, no extremes... and no it's not boring, it's beautiful. Angela Hewitt's Bach is also bang on schedule: just one more volume to come in 2004, ten years after the series began. I'll be waiting in line: it's been a consistently fascinating journey

Like This? Try These:

JS Bach: The Toccatas (Angela Hewitt)

CPE Bach: Sonatas and Rondos (Mikhail Pletnev)

JS Bach: Goldberg Variations (András Schiff) --Andrew McGregor

Find more reviews on the BBC Music website Links off site

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28 November 2014
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17 September 2003
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16 December 2003
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