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Re: Hewitt's live goldbergs

On the subject of Gould and Hewitt:

Kim wrote
> >Intensely so. Really brought me to tears. Perhaps this is
> >what Jim meant by 'Gould brought back as a woman.'

And she is right.

I was trying to say she played like Gould, though I understand the
confusion.  It did sound in my email like Hewitt played like Gould.  Which
isn't true.  As Kim said, and thank you Kim for a trying to make positive
sense of my  comment, I meant I find her Bach more moving than any other
pianist's besides Gould.  But she's moving in a patient, sweet, nurturing
way.  She takes the repeats.  She's lyrical, a bit romantic, has a full

Oh, and one other thing, I do have a sense of humor and sometimes makes
jokes and not everything I say should be taken literally.  Hewitt channeling
Gould was a metaphor and a joke and not meant literally.

Hewitt's great.   Her approach isn't radical like Gould's.  As John Hill
says she seems much more respectful to Bach's wishes than Gould's, but isn't
this a good thing?  Don't we need definitive and orthodox recordings of
works?  Let's take Gould's Mozart as an example.  Are there really people
out there who would rather listen to his Mozart, because it's new and fresh,
rather than Hewitt's more orthodox and somewhat romantic Bach?  How about
Gould's Haydn?  The Toccatas disc?  There probably are a few, but not many.

  But what I'm really trying to say is that there are many ways to play a
piece of music and the most radical is not the most legitimate and the most
respectful is not the least valuable.  They are simply different
interpretations.  Different discs to fit our different moods.  And to play
Bach as well as she does, listen to the Inventions or the Partitas, is a
significant accomplishment.  Many other's think so as well.

I should also say that documentation and cover art on these discs are

Here's some information on Hewitt from her Hyperion website:


In 1994 she embarked on a recording of all of the major keyboard works of
Bach for Hyperion. The Inventions, French Suites and Partitas have all been
included in Gramophone magazine's 'Editor's Choice' and are receiving
worldwide acclaim for their artistry, 'effortlessly eclipsing all
competitors' (Gramophone, 1997). Her recording of Book I of The
Well-Tempered Clavier was chosen by two London Sunday Times critics as one
of their 'Top Ten for 1998', and won a Juno Award in Canada.

On the Goldbergs

'After five days of recording sessions last August, Angela Hewitt returned
in the small hours of September 1 to give a complete "performance" for a few
friends of the Bach's Aria with Diverse Variations. Fortunately, the
engineers decided to keep the tapes rolling, for this, according to
Hyperion's executive director, Ted Perry, is the "take" Hewitt and Hyperion
decided to release. The resulting record is a miracle of music-making at its
most instinctive and spontaneous. Even by Hewitt's exalted standards it is
extraordinary: in the brilliant toccatas, she creates, with her amazing
articulation, the illusion of the music being plucked by the modern piano's
hammers; her virtuosity and joie de vivre in the fast variations - try 1, 14
and "the most dangerous of all the toccatas", No 20 - take the breath away.
She also penetrates the heart of the great 13th and 25th variations without
false romantic sentiment. The reprise of the Aria at the close - after a
majestic variation 29 - is shattering. If you only buy one Bach album in
this anniversary year, let it be this one. A desert-island disc!' (The
Sunday Times)
'It is a remarkable achievement, arguably the best to appear on disc since
Glenn Gould's second celebrated recording from 1981... [It] is the sheer
technical command of her playing, coupled with such elegantly supple
musicianship, that makes the performance so compelling... Everything is
right, everything is natural - this is Bach on the piano of the highest
quality imaginable.' (The Guardian)
'Outstanding...Hewitt's disc, exquisite artistry commingling with infectious
exhilaration gives me the most pleasure.' (BBC Music Magazine)
'Beautifully co-ordinated Bach playing, with all voices colourfully defined
and spontaneity as a constant virtue. In my view, she has never made a
better CD. Strongly recommended.' (Gramophone)
'This is as fine a version of Bach's inventive Goldberg Variations as there
is.' (The Express)
'Hewitt is one of the very finest Bach interpreters around. She possesses
all the mechanical skills needed to master the difficulties facing the
soloist, but never loses sight of the humanity that is evident in every
note... Playing of the highest order, and one of the finest recordings of
this work you're ever likely to hear.' (The Scotsman)

On the Partitas:

'One of the outstanding Bach pianists of our time, her playing of the great
Partitas is something very special indeed. She is formidably equipped for
this demanding music - technically, musically, intellectually. These are
discs to play again and again and marvel at the artistry' (The Sunday Times)
'Effortlessly eclipsing all competition . . . the whole disc gives unalloyed
pleasure; definitely one of my choices of the year' (Gramophone)
'Everything has been deeply considered. Everything works. Hewitt makes a
beautiful, limpid sound; her ornaments are exquisitely precise as well as
sounding natural; she uses the subtle shadings and variations of volume
possible on the piano without swamping the music. Technically the paying is
faultless ... superbly poised, light and joyous. Indeed, that would sum up
the entire set' (Classic CD)
'Hyperion gives us something to treasure here. I recommend this set without
reservation' (Radio Eireann, Ireland)
'Pouvait-on imaginer Bach aussi limineux, brillant? . . . un exercice
'parfait', à écouter et é réécouter pour un savourer toute la puissance,
toute l'éloquence (Répertoire, France)
'For this pair of discs only superlatives will do. Replete with
inventiveness at its most outstanding. My appreciation of this Canadian
pianist is enormous; I classify her among the top performers of our time'
(Soundscapes, Australia)
'Une interprète qui mérite d'être suivi avec la plus grand attention'
(Diapason, France)

On the French Suites

'Hewitt's playing makes Bach's music live, for me, in a way that even the
greatest harpsichordists do not' (The Sunday Times)

On the Inventions:

'Performances of exemplary clarity and craftsmanship' (CDReview)
'As close to how I would choose to hear [the music] as I have yet had the
pleasure of doing' (Gramophone)



'The first recorded performances by a pianist of Book I that have made me
want to hear them many times over. Strongly recommended' (Gramophone)
'Angela Hewitt's version of Book I eclipses all others; hers will become the
benchmark recording ... special and uniquely enchanting' (BBC Music
'The Canadian pianist may not regard herself as a Bach specialist, but her
brilliant and profoundly musical playing of the first 24 preludes and fugues
of the "48" goes straight to the top of available piano versions' (The
Sunday Times)
'Performances of exceptional grace and beauty' (BBC Music Magazine)



'Since she won the 1985 Toronto Bach competition, Angela Hewitt has
established herself as the Bach pianist par excellence of her generation.
Here she crowns her enthralling set of Book 1 of the "48" with a performance
of Book 2 that no lover of Bach's keyboard works will want to be without. It
is impossible to catalogue the manifold felicities of her playing in a short
review, but the variety of colour and mood she brings to this music is
irresistible throughout.' (The Sunday Times)
'A delight to both ear and mind. I have nothing but enthusiasm for Angela
Hewitt's musicianly and imaginative performances' (Gramophone)
'Hewitt has set a new benchmark. Her touch is admirably clear and light, her
choices of tempo make perfect musical sense and, a trained dancer, she is
uniquely attuned to Bach's supple, sprightly rhyhms. A '48' of exceptional
grace and beauty' (BBC Music Magazine)
'I know of no musician whose Bach playing on any instrument is of greater
subtlety, beauty of tone, persuasiveness of judgement or instrumental
command than Hewitt's is here' (BBC Music Magazine)
'It ranks with the best ever set down. Subtle, daring (yet never
idiosyncratic), continually alive to the two most enrapturing features of
Bach's music (dance and song), she exhibits a rhythmic vitality and
sophistication matched by very few' (The Piano)
'Her [Angela Hewitt's] sound and articulation seem ideally suited to the
music... highly recommended.' (International Record Review)