Bach: Miscellaneous Keyboard Works

2004-07-02 / The Times, London / Geoff Brown

We all know good things come to an end, but there was palpable sorrow when I realised that the pianist Angela Hewitt had reached the end of her Bach cycle for Hyperion. Over the past ten years, nine releases have covered most of the landmark keyboard works. The tenth presents bits and pieces, well ordered, from across Bach´s career.
I´d be tempted to purchase the disc for track 20 alone, the jaunty Air pour les trompettes from the A major Partie, though you find the smile in her fingers in many other places. For awesome transparency in counterpoint, try the A minor fugue; for a Niagara of notes, go for the extraordinarily precipitant BWV 944 fugue, also in A minor, the last track of all. But dipping in for highlights is not really recommended; you miss the satisfying pattern Hewitt creates from key signatures, moods, and formats.
Question of authenticity hover around some items, but Hewitt´s handiwork there is never a doubt. Sparkle, gravity, beautiful tailoring, subtle colours, intellectual fire: every ingredient this repertoire needs lies at her beck and call. I only wish there were ten more Bach releases to follow.