Rameau on Hyperion

2007-03-03 / Daily Telegraph / Elizabeth Roche

Rameau: Keyboard Suites
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Hyperion SACDA67597, £12.99

There is something about Angela Hewitt’s playing of these three substantial suites which leaves the listener entirely convinced that the piano is as capable as any early 18th-century instrument of realising Rameau’s intentions.

Indeed, in less extrovert descriptive pieces such as the G minor Suite’s gently melancholy Les Triolets”, it enhances the music’s tender expressiveness without sounding at all anachronistic.

On the other hand, the crispness and clarity of Hewitt’s tone, the sensitivity of her touch and the exquisite precision of her ornaments mean that the clucking hen in “La Poule”, and the gloriously spontaneous-sounding efflorescence of birdsong in “Le Rappel des oiseaux” (from the G minor and E minor Suites respectively) are as characterful as any connoisseur of Baroque keyboard playing could wish for.

Dance movements are equally well served, from the nobility and grandeur of the A minor Suite’s Courante with its sonorous spread chords, to the E minor’s charming pair of lyrical rather than sprightly Gigues. Every piece is the epitome of Parisian elegance.”