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Bach: Arrangements


Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir BWV29 arr. Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991)
Sonata in E flat major BWV1031 arr. Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991)
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV659 arr. Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991)
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV645 arr. Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991)
Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV639 arr. Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991)
Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd! BWV208 arr. Mary Howe (1882-1964)
Jesu, joy of man’s desiring (Part 2 No 10, Choral from Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV147) arr. Dame Myra Hess (1890-1965)
Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein BWV641 arr. Angela Hewitt (b1958)
Das alte Jahr vergangen ist BWV614 arr. Angela Hewitt (b1958)
In dulci iubilo BWV729 arr. Sir Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, Lord Berners (1883-1950)
Herzlich tut mich verlangen BWV727 arr. Sir William Walton (1902-1983)
Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn BWV648 arr. John Ireland (1879-1962)
O Mensch, bewein’ dein’ Sünde gross BWV622 arr. Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe BWV22 arr. Harriet Cohen (1895-1967)
Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott BWV127 arr. Harold Bauer (1873-1951)
Passacaglia in C minor BWV582 arr. Eugen d’Albert (1864-1932)
Alle Menschen müssen sterben BWV643 arr. Angela Hewitt (b1958)

This delightful disc offers a selection from the wealth of piano transcriptions of Bach’s music. The Bach revival that gathered momentum during the nineteenth century created a climate for many composer-pianists to interpret his works through their own piano transcriptions, whether of chorale preludes, organ works or other instrumental music. Much of Bach’s music was made domestically available via such arrangements (and the tradition continued well into the twentieth century, even after Bach originals were well known). Indeed, the practice of such transcriptions was widely used by Bach himself, who freely adapted his own and others’ music for different instrumental settings.

One of today’s finest Bach pianists, Angela Hewitt concentrates primarily on those arrangements of Bach that keep pianistic elaboration and virtuosity in proportion: whatever instrument his music is played on, Bach should still sound like Bach. Eugen d’Albert’s magnificent transcription of the C minor Passacaglia and Fugue for organ, BWV582, is included, as are five beautiful transcriptions by Wilhelm Kempff, and a number of arrangements by English composers that were included in A Bach Book for Harriet Cohen (a collection compiled for the pianist Harriet Cohen, who knew many English composers of the early twentieth century). Angela Hewitt also includes three transcriptions of her own. A fascinating companion to Angela Hewitt’s acclaimed Bach recordings for Hyperion, this ravishing disc will appeal to lovers of Bach as much as connoisseurs of the piano.