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Bach: Italian Concerto and French Overture


Angela Hewitt’s recordings of J S Bach’s keyboard works are rapidly being seen as the definitive modern survey on the piano. Such is her natural affinity for Bach’s style, her aliveness to his dancing rhythms and her sensitive use of the modern instrument, that she is the natural successor to a prestigious line of great Bach pianists.

This disc includes works from the second and third volumes of Bach’s Clavierübung (Keyboard Practice). In the Italian Concerto and French Overture Bach demonstrates not only his skill as translating to the keyboard two of the most popular orchestral genres of the time, but also his natural assimilation of their respective national characteristics, while remaining true to his own style. These are among his happiest inspirations. The Italian Concerto brims with joyous thematic invention and allusions to solo and orchestral contrasts, while the French Overture (often called a Partita) is a lively dance suite. The Four Duets, rather like more mature Two-part Inventions, and the youthful Capriccios complete a sunny and inspirational disc.

Italian Concerto in F major BWV971 (12’44)
1 (untitled] (3’41)
2 Andante (5’38)
3 Presto (3’25)

Capriccio in B flat major ‘on the Departure of his Beloved Brother’ BWV992 (10’07)
4 Arioso (1’58)
5 Andante: Fugato (1’09)
6 Adagissimo (3’17)
7 Aria Introduction (0’28)
8 Aria di postiglione: Adagio poco (1’04)
9 Fuga all’ imitazione della cornetta di postiglione (2’11)
10 Capriccio in E major ‘in honorem Johann Christoph Bachii Ohrdrufiensis’ BWV993 (5’13)
11 Duet in E minor BWV802 (2’45)
12 Duet in F major BWV803 (2’32)
13 Duet in G major BWV804 (3’24)
14 Duet in A minor BWV805 (2’01)

French Overture in B minor BWV831 (32’19)
15 Ouverture (12’09)
16 Courante (2’27)
17 Gavotte I (1’23)
18 Gavotte II (1’25)
19 Gavotte I da capo (0’46)
20 Passepied I (1’09)
21 Passepied II (0’56)
22 Passpied I da capo (0’43)
23 Sarabande (4’00)
24 Bourrée I (0’52)
25 Bourrée II (1’03)
26 Bourrée I da capo (0’29)
27 Gigue (2’32)
28 Echo (2’25)

“This disc is one of the finest volumes in Hewitt’s continuing Bach cycle, with marvellous engineering to match. Highly recommended” (International Record Review)

“Hewitt’s playing radiates joy, wit and profound understanding of the composer's keyboard style. This series is one of the record glories of our age” (The Sunday Times)


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