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CD Review

Johann Sebastian Bach

Arrangements for Piano

  • Sinfonia in D Major "Wir danken dir, Gott", BWV 29 #1
  • Sonata for Flute & Harpsichord in E Flat Major, BWV 1031: Siciliano
  • Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645
  • Orgelbüchlein: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639
  • Orgelbüchlein: Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV 641
  • Orgelbüchlein: Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 614
  • Orgelbüchlein: Alle Menschen müssen sterben, BWV 643
  • Orgelbüchlein: O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde gross, BWV 622
  • In dulci jubilo, BWV 729
  • Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727
  • Meine Seele erhebet den Herren, BWV 648
  • Kommst du nun, Jesu, BWV 650
  • Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, BWV 22: Sanctify us
  • Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208 "Hunt Cantata": Schafe können sicher weiden
  • Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring"
  • Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott, BWV 127: Die Seele ruht in Jesu Händen
Angela Hewitt, piano
Hyperion CDA67309 70m DDD
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Bach's immortal music has always been the territory for adventurous arrangers to portray their own feelings and emotions created by this tremendous composer. This delightful disc, superbly played by Hewitt brings together some legendary names, all perhaps associated at one time or another with the master.

Wilhelm Kempff was a pianist of titanic mastery, his arrangement of the sublime 'Wachtet auf' is a tribute from one genius to another. The name of Mary Howe may not come to mind immediately but her splendid arrangement of 'Sheep may safely graze' is indeed the work of a craftswoman. Myra Hess and Lord Berners are familiar names from the concert scene and their contributions are big and heavy handed stuff, very much reminiscent of the old pre war days. Other contributors include Walton, Ireland, Howells, Cohen and Harold Bauer with Eugene d' Albert also putting in his fine reworking of the C minor Passacaglia, in my opinion, Bach's greatest work for organ and beyond.

Hewitt also puts in some of her own arrangements; she is indeed the Bach pianist of the moment. Indeed the notes include a poignant signed reference to Hewitt's father who introduced her to the sublimity and mightiness of Bach; she is certainly carrying on the good work. This is another fantastic disc from the Hyperion stable.

Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech