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Well Tempered Clavier Book II BWV 870-893
Angela Hewitt (Piano)
A Stunning New Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2
Bach’s Recording for 1999

K-6

Bach: Das Wohltemperirte Clavier Book 2

WTC 2: 24 Preludes & Fugues BWV 870-893

Angela Hewitt (piano)

Hyperion

Aug 1998; Mar 1999

2-CD / TT: 147:34

Reecorded at the Beethovensaal, Hannover, Germany.
Review: Hewitt's recordings of the Well Tempered Clavier
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

A Stunning New Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

Donald Satz wrote (July 17, 1999):
Bach's Well Tempered Clavier is one of the monuments of classical music. It can be approached on many levels: one giant entity, two large books, a series of 48 groupings of preludes and fugues, and ninety six distinct musical pieces. I tend to favor the "96" approach and find the two books to consititute Bach's greatest musical accomplishment. Imagine 96 pieces of music spread over about 4 hours, each piece having its own unique combination of style and emotions conveyed, each piece being a masterful representation of music at its finest.

This is where the new Hewitt recording on Hyperion of Book 2 enters the picture. I listened to it twice last night, and one overriding thought kept popping into my mind; Hewitt perfectly captures the emotions of each prelude and fugue. It's a stunning performance, and I know of none better. Recorded sound is excellent as well - typical Hyperion piano sound.

I just have one little reservation. In the first prelude, I would have preferred a more extensive legato. But, given how superbly Hewitt plays all the other preludes and fugues, this reservation becomes rather trivial.

So, Hewitt, in my opinion, joins Gould, Aldwell, and Martins, in giving us superb/highly distinctive piano readings of Book 2. Although Hewitt gets every emotion right, the one which I think most applies to her interpretation is "exuberant". There's a dance-like element that Hewitt highlights whenever appropriate; I was entranced by it.

 

Bach’s Recording for 1999

Donald Satz wrote (November 9, 1999):
Being a major Bach fan and not having the long-term mind of Ian Crisp, I thought it might be interesting to get the list's opinion of the best Bach recording in 1999. I'll tally whatever results come in, and the only requirements are that the recording was issued around the 1999 time frame and that you say something (anything) as to why you consider your selection an excellent one.

I think there have been many superb Bach recordings over the past year. Some that stand out are Schepkin's Well Tempered Clavier, Book 1 (Ongaku), St. John Passion (BWV 245) from Suzuki (BIS), one or two volumes of the cantatas from Koopman (Erato) and Suzuki (BIS), and Tureck's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) from DG.

The above are all great, but I'm going with Angela Hewitt's WTC, Book 2 from Hyperion. As the years go by, Hewitt keeps maturing as an artist of great inspiration. I think she has hit a new peak with Book 2. She performed every prelude and fugue as if she had a direct connection to Bach's mind. The imagery within me has never been as strong as with her set. Recorded sound is excellent. Hewitt delivers the entire package. Get her Book 1 also and enjoy a great evening/night of some of the best music ever written.

 

Well Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 846-869: Details
Recordings:
Until 1950 | 1951-1960 | 1961-1970 | 1971-1980 | 1981-1990 | 1991-2000 | From 2001
Comparative Review:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
WTC I - D. Barenboim [D. Satz] | WTC I - D. Barenboim [P. Bright] | WTC I - L. Beausejouir & A. Vieru | WTC I - T. Fellner | WTC I - E. Fischer | WTC I - M. Horszowski | WTC I - C. Jaccottet | WTC I - R. Kirkpatrick | WTC I - T. Koopman | WTC I - W. Landowska | WTC I - R. Levin | WTC I - O. Mustonen | WTC I - E. Parmentier | WTC I - S. Richter | WTC I - S. Schepkin
General Discussions:
Part 1
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
WTC I - T. Fellner
Well Tempered Clavier Book II, BWV 870-893: Details
Recordings:
Until 1950 | 1951-1960 | 1961-1970 | 1971-1980 | 1981-1990 | 1991-2000 | From 2001
Comparative Review:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
WTC II - D. Barenboim [P. Bright] | WTC II - G. Cooper | WTC II - F. Gulda | WTC II - A. Hewitt | WTC II - R. Kirkpatrick | WTC II - J. Middleton
General Discussions:
Part 1
Well Tempered Clavier Books I&II, BWV 846-893:
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
WTC I&II - B.v. Asperen, S. Ross & G. Wilson | WTC I&II - E. Crochet | WTC I&II - O. Dantone | WTC I&II - S. Feinberg | WTC I&II - A. Hewitt | WTC II&II - T. Nikolayeva | WTC II&II - L. Thiry [N. Halliday] | WTC I&II - Z. Ruzickova

Angela Hewitt: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Review: Hewitt's recordings of the Well Tempered Clavier | A Stunning New Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 / Bach Recording for 1999 | Review: Toccatas played by Angela Hewitt | Hewitt’s English Suites | Review: Hewitt’s Goldberg Variations | Angela Hewitt Bach’s Recital Disc on Hyperion | Hewitt Bach arrangements [Bright] | New Album by Angela Hewitt [McElhearn]
Bach-Hewitt: Works | Recordings

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Last update: ýMay 20, 2008 ý21:21:46