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Bach J.S: Keyboard Concertos V.1 Import

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Product Details

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (July 12 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0009K9P7K
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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1. Allegro
2. Adagio
3. Allegro
4. (First Movement)
5. Andante
6. Allegro Assai
7. Allegro
8. Affettuoso
9. Allegro
10. Allegro
11. Adagio Ma Non Tanto E Dolce
12. Tempo Di Alla Breve

Product Description

Australian exclusive! Features concertos No. 1 & 7, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and Triple Concerto. Hyperion. 2005.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9d4bedb0) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d6cad80) out of 5 stars Hewitt's Crowning Jewel July 12 2005
By Alan Lekan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The keyboard concertos are the last chapter in Angela Hewitt's monumental traversal of the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach - and may well be the crowning jewel in the entire series. (This of course assuming you prefer your Baroque served up on the piano versus the traditional harpsichord). In these concertos, Hewitt teams with the Australian Chamber Orchestra which she directed from a Fazioli Concert Grand (her other recordings were done on a Steinway).

The smaller ACO and Hewitt's gentle and sensitive playing create a more intimate, chamber-like dialog that I found quite appealing. In the scoring, Hewitt and ACO leader Richard Tognetti chose to retain the harpsichord continuo for maximum "Baroque flavor," but assigning it to more background fill around her prominent solo lines. Some will like this aspect, others might not.

What stood out to me listening to this music was - not only Angela Hewitt's graceful pianism - but the lucid performance of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. The ACO is an equal co-star in these fine recordings and match Ms. Hewitt's style and temperament nicely in this music. In particular, Richard Tognetti's violin solos are a very attractive highlight in two concertos. The sound he produces from the 1759 Guadagnini he uses is radiant. In the Brandenburg and the Triple Concerto, the two (modern) flutes not only give a truly enchanting compliment to Hewitt and Tognetti but shine as excellent soloists in themselves with an irresistable sonority and fluidity. The Hyperion recording captures all three solists in a superb sound quality.

But, certainly the main attraction is Miss Hewitt as soloist here. Hewitt is not known for bravura or overwhelming effects, but a more delicate, lyrically-rich, lilting and "heart-felt" pianism. Her always-tasteful decorative touches bring a lighthearted joy to these grand works. Her candenza in the legendary Brandenburg 5th may be more sublime than flashiness yet sparkles in its own. In these concertos, Miss Hewitt clearly shows her familiarity and total comfort with Bach and, with the ACO, gives readings that are ever-fresh and timeless. Many major reviewers in the music press seem to emphasise on how truly enjoyable these performances were to hear - in spite of being very familiar with these concertos over many years with great performances from the likes of Perahia, Pinnock, Schiff and others.

This disc scored a 10/10 for Performance/Sound Quality from ClassicsToday and a 5/5 from BBC Music. Gramophone gave it their "Gem" award. Even the non-SACD sound is great. Total time for either disc about 77 minutes. Note also that Vol. I and Vol. II are now offered together in a two-CD set. Compositions - 5 stars; Performance - 5 stars; Sound - 5 stars.

Here's Gramophone take: "Hewitt's playing is absolutely captivating; she decorates the solo part with playful, come-hither ornamentation - twirls, flutters, arabesques - and yet it never disturbs the clear, logical path she forges through the course of each work. Her staccato touch has the force of sprung steel and yet her legato line is a miracle of smoothness and transparency. An absolute joy."
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e3db45c) out of 5 stars Exhilarating July 12 2007
By Rose Vines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a stupendous CD. Angela Hewitt's glorious and sensitive touch is beautifully matched by the precision and vitality of the ACO. Although some reviewers have decried the performance of Brandenburg No. 5, to me this is a highlight. The solo at the end of the first movement is rivetting.

If I wanted to introduce someone to the glories of Bach, this is the CD I'd play to them. Turn it up loud and rejoice.
18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1949fc) out of 5 stars A reluctant four stars.. Nov. 5 2005
By Kenneth Hand - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The following is a very frank and honest review of the CD, and really is only my opinion -- so readers, and fanatical fans of the ACO, beware.

A few days ago I purchased this very recent recording of Angela Hewitt and the Australian Chamber Orchestra playing the Bach Keyboard Concertos. I have both good and bad things to say about it, after listening to the entire CD twice:

Positive = The first thing I noticed is that Angela Hewitt has grown as a pianist -- especially since her 80s CBC recording of the Bach piano concertos (which really isn't that far behind in terms of musical excellence, IMHO). However, she's well maintained the positive aspects of her style: as one reviewer puts it, "you hear a more graceful and "smoother" style of Bach" (this isn't a recent addition to her style, though, she's always played with excellent grace and smoothness). The Concerto in g- is amazing! Linda Kent also does a superb job with the subordinate harpsichord parts, which I'm about to complain about.

Negative = I'm really not too pleased that the harpsichord makes random (yes, I emphasize random, in spite of the booklet) and extremely subordinate appearances throughout the works. It's as if they wanted to honour the harpsichord, but still say, "sorry, no one plays you anymore -- get the hell out!" It randomly chimes in in the background sort of confusingly and creepily at once (except in the Brandenburg Concerto). At times, I confess, it was distracting and I began to wish the harpsichord would just take over. Not everyone likes the piano/harpsichord mix, and for VERY good reasons (to me, it's a little bit like mixing salt and sugar -- ugghh!); there is absolutely nothing wrong with using one instrument or the other (contrary to the booklet claiming that "there is no reason why it shouldn't be part of a ... recording, even when the piano is used as the solo instrument" -- is that not totally one person's opinion?! I'd like to ask Bach or any number of harpsichordists!).

The Australian Chamber Orchestra plays well in general, but the Concerto in d- isn't to my liking at all, and NOT because of Angela Hewitt (though it may well be to the liking of others). It's not nearly as tragic, I insist, as the 1958 Glenn Gould recording. They do a better job with the g-. A severe and cynical 3/5 for the ACO, except for Linda Kent.

That said, rare are the performers whom I would trust enough to hear playing Bach on a piano. Angela Hewitt is one of them. Her technique really is truly excellent, and overshadows the fact that she does over-romanticize sometimes (the #1 distinction, I believe, between her and Gould). The CD really is worth the money, if you don't mind the weirdly random piano+harpsichord mix, and especially if you're an Angela Hewitt fan; for the Concerto in d-, however, if you want to go for a piano performance, I would strongly recommend Glenn Gould's 1958 New York performance (Sony) or Angela Hewitt's 1987 Toronto recording (CBC). Both are better, especially for the first movement (Hewitt grows, but altogether I better appreciate her old recording for that one concerto). Wanda Landowska and Trevor Pinnock both have superior recordings available on the harpsichord of all of the concertos. This is a very, very serious collection of concertos, and I'm really sorry to say that I don't take it as seriously as I should. I'm torn between 3 and 3.5 stars -- so I'll give it 4.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d0279fc) out of 5 stars The Lightness of Joy Jan. 18 2007
By Lawrence Landis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Not being a musician, I cannot comment on any technical aspect of the performers' playing (except that the concertos sound just fine with a piano used as a solo instrument and a harpsicord used only as continuo).

However, having now listened to both volumes of the Keyboard Concertos several times, I know how they affect me - every time I listen, I feel better...lighter...simply more joyful.

George Leigh Mallory -- he of "Because it's there" Mount Everest fame -- also said what must surely apply to these performances: "What we get from this ... is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money; we eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for."
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1949a8) out of 5 stars Fantastic ! July 14 2005
By melomanio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is the first piano version of Bachs music that gets off with me well in recent 5years- a harpsichord aficionado, or a disciple in performances on historical instruments.this record is interesting and fancinating in putting the harpsichord in bass to piano.besides there is nothing more can be desired from either the orchestre and the pianist.a good recommendation to the period - ists of Baroque music .