Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bach JS - Keyboard Concertos - Hewitt,Tognetti 2 Vols

Bach JS - Keyboard Concertos - Hewitt,Tognetti 2 Vols
Concerto | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 2 CD, 630 MB
released 2005 | Hyperion | RapidShare

Sometimes it is hard to decribe exactly what truly makes a great performance, but when many elements come together so splendidly as they do here, you immediately recognize it. These concertos are fresh and effervescent in every aspect - from Ms. Hewitt's delicate, poised articulations to the beautiful orchestral compliment from the ACO to the excellent Hyperion-engineered sound.

Hewitt chose the Australian Chamber Orchestra after playing these works for many months with several orchestras around the world. Just hearing the first few bars of the first movement of the 6th concerto reveals how perfect Hewitt and the ACO are for each other and this music. The ACO's style and judgment are always in pefect compliment to Hewitt's playing - never overwhelming or underwhelming her gorgeous lines. If you prefer the more intimate dialog and effect of a smaller orchestra compared to the drama and power of a larger one, these performances should delight. There is a wonderful, chamber-like interaction and relaxed musicianship here that makes these performances rather irresistable and highly refreshing.

Compared to other "reference" recordings, there is more of a carefree flow of tempo - and really charm - in the Hewitt/ACO performances which have a Spring-like freshness in their appeal. Hewitt's playing is both delicate but completely commanding at the same time and blends wonderfully with the feathery tones of the two flute soloists and Richard Tognetti's masterfully appealing violin interludes. All use modern instruments, yet retain appropriate period mannerisms with sonorities that are beautiful, enhanced by superb Hyperion sound engineering. While Miss Hewitt could easily take over with her powerful Fazioli Concert Grand, she use finesse and nuance to create a more gentle interaction with the lithe ACO.

Having ten years of Bach recordings under her belt shows clearly in Hewitt's natural, at-one flow with the music - like she has penetrated the life within the music and just exudes it the most natural and intended manner like breathing. Her lines are sure and elegant and her ornamentations support the overall melody in the most delightful way that does not draw attention to the performer. Her bass 'flutters' are particularly appealing and inject nuances of artistry and excitement. This is music of top caliber and performances to be celebrated that have a timeless, ever-fresh quality that should wear well through the years. Such performances as this are one reason Miss Hewitt won the 2006 Gramophone "Artist of the Year" award.

The music industry reviews of these July '05 releases were on the positive side overall. ClassicsToday gave both CD's glowing reviews and a perfect 10/10 for Artistry/Sound Quality with Gramphone giving both discs the highest "Gem" award. Sound quality is excellent with even the non-SACD sounding brilliant and without fault (perfect balance, clarity of solists and depth of tonal textures). And with these concertos, Miss Hewitt completes her decade-long Bach traversal with a grand crescendo.

CD Content

Cd 1
# Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052
# Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 7 in G minor, BWV 1058
# Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
# Concerto for flute, violin, harpsichord, strings & continuo in A minor ("Triple"), BWV 1044

Cd 2
# Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055
# Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 3 in D major, BWV 1054
# Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 2 in E major, BWV 1053
# Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056
# Concerto for harpsichord, 2 recorders, strings & continuo No. 6 in F major, BWV 1057

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