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CD Review

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Keyboard Suites

  • Pièces de clavecin (1724, revised 1731) - Suite in E minor
  • Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (c. 1729-30) -
  • Suite in A minor
  • Suite in G minor
Angela Hewitt, piano
Hyperion CDA67597 78m DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe
Also released on Hybrid Multichannel SACDA67597
Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe

Although the Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt has forged a reputation as one of J.S. Bach's foremost interpreters, her other attractions are undoubtedly the contemporary and the French baroque. So it is no wonder that she has decided to tackle Rameau, a venture which few pianists before have undertaken. The reasons for this are not hard to comprehend, as Rameau's keyboard works are saturated with so many ornaments and interpretational lollipops, that they run the risk of losing their dramatic content.

But having already conquered Couperin, it was only logical for Hewitt to turn to Rameau and his finely balanced yet daunting compositions. She is undoubtedly a master pianist, gifted with a natural refined finger technique and musical sensibility that can bring to the baroque style, the clarity of texture and line it needs to make it sound opulently embellished.

In these renditions, she admirably harnesses all the ornamentations, and none are shirked. Her contrapuntal understanding is never amiss, and where warranted, she plays with a tenderness that is almost beyond fragility.

Rmeau's personality was prone to a fiery quality which he often poured into his pieces and I would have preferred Hewitt to have been more adventurous in this respect. But that said, her legion of fans can put their mind at rest, as this is another tour-de-force from this keyboard wizard.

Another jewel of this issue are the annotations by Hewitt herself, a must read treasure-trove of historic and technical facts. Yet another memorable addition to the Hewitt discography in fine sound and glorious presentation.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech