Angela Hewitt Performed and Recorded with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in February 2005, a Perfect Collaboration Resulting in Two Volumes of Bach Keyboard Concertos.
This delectable collection of Bach Keyboard concertos is so unsullied by tradition or a point to prove that the listener is left refreshed. Angela Hewitt plays with such warmth and song-like smoothness in the slow movements that they are little islands of repose in the midst of Bach's perky outer movements, which Hewitt and conductor-violinist Richard Tognetti launch with unmatched verve, rhythmic thrust and quick-but-never-rushed tempi. The Fifth Brandenburg and the Triple Concerto also call for a violin and flute and Togneti and Alison Mitchell are ideal partners to Hewitt: the give and take seems simply like great "jamming." Every note is clear and each soloist (and the fine Australian Chamber Orchestra) adds ornaments which are pert and welcome. The big cadenza in the Fifth Brandenburg is like liquid--beautifully flowing and well-articulated by Hewitt--and while the virtuosity is never in doubt, she never draws attention to herself. She plays a modern piano and the Orchestra play modern instruments, but early-music performance practice and style are very much in evidence (including a harpsichord in the continuo section). This is Bach playing of the highest order and splendid entertainment. --Robert Levine