Updated: Mar 8
Piano odyssey, The Bach Odyssey, and the Well - Tempered Clavier
London is a fantastic city in many ways and the musical life is vibrant and inspiring. At the same time, there might be Martha Argerich performing at Royal Albert Hall and Andras Schiff playing at Royal Festival Hall. You can't really ask for more: the standard of Concert Halls, Recitals, performers in the capital of the UK is just outstanding and musicians, arts lover, professionals and amateurs can enjoy a varied and amazing music scene.
"The Bach Odyssey" by Angela Hewitt
On the 20th of January, I booked a ticket to listen to Angela Hewitt at Wigmore Hall in her unique Bach's project called "The Bach Odyssey" in which she offers a Bach's feast in all his glory through a series of Recital spreading over 4 years (2016-2020) performing the King of counterpoint opera omnia.
In that evening, she performed the whole series of Bach's French Suites which came alive in a new dramatic light with a crisp, lively, and vivid rhythmical texture.
I have been a fan of Angela Hewitt since young age and listening to her performing live for the first time it has a been a truly inspiring experience.
I could clearly sense her being one thing with the Music and especially with Bach's compositions by her effortless performance. The feeling of creating that Music in that moment was wonderful plus as a Pianist I know how difficult it is performing Bach: it is like walking on a string. Everything has to be crystal clear and it is important to keep singing the line of each voice. It is like telling 3-4 stories (3-4 voices played by different fingers) at the same time and it's fundamental to keep on going with each plot because they are different but yet still connected to each other.
All these stories were flowing beautifully under Angela's finger with a clear direction and dexterity of keeping alive the architecture of the various voices. I was also impressed by her stage presence: her elegance and grace were translated into a refined tone and her beautiful smile turned her into a human Piano goddess!
I strongly recommend to my students and readers who might or might not know to listen to Angela's Hewitt "The Bach Odyssey". Probably, it won't be a life changing experience but it will definitely make you want practise and enjoy Piano even more.
Here an extract from Angela Hewitt's page, telling the relation with Bach since she was a child:
" How fortunate I was to have a father who was a cathedral organist and played all those great organ works with such passion, intelligence, and dramatic flair! I remember as a young child holding my breath during the G minor Fantasia and Fugue, the C minor Passacaglia—knowing it would all be resolved triumphantly at the end.
My father also arranged the great Toccata and Fugue in D minor for the whole family—2 pianos, 8 hands—when I was maybe 10 years old. I danced to Bach, sang Bach, played him on the violin and recorder, tried him out on the harpsichord….and in the end put all that experience into playing his music on the piano "
Wigmore Hall presents Angela Hewitt and "The Bach Odyssey" :
And if you're currently learning piano... Don't miss Emma's article about piano lessons for adults!
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