Angela Hewitt talks to the Guardian about her battle with Bach

Pianist Angela Hewitt has played Bach everywhere from Beijing to Bogotá. But she always avoided his final work – thinking it was too tough.  On Tuesday 2 October she opens the International Piano Series 2012/13 with the first of two Royal Festival Hall recitals that focus on the composer’s final masterpiece, The Art of Fugue.

In an article in The Guardian on Wednesday 19 September, Angela relives how she overcame fear and major surgery to love The Art of Fugue:

“The first time I managed to play it through at home without stopping, I got goosebumps.  Its perfection is such that when I perform it, even the slightest cough feels like a stain on a beautiful canvas. The composer and critic Wilfrid Mellers put it perfectly when he said that, in The Art of Fugue, Bach “plays to God and himself in an empty church”. Few pieces have such simultaneous intimacy and grandeur. By performing and recording it over the next few years, I hope that music-lovers around the world will come to share my state of wonder.”

Read the full article

Listen to our International Piano Series podcast with Angela Hewitt

Angela Hewitt performs the Art of Fugue at the Royal Festival Hall on 2 October and 7 May as part of the International Piano Series 2012/13.

Pianist Angela Hewitt talks about her forthcoming recitals

There are two chances to catch Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt at Southbank Centre. Tomorrow’s International Piano Series recital includes a Bach Partita, Beethoven’s Eroica Variations and Brahms’ Handel Variations.  Angela writes:

“My programme pairs two suites of the Baroque period with two of the greatest masterpieces ever written in variation form. It is well known that Beethoven played a lot of Bach as a boy, but perhaps less so that Brahms was greatly attracted to the music of many Baroque composers (including Couperin whose keyboard works he edited in the 1880s). I always wanted to pair a Handel Suite with the mighty Brahms/Handel Variations to show that the connection between the two does not end with the theme. Even Brahms can benefit from a ‘dusting off’ and a fresh look at the score.”

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Then on Monday 4 April she performs concertos by Bach and Mozart with Britten Sinfonia. In this podcast, she talks to Fiona Talkington about how her playing of Bach and Mozart is infused with song and dance, and discusses directing from the piano.

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