Hyperion CDA68341 [75’57]

We are constantly being encouraged to meditate during – and beyond – these still uncertain times. Researched, put together and recorded during lockdown, this album with its musical declarations of love across the centuries would be an ideal accompaniment to any such activity.

Among the 23 tracks there are some you will probably recognise such as Schubert’s Ständchen (‘Serenade’) and An die Musik (‘To Music’), Gluck’s Orpheus’ Lament & Dance of The Blessed Spirits, Grieg’s Last Spring and Ich liebe dich (‘I love you’), and Gershwin’s Love Walked In arranged by Grainger, as is Irish Tune From County Derry.

For the rest there are pieces by Schumann, Richard Strauss, Stötzel, Fauré and De Falla. I particularly enjoyed Angela’s own arrangement of the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No 5 (remember its use in the film ‘Death in Venice’?). All are melodic, many with an almost spiritual quality to the piano playing. Ideal for late-night listening even if you are not meditating.

Angela Hewitt (born 1958 in Ottawa, Canada) is one of the world’s leading pianists – in 2015 thanks to her popularity she was inducted into Gramophone magazine’s Hall of Fame. She has also written the 15 pages of closely printed booklet notes. For her, this alluring release is very much a labour of love.

Footnote: Angela plays an Italian Faziola piano. Her previous customised four-pedal £150,000 instrument, treasured as her “best friend”, was broken beyond repair when it was dropped by specialist instrument movers in Berlin in January 2020.

© Peter Burt 2021

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