The English Suites

The English Suites

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)

Hyperion Records CDA 67451/2

Recorded towards the end of Angela Hewitt’s Bach cycle, the English Suites are large-scale, virtuoso works demanding a complete mastery of Baroque style and technique.

Another tour de force from this wonderful player’ (The Independent)

‘The standard of excellence Angela Hewitt has set in previous instalments in her Hyperion Bach cycle continues unabated with the English Suites’ (BBC Music Magazine)

BEST CLASSICAL ALBUM (SOLO OR CHAMBER), JUNO AWARDS 2005, CANADA

COMPACT DISC 1 (72’11)

English Suite No 1 in A major BWV806
1. Prelude (2’08)
2. Allemande (4’31)
3. Courante I (1’58)
4. Courante II (7’14)
5. Sarabande (5’14)
6. Bourrée I and II (4’00)
7. Gigue (2’52)

English Suite No 2 in A minor BWV807
8. Prelude (4’09)
9. Allemande (4’04)
10. Courante (2’15)
11. Sarabande et les agréments de la même Sarabande (3’30)
12. Bourrée I and II (4’04)
13. Gigue (3’11)

English Suite No 3 in G minor BWV808
14. Prelude (3’14)
15. Allemande (4’12)
16. Courante (2’53)
17. Sarabande et les agréments de la même
18. Sarabande (5’39)
19. Gavotte I and II (3’31)
20. Gigue (2’47)

COMPACT DISC 2 (72’54)

English Suite No 4 in F major BWV809
1. Prelude (4’33)
2. Allemande (3’23)
3. Courante (1’56)
4. Sarabande (3’52)
5. Menuet I and II (3’41)
6. Gigue (3’10)

English Suite No 5 in E minor BWV810
7. Prelude (4’37)
8. Allemande (4’18)
9. Courante (2’30)
10. Sarabande (3’01)
11. Passepied I and II (3’19)
12. Gigue (2’46)

English Suite No 6 in D minor BWV811
13. Prelude (7’23)
14. Allemande (4’49)
15. Courante (2’51)
16. Sarabande (8’09)
17. Gavotte I and II (4’29)
18. Gigue (3’24)

The English Suites was Bach’s first cycle of dance suites, although the works therein are much grander than the later French Suites. There is nothing “English” about them (other than a dedication), and in fact the first one is extremely French in style, quite reminiscent of the French harpsichord school. The greatest of them is the Sixth with its powerful opening Prelude and final Gigue, contrasted by the charm of the Gavottes.

Available in both standard CD and also multi-channel surround-sound hybrid SACD formats.

Recorded in Henry Wood Hall, London, on 4-7 August 2002 (Suites 1, 3 and 6) and 31 March, 1-3 April 2003 (Suites 2, 4 and 5)

For online sales in Canada, please go to: http://angelahewitt.ca

Available audio excerpts from this recording

English Suite No. 5 in E minor – Gigue
English Suite No. 6 in D minor – Gigue
English Suite No.2 in A minor – Prelude
English Suite No.3 in G minor – Prelude
English Suite No. 4 in F major – Prelude
English Suite No. 6 in D minor – Gavotte I
English Suite No. 6 in D minor – Sarabande

Reviews of this record

Ottawa Citizen / Richard Todd
Radio 3 / Andrew McGregor
The Independent / Andrew Clarke
The Sunday Times / Hugh Canning