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Angela Hewitt #1297183
10/31/09 12:08 PM
10/31/09 12:08 PM
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I like some of Hewitt's Baroque piano works, particularly Couperin & Rameau. While touted as a preeminent Bach expert, I find her interpretations a bit lacking, (preferring Gould & Guida).

While viewing you tube, I enjoy studying her piano technique and in particular her elbow motion and hand articulations. But, I find her facial expressions over-the-top and very distracting. I appreciate that she is attempting to convey emotionality but it is in high contrast with the expressions of Argerich who I find is much preferrable.

In summary, a very ambivalent opinion of Hewitt.

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Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Amant] #1297188
10/31/09 12:11 PM
10/31/09 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Amant
But, I find her facial expressions over-the-top and very distracting.

Perhaps you could close your eyes?


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jazzyprof] #1297208
10/31/09 12:38 PM
10/31/09 12:38 PM
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I agree - I've used the word 'vanilla' before to refer to her Bach. She's obviously a very strong pianist technically speaking but I just find her stuff uninteresting. If you like Gould you should check out Rosalyn Tureck - especially the partitas. Old recordings (1949-50) but really amazing. Gould once claimed that Tureck was his *only* influence.


Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jnod] #1297216
10/31/09 12:51 PM
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Bring not much of a GG fan, I much prefer Angela. But there are others...

I listen on CDs.

Last edited by Bart Kinlein; 10/31/09 12:52 PM.

Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!
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Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jazzyprof] #1297226
10/31/09 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Originally Posted by Amant
But, I find her facial expressions over-the-top and very distracting.

Perhaps you could close your eyes?


Yeh, but then I wouldn't know when to open them to study her hand motions.

PS - I do like Turek, just don't care for the 1950's HiFi sound, (wish they would digitally clean them up). Feltsman is not bad and Till Fellner has a certain charm. Love Fou Ts'ong's Scarlatti & Handel. But the Bach boomerang keeps returning to Gould.

PSS- I do enjoy watching the techniques of the master pianists on YouTube. Just finished watching Lazar Berman - WOW!, (he sit very near the piano and rather far back on the bench). It is interesting to see Gould and how he sits very low to minimize upper arm motion while placing the weight on his forearms to maximize finger control, (and with relatively flat fingers too). Horowitz plays with relatively flat fingers as well. There is a great clip of Marcus Roberts playing Rhapsody in Blue with the Berliner Philharmoniker led by Ozawa - a true study of hand motion. The early Argerich Chopin pieces are wonderful studies - Brilliant!

Hewitt's "Bach Performance on the Piano" excerpts are very good, (but gosh-darn, only if they didn't show her painful facial expressions they would be better). I wish there were more youtubes from master pianists describing their techniques and approaches ala Hewitt's excerpts.

Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Amant] #1297243
10/31/09 01:42 PM
10/31/09 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Amant

Hewitt's "Bach Performance on the Piano" excerpts are very good, (but gosh-darn, only if they didn't show her painful facial expressions they would be better). I wish there were more youtubes from master pianists describing their techniques and approaches ala Hewitt's excerpts.

I have Hewitt's dvd set "Bach Performance on the Piano" and I absolutely love watching her. I find her facial expressions quite engaging. She seems to be so emotionally involved with the music that she just can't help herself. That is the power of Bach's music if one truly understands it and feels the underlying passion. Actually I find Ms Hewitt quite pretty in an elegant, old world sort of way. Hmm, maybe I have a crush on her. smile


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jazzyprof] #1297248
10/31/09 01:53 PM
10/31/09 01:53 PM
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Hmm, I haven't seen her on youtube videos- I'll have to check them out. I listen to her Bach Preludes and Fugues on CD though and they are absolutely gorgeous. I love her articulations and clarity.

Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jazzyprof] #1297258
10/31/09 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Actually I find Ms Hewitt quite pretty in an elegant, old world sort of way.


I think overall she seems genuinely a nice kind person. But she projects an ambivalent stage persona. Yeh, elegant, refined and controlled in a old world Victorian sort of way but also a bit prim, priggish and prudish. She is both warm and cold simultaneously.

Her emotionally involvement just seems a bit contrived (not that it is not truly sincere). It's just theatrically over-the-top for me. Maybe I can just train my dog to yank at my sleeve at the appropriate youtube segment intervals while I'm listening with eyes closed.

Last edited by Amant; 10/31/09 05:20 PM.
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Amant] #1297294
10/31/09 03:41 PM
10/31/09 03:41 PM
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i really like Angela's Bach and haven't noticed any facial expressions.. perhaps i've watched the wrong films. i find her interpretation so intelligent - but, i am a fairly simple minded pianist.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: apple*] #1297324
10/31/09 05:10 PM
10/31/09 05:10 PM
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Of course, we're all individuals - no reason why we should all like the same thing.....


Justin
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Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: apple*] #1297334
10/31/09 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by apple*
i really like Angela's Bach and haven't noticed any facial expressions.. perhaps i've watched the wrong films. i find her interpretation so intelligent - but, i am a fairly simple minded pianist.

Yes! The word "intelligent" seems so fitting to describe Angela.

I also can't seem to find any vids in which her facial expressions are "over-the-top". Amant, could you clarify by giving us a link to one of such performances?

Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Amant] #1297349
10/31/09 06:06 PM
10/31/09 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Amant
I like some of Hewitt's Baroque piano works... I find her interpretations a bit lacking, (preferring Gould & Guida). But, I find her facial expressions over-the-top and very distracting...
What do you find particularly lacking in her interpretations? Her facial expressions really bother you? I never even noticed... Have you ever seen (or heard) Gould perform? If you find her expressions distracting, I'm surprised you tolerate Gould.

She's not my favorite pianist by any means, but I think she is a fine musician.

Daniel


Currently working on:
-Poulenc Trois pièces
-Liszt Harmonies du Soir
-Bach/Brahms Chaconne for Left Hand
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Ridicolosamente] #1297358
10/31/09 06:24 PM
10/31/09 06:24 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKx7ePuIsi0

Here's Angela Hewitt performing Bach Prelude and Fugue in F sharp major (BWV 882). I think she resembles a young Queen Elizabeth. She's quite regal! If only I could articulate Bach like she can! I'd love to see her perform someday! I also wonder who she studied with and who are her students?

Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: whatevsyo] #1297376
10/31/09 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Remnant
Originally Posted by apple*
i really like Angela's Bach and haven't noticed any facial expressions.. perhaps i've watched the wrong films. i find her interpretation so intelligent - but, i am a fairly simple minded pianist.

Yes! The word "intelligent" seems so fitting to describe Angela.

I also can't seem to find any vids in which her facial expressions are "over-the-top". Amant, could you clarify by giving us a link to one of such performances?


I agree, her approach is studied, intelligent & elegant but for me there is something lacking (maybe a spark of some sort?) I agree with a previous post that finds her vanilla.

Now, regarding her face, here's a couple which are just too much for me:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAeLjliS1LY
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O40CSWiqDkw
(in that last one, shot as a reflection off the shiny lid - so it appears staged, choreographed and contrived: what not, with those upraised eyes as if she awakening from a petite mal epileptic seizure.)

For comparison, Argerich:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mFDXNODNyc
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCSEwfqs-VM
(IMO, Argerich shows passionate emotion but in a non-distracting way. For me, Argerich has a quiet, perhaps even serene, intensity.)

Last edited by Amant; 10/31/09 09:42 PM.
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Ridicolosamente] #1297379
10/31/09 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted by Amant
I like some of Hewitt's Baroque piano works... I find her interpretations a bit lacking, (preferring Gould & Guida). But, I find her facial expressions over-the-top and very distracting...
What do you find particularly lacking in her interpretations? Her facial expressions really bother you? I never even noticed... Have you ever seen (or heard) Gould perform? If you find her expressions distracting, I'm surprised you tolerate Gould.

She's not my favorite pianist by any means, but I think she is a fine musician.

Daniel


Yes, she is a fine musician and articulates well. As said before, I enjoy her Couperin & Rameau. But her Bach; for me there is something lacking. Perhaps a deficient degree of forcefulness & aggressiveness in attacking passages ala Tureck, Gould, or even Argerich playing that Partitia in the youtube segment posted above. BTW, I have the same knock with Schiff. Hewitt & Schiff are too passive for me. They always play it safe.

Re: Gould. I enjoy his forceful iconoclastic playing. He doesn't play it safe. Sometimes he succeeds, sometime he fails, but he is still fresh. I get a kick out of him. For anyone else it would be irksome but his hum-alongs turn 2 part inventions into 3 parts, and so on. How do you manage to capture that on a piano-disc system?

Last edited by Amant; 10/31/09 09:43 PM.
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Amant] #1297419
10/31/09 08:14 PM
10/31/09 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Amant

Now, regarding her face, here's a couple which are just too much for me:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAeLjliS1LY
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O40CSWiqDkw
(in that last one, shot as a reflection off the shiny lid - so it appears staged, choreographed and contrived: what not, with those upraised eyes as if she awakening from a petite mal epileptic seizure)

Amant: The videos you cite are instructional videos Ms Hewitt made at the Fazioli factory. In an instructional video the setting is not so formal and one may exaggerate to make a point. Those are not performance videos. Take a look at her real performance videos on Youtube and see if you feel the same way about her facial expressions. Here:





"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jazzyprof] #1297429
10/31/09 08:33 PM
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I love Bach on a harpsidhord (and tracker organs) But Ms. Hewitt (again, among others) makes a great case for the piano. Each voice can be brought out as needed, given the dynamics of the piano. I didn't understand this until I started to seriously study Bach.


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Yahama CVP-401
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Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Bart Kinlein] #1297442
10/31/09 08:56 PM
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I prefer Hewitt to Gould any day for Bach or anyone else. It's also easier for me to stomache since she isn't nearly as pompous! wink

I actually listened to her Chopin nocturnes the other day and found I was pleasantly surprised. I thought she was some sort of Baroque specialist but it seems she's not quite half-bad with Romantic music either (although I still like Ashkenazy and Ohlsson more for the nocturnes).


Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Bart Kinlein] #1297454
10/31/09 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Bart Kinlein
I love Bach on a harpsidhord (and tracker organs) But Ms. Hewitt (again, among others) makes a great case for the piano. Each voice can be brought out as needed, given the dynamics of the piano. I didn't understand this until I started to seriously study Bach.


Agreed. As stated before: "I wish there were more youtubes from master pianists describing their techniques and approaches ala Hewitt's excerpts."

Last edited by Amant; 10/31/09 09:45 PM.
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jazzyprof] #1297498
10/31/09 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Originally Posted by Amant

Hewitt's "Bach Performance on the Piano" excerpts are very good, (but gosh-darn, only if they didn't show her painful facial expressions they would be better). I wish there were more youtubes from master pianists describing their techniques and approaches ala Hewitt's excerpts.

I have Hewitt's dvd set "Bach Performance on the Piano" and I absolutely love watching her. I find her facial expressions quite engaging. She seems to be so emotionally involved with the music that she just can't help herself. That is the power of Bach's music if one truly understands it and feels the underlying passion. Actually I find Ms Hewitt quite pretty in an elegant, old world sort of way. Hmm, maybe I have a crush on her. smile

At a master class of hers where she was helping some high school students with Beethoven sonatas, she explained to one student that a solo performer must be an actor, and should learn to assume facial expressions and physical postures that help to convey the music's moods. I don't remember her exact words. It was something like, we can't help having some kind of facial expressions, and we're better off managing them deliberately.

Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: P I A N O piano] #1297615
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Originally Posted by P I A N O piano
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKx7ePuIsi0

I think she resembles a young Queen Elizabeth. She's quite regal!


I agree, she resembles a young Queen Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen."

Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Ferdinand] #1297618
11/01/09 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand
At a master class of hers where she was helping some high school students with Beethoven sonatas, she explained to one student that a solo performer must be an actor, and should learn to assume facial expressions and physical postures that help to convey the music's moods. I don't remember her exact words. It was something like, we can't help having some kind of facial expressions, and we're better off managing them deliberately.


Well, I guess that explains the thread nicely. The expressions are intentional and part of the performance. Thank you.

Regarding the last sentence in your post: there is a distinction between managing facial expressions deliberately and managing facial expression well. One can manage facial expression in a subtle and very controlled way to enhance the emotional tensions, (e.g., Pacino's Michael Corleone with a clenched broken jaw, placid forehead and darting eyes about to shoot two in a restaurant - very powerful). For me, Hewitts's deliberate exaggerations appear clownish and make me recall some of Marcel Marceau's and Gene Kelley's pantomimes.

Suffice to say that some find the "theatrics" in a positive light which enhances the performance and add to the music, while others see it in a negative light which detracts from the performance and distracts from the music at hand.


Last edited by Amant; 11/01/09 10:38 AM.
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: Amant] #1297709
11/01/09 01:44 PM
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I find Ms. Hewitt's facial expressions far from excessive and not at all distracting, almost a natural outgrowth of the music she is playing. This is a far cry from what we often get from Uchida and from Lang Lang.

Remember that a studio video is a "staged event" - performing piano is a somewhat static experience (pace Tomasino!), so that camera angles, artistry or gimmickry - however you see it in the reflected images in the piano lid - are part of the plan to keep the listener/viewer engaged. The majority of concert viewers at most recitals rarely get to see close-ups of the raised eyebrow and the rolled eyeball!

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: BruceD] #1297731
11/01/09 02:18 PM
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ah.. the rolled eyeball. I'll have to incorporate that.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: apple*] #1297844
11/01/09 06:16 PM
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I agree with BruceD, I found nothing unusual about Angela Hewitt's facial expressions- quite within the norm and not really worthy of comment, actually.

Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: P I A N O piano] #1297947
11/01/09 10:07 PM
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I have no problem with Hewitt's performances [of Bach]. If anything she is rather "safe". Although she does do a lovely WTC2 20. I just cannot manage the seamless interplay with the trills in the fuge the way she does.

Gould, on the other hand is genius magnified. I am not impressed with his recording of WTC2 15, while 22 [fuge] is mind boggling. Glenn either works or he doesn't, but he surely is an individual. No one can take that away from him.


You play it & I'll hum it, but currently rehearsing:

Bach WTC book 2 no 15 G major, no 20 A minor, no 22 Bb Minor
Mozart A minor Sonata K310
Mendelssohn Op 35 preludes and fuges
Busoni Carmen Fantasy
Rachmaninov Bb prelude OP 23 no 2
Lyapunov Humoreske Op 34
and others
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: PartyPianist] #1298071
11/02/09 07:20 AM
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While I've spend most of my life as somethign of a Gould groupie - I agree somewhat with partypianist. Gould works or he doesn't. Most of his Bach works for me but, for example, the Beethoven Sonotas are just weird. A few really interesting interpretations but mostly just counterpoint to the expense of most of what Beethoven cared about.


Justin
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Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: jnod] #1298263
11/02/09 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jnod
Most of his Bach works for me but, for example, the Beethoven Sonotas are just weird.

Not to mention his God-awful interpretations of the Mozart sonatas. He so often skips repeats, grossly distorts the tempi, and refuses to follow the dynamic markings!

This is also remarkably disgusting:


Last edited by akonow; 11/02/09 01:50 PM.

Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: akonow] #1298286
11/02/09 02:23 PM
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How can Glenn Gould's need "to get [the audience's] hackles aroused" be considered an artistic approach that "works" for an audience. I have heard his recording of this first movement and I think it's such a distortion of what Mozart wrote that all I can conclude is that Gould is either pulling our collective leg or thumbing his nose not only at tradition but at Mozart as well, without any artistic justification or merit. He may have enjoyed it, but I certainly didn't.

How many of us would be laughed or even booed off stage if we, as Gould did, played a variation marked Adagio as Allegretto? Does Gould get away with it because he's Gould, or does he not get away with it, and is his approach really musical charlatanism?

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Angela Hewitt [Re: BruceD] #1298302
11/02/09 02:46 PM
11/02/09 02:46 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,277
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pianoloverus Offline
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pianoloverus  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,277
New York City
Originally Posted by BruceD
How can Glenn Gould's need "to get [the audience's] hackles aroused" be considered an artistic approach that "works" for an audience. I have heard his recording of this first movement and I think it's such a distortion of what Mozart wrote that all I can conclude is that Gould is either pulling our collective leg or thumbing his nose not only at tradition but at Mozart as well, without any artistic justification or merit. He may have enjoyed it, but I certainly didn't.

How many of us would be laughed or even booed off stage if we, as Gould did, played a variation marked Adagio as Allegretto? Does Gould get away with it because he's Gould, or does he not get away with it, and is his approach really musical charlatanism?

Regards,


I think for some Gould gets away with because he's Gould and for other listeners he doesn't get away with it. Gould has been criticized for what some consider his tempo distortions even in his playing of Bach. I actually think he's honest about what he sees as valid reasons for playing it the way he does. He does say that it "has to work" besides being different.

Of course, many would say it doesn't work and totally changing a composer's tempo indications is completely unreasonable even if it works(whatever that means).


Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/02/09 02:51 PM.
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