Leading Bach pianist Angela Hewitt has assembled a new book of music paying tribute to the ultimate Baroque master.
The new Bach Book is a successor to Harriet Cohen’s dating from 1932, collecting arrangements from leading composers of her day which Cohen then toured in concert. Hewitt’s book includes two of the original arrangements – by Walton and Howells – together with her own transcriptions of three organ chorale preludes from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein and six new works commissioned by the Wigmore Hall from contemporary composers Brett Dean, Robin Holloway, Elena Kats-Chernin, Dominic Muldowney, Kurt Schwertsik, and Yehudi Wyner.
Angela Hewitt describes how “it seemed a wonderful idea to ask composers of my time to write short pieces inspired somehow by Bach. I didn’t stipulate more than that, except that they shouldn’t be too long and that they could be either something totally new or else a transcription… Whereas Harriet Cohen’s Bach Book was very much a British affair, my own is distinctly international. There are new works from the Australian Brett Dean, Elena Kats-Chernin (born in Tashkent in Uzbekistan), Kurt Schwertsik from Vienna, and Robin Holloway from England.”
Angela Hewitt's Bach Book is dedicated to the memory of Michael Steinberg who first suggested to the pianist the idea of commissioning new works inspired by Bach.