6 years ago

Volume 13 - Issue 2 - October 2007


ANGELA HEWITI, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10to what he wrote in the score. Beethoven, ofcourse, came from Bach. He played all of theWell-Tempered Clavier, they say, when hewas eleven years old. All of those things youlearn from really good training in baroqueand early classical music really pay off inBeethoven. So many pianists seem to thinkBeethoven is thick and lumpy - and righthanded. My Beethoven isn't like that at all.'Hewitt won the first Toronto InternationalBach Competition in 1985. It launched hercareer, with a recording contract with DGGand a series of international concert dates. Italso brought her to the attention of the greatFrench composer, Olivier Messiaen, and hiswife, pianist Yvonne Loriod, who were bothon the jury. 'In the semifinal round, I tooka risk and played Messiaen's most difficultpiece, the Regard de I 'Esprit de Joie from theVingt Regards sur l 'Enfant-Jesus. It wentreally well. When competitors were finallyable to speak to the jury, they both came upto me. I have a photo of that moment,which was so wonderful. They were bothvery sweet - so enthusiastic and complimentary.Loriod said, "You have some verygood fingerings - you must give them tome." I felt like saying, "Not on your life,Honey!'" Hewitt laughs at the idea ofLoriod wanting her fingerings for Messiaen.'She was the master of playing his works.They were written for her and she playsthem so marvellously. Messiaen died,unfortunately, not long after that, but I metLoriod some years later in London. Sheremembered every single piece I had playedin that competition. She sent me the score ofhis Turangalfla-Symphonie, which I stillhope to play someday. He is certainly acomposer I really admire and love - hismusic is very moving' . In 1998, Hewittrecorded a disc of his piano music.Hewitt's name is inevitably often linkedwith that of Glenn Gould. They are bothCanadian, with strong international reputations.Both are known for playing a lot ofBach. But, as far as Hewitt is concerned,that's as far as it goes. She balks when herstyle of playing is compared to his.'I remember those TV shows Gould usedto do on the CBC when I was a kid. Myfamily and I could never understand a wordhe said, but we would be fascinated by hisfingers up around his nose. I remembersaying, "Who is that kook?" the first time Isaw him. We listened to his LPs. But wenever really felt we could imitate him,because his way of playing was so different.It was good that I had musical parents whoknew that just because it was Glenn Gouldplaying, it didn't mean that that was how themusic was really supposed to go.' Shelaughs uproariously . 'He's fascinating tolisten to, and he was a genius, but there's nopoint in imitating him - not for me anyway. ''After a competition in 1986, when Iplayed his own piano at the National Ar--- ---- ·----------- --------·-------------1 :~a~:; dae:~:~ct~e~t::t~~~ ~o:~ria,property there and build a home. 'Igot out a map. Being Canadian, Iwanted to be near water, so I foundthis lake called Lago Trasimeno.When I put it into Google, up camephotos of what looked like paradise.I eventually found this piece of landfor sale, and came within forty-eighthours to see it, because I realized Iwouldn't have another break for sixmonths. I couldn't believe the view.So I never looked at any otherproperty in Italy. By the following. .. summer, the land was mine. In JuneWith frequent chamber partner, Dame/ Muller-Schou of 2002 they dug the hole and I movedchives, his father said to me, "When I hear in the summer of 2003 . Thanks to Guglielmo,some Bach on the radio, and it's not my who knows all the local authorities, I gotGlenn, I know that if I like it, it's you permission from the Knights of Malta to useplaying." Gould and I both have clarity, the courtyard of their beautiful castle inprecision, and voicing - but any good Bach nearby Magione. We just had our thirdplayer should have that. After that, we're festival in July. Our audience comes from alltotal opposites. For one thing, I play a lot over the world, which is wonderful.'more legato. He's much more detached. 1 Hewitt organizes the festival, and plays inhave a much more pronounced feeling for all seven concerts. 'It's a lot for me, but Ithe dance.'love it. I give a solo recital, then play in'We're opposites as people, too. He hated chamber music, with a singer, and with athe sun, but I love it. He was totally neurot- fabulous orchestra I put together.'ic. And I'm really quite normal. That does Hewitt shows me the program from thecome out in our playing - it all goes to festival, and then says, 'Would you like to seepersonality.'my piano?' We head downstairs to her music'I've always been convinced that a room. The downhill wall is glass, and looksmusician plays like the person he is,' she onto the lake way below. Large glass doorssays. That goes for composers as well, like open up to allow the piano to be moved in andRobert Schumann, the composer on her most out.recent recording. 'Schumann said that'This is my precious piano. It's a wondereverythingthat happened in his life, he put in ful, wonderful piano,' she says. ' It has ahis music. All the rapid changes of mood, remarkable range of colour, much more thanflitting from one thing to the next, that's how any other piano, with many high frequencieshis mind worked. When I was fifteen, Sevilla and resonances that most pianos just don'tgave me Schumann's Sonata in G Minor to have. The action is extraordinarily responplay.I came to the lesson with the notes sive. I can do anything on it that I want,learned. He said, 'That's very good, but this really. Many pianos have a nice sound, butis how it should really go,' and he sat down whether you play loudly or softly, it's still theand played it. I had never heard the piano same sound. And when you lighten yourplayed so passionately and with such colour touch to play softly or quickly, they lose alland drama. So I took it away and thought their brilliance. But this one, never. You canabout Schumann. When I brought it back to play softly, you can play quickly, and it willthe lesson it was Jean-Paul's turn to be still be brilliant.' She plays a trill and asurprised. So Schumann really helped me a tremolo to show me. 'By the end of anlot with my emotional development and with evening I can get bored playing some pianos,realizing what was possible at the piano - but never this one. It's a much more creativehe's a wonderful composer for opening up instrument'.what's inside of you.'Her Fazioli, a standard-size concert grand,Hewitt studied with Sevilla at the Universi- has four pedals . 'This extra pedal brings thety of Ottawa, where she enrolled when she hammers closer to the keys, providing awas just fifteen. 'He was a really wonderful softer attack. But it doesn't change the soundteacher, and player. He took his students the way a soft pedal does. ' She plays a scaleevery summer to Aix en Provence for up and down the keyboard, with the fourthsummer courses, concerts, sightseeing, and pedal and without. 'It gives you a really fastlearning about French food and art. So he action, which is quite handy in Beethoven,was a big influence on my life. 'Ravel, Liszt and Chopin, where you have all'He certainly was the reason why I went to those filigree passages. Normally the fourthlive in Paris when I was twenty. He was pedal only goes on the monster ten footback there on sabbatical. I went for one model. But Paolo Fazioli put it on this one foryear, and ended up staying seven years.' me. So this is the only nine foot Fazioli in theHewitt found this idyllic spot in Italy six world with a fourth pedal.'years ago. It started with discussions about 'More and more performers are playing12WWW. TH EWHOLENOTE.COM O CTOBER 1 - N O VEMBER 7 2007Back to Ad Index

the Fazioli. But some people just have to haves-T-E-I-N-W-A-Y in front of their noses to beable to perform. It takes a lot of control andimagination to play this piano to its fullpotential. I think that's why some peoplejust feel safer with Steinway. This piano ismore challenging to play , but that's what Ilike about it. 'As we go back upstairs, I am amazed athow peaceful the lake is . Hewitt says,'There are not many places in the worldwhere you can find a spot like this . Inwinter you get a little bit of snow sometimes.It's very pretty, and it's great just to comehere for a week and practise. Sometimes Idon't even get off my property.'It's apparent what a strong pull Canadahas on Hewitt. 'I'm definitely Canadian,that's for sure. I am representing my countryon this world tour. When I get to Oslo, forinstance, the Canadian ambassador is giving adinner for me. It's great to have that support.Canada is a good place to get your earlytraining - and those early years are veryimportant. In Canada we have some verygood teachers, but also some good opportunities- at least we did when I was growing up.I know the Americans never had anything likethe Canada Council, which helped me go tomany international competitions by paying formy trips, since my parents couldn't afford it.'On top of Hewitt's demanding performanceschedule, she keeps up a diary on herterrific web site. A naturally gifted writer,she also writes liner notes for her CDs, aswell as the occasional book review. 'I mustwrite a book in the end . But for now I will getback to work - I've only reached number tenout of the forty-eight preludes and fuguestoday.CONCERTSAngela Hewitt will be pe,jorming at the CapitolTheatre in Port Hope on Oct.20 with cellist DanielMuller-Schott. Following that, Hewitt will be inToronto for two concerts. She will play the Well­Tempered Clavier at the Glenn Gould Studio, BookOne on October 22 and book Two on October 24.WEB SITESHewitt's web site is at TheBach World Tour site is web site for the Trasimeno Music Festival is atwww. trasimenomusicfestival .corn.RECORDINGSA complete discography can be found on Hewitt'sweb site. Her upcoming recordings include Bach:Gamba Sonatas, with Daniel Muller-Schott, cello,on O,jeo, and a Schumann disc on Hyperion . Aswell, Hyperion is reissuing her recording of Bach'sThe Well-Tempered Clavier this fall in conjunctionwith The Bach Tour. The DVD , Bach Performanceon the Piano, will also be issued by Hyperion.l 'l.;!\ l\t , 11 ,, ,1 1,11:,1 -..: 11 -~300A CELEBRATION or TIIE 300TH ANNIVERSr\.RY OF HIS DEAT II (1637-1707)November 8 - 10, 2007Presented by the University of loron to Faculty of Music and Toronto Centre, Royal Canad ian College of OrganistsDr. Kerala SnyderKenneth H. Peacock VisitorLECTUREUt; it'hucie ,,- Amerrc:·1 fariv p,011,wn,11 l'·'St 1 ~leXd: 1cl1B ur , 11r1Jnt :J.1 ,J 11.,, 1)rc '"~Thursday, November 81210 pm. Waller Hall. FreePRE-RECITAL LECTURELJ1Pfcnc 11 '3u\tehucr Jrqar,st ,1 L tihPrkFriday, November 9715 pm Knox College ChapelO CTOBE R 1 - N OVEM BER 7 2007Back to Ad Index,, -. . ,( (;I F•,,tir./:ii- '' '1 ~I ,'-; ( !(~I ()/r~ ·

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