Hewitt is a Canadian pianist based in London. I’ve followed Hewitt’s career for many years. Almost since she graduated from the University of Ottawa from the class of the late, great Jean-Claude Sevilla.
For the longest time she was pigeonholed as a Bach specialist, and damn fine one she was (is). I’ve been a great admirer of her Bach playing since her debut on DGG many years ago. But, with other repertoire, she lost me along the way. Her technique is fine, but I found it served more rhapsodic music poorly.
So, what a lovely surprise that the lady can play Beethoven. Beautifully. Hewitt chooses three of her favourite Beethoven Sonatas, the early Op. 22, Op. 31, No. 3 from his middle period and the later Op. 101. LIke many of her recordings, this one is sourced from the Jesus Christ Church in Berlin. I remember the church being very large, but her Fazioli piano is captured in the lovely acoustic with the right amount of attack and decay.
Hewitt brings the most delicate touch to Beethoven’s slow movements — no matter the emotional depth, Hewitt manages to plumb the bottom. It’s not that they’re dark, they have weight and emotional strength.
The faster movements are all within Hewitt’s technique. It’s filigree when needed and thunderingly powerful when Beethoven whips things up. The result is three musical gems.
I’ll try and hear the previous three volumes and look forward to receiving the fifth for review.
Purchase from our affiliate, Amazon.