Last night here in Cambridge, a truly remarkable concert. Remarkable for a start that such an austere programme — a performance of the Art Of Fugue on the piano — was sold out, and to an audience seemingly of much wider age spread than is too often the case with concerts here. Remarkable in the event for the utter concentration of the audience, silent and hardly moving in their seats for an unbroken hour and a half. But most remarkable, of course, for the performance by Angela Hewitt, which made an absolutely compelling case that this music is not just for the study, or for solitary listening with score in hand to follow the twists and turns, but can work in the concert hall. Judging from the reception at the end, the audience were more than won over. There was a shared sense that we had witnessed musicianship of a quite astonishing kind in action.
You’ll have to take my word for it for now: but Angela Hewitt has recorded a CD of the Art of Fugue for Hyperion (to add to her other stunning Bach discs) which will be out in the autumn, and you can judge for yourself then — though there was something magical about being there in the atmosphere at the live concert. I predict you will be bowled over.
The picture isn’t from last night’s concert but I think characteristic. But here, as tweeted by Angela Hewitt, visual proof that she was indeed in Cambridge!