Piers Lane

MICHAEL DRAKE Old Granary Studio, Toft Monks


> Old Granary Studio, Toft Monks

The wide-ranging Granary Concert Series drew to a close with an effervescent performance by its patron Piers Lane. Following two pensive Largo movements which separated a much lighter Fuga in Bach's Concerto in D minor (courtesy of Vivaldi and arranger William Murdoch) and given never-ending interest, the centrepiece was Schumann's Fantasie in C major.

This was Schumann writing a wonderfully varied musical love-letter to Clara, which in Lane's hands was passionate and highly charged.

Half an hour of sensual musical sentences and mastery of phrasing and moods became a period of emotive and artistic exhaustion enhanced by the singing tones of the 1900 Steinway instrument.

The long silence after the final chord emphasised the music's effect.

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Schumann thought highly of von Henselt and 4 Etudes were no mechanical studies but colourful episodes before a pair of rather more genteel Chopin Waltze, with, in the favourite, in C sharp minor, much subtlety from the recitalist.

Finally, but not exactly an improvement on the original, Schultz-Evler's Blue Danube Arabesques, although requiring much dexterity left me with little desire to hear his 51 piano pieces so that the Musical Snuff Box encore was a delightful little filigree to leave the appreciative audience in happy mood.

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