Thursday, July 7th 2011
Incorporating Amesbury Journal
Distinctive sounds in a lovely setting.
Farley Piano Festival
All Saints Church
The piano recitals presented from June 22 to 24 by Farley Music attracted large audiences this year.
The beauty of Farley's church in its peaceful country setting added much to the atmosphere of these special evening.
I was also fascinating to compare three superlative young pianists who played on the three consecutive evenings. Although the piano remained the same, each player produced a distinctive sound and style.
Next evening came a superb concert by Riyad Nicolas, a 22-year-old Syrian who has won several prestigious awards and is hailed as one of the most exciting musicians to emerge from the Middle East.
A wonderful blend of intelligence and technical mastery, plus a deep commitment which transmitted itself to the audience from the very first note, marked his playing. His programme included profound and moving performances of the A flat major Beethoven Sonata (Opus 110) and Schumann's Fantasiestucke . There was also Scriabin's 5th Sonata, with its huge range of colours and rhythms, deftly negotiated by Riyad with great virtuosity.
He was daring enough to conclude a short item by Ligeti (fanfares) which combined an extraordinary rhythmic and harmonic world with cascades of semiquavers in perpetual motion- a fascinating piece.
Congratulations are due to Farley Music for putting on these memorable annual events, which it is hoped will continue and grow in the years to come.