A glorious, melodic, dark and richly virtuoso piece by Rachmaninov. With its long, tuneful lines, filigree textures and dramatic pauses, it has an epic quality, despite being quite short.
This Mendelssohn Song without Words is a beautiful duet with a gorgeous flowing accompaniment. The sense of arrival when the melody reaches its full-blooded summit and also the quiet pizzicato bass notes towards the end are both powerful in very different ways.
My Nocturne No. 11 in G minor is one of the 11 Nocturnes that feature in my forthcoming album ‘Nocturnal’ to be released on February 18th. The album version is the original unplanned improvisation, but having created a score, I play it for you here.
Another unplanned improvisation – this time tonally simpler, diatonic, very minor with a dark and wistful mood.
I’ve been playing with this new piano model – the new C. Bechstein Digital Grand from Pianoteq – that faithfully captures the richness, brilliance and sweetness of this wonderful piano.
This is an unplanned improvisation. I’d been pondering what a pointless charade politics can become with individuals scoring points off each other rather than using intelligence to find solutions.
So the darkness of the mood and the twisted nature of the complex, jazzy impressionistic tonality arise as my feelings of disappointment and resentment are untangled and resolved by musical patterns, easing my mind.
The Chopin Fantaisie-Impromptu is one of those iconic pieces of the classical piano repertoire. It is arguably played too much so why have I added my performance? I think the infinite ways a piece can change in the hands of different musicians is actually very interesting. My version is fast but lyrical and I search for an unexaggerated and natural romanticism and warmth.
I love the way Debussy’s Clair de Lune has an effortless natural flow. It’s a challenging piece as it needs to be expressive but exaggeration spoils its authentic felling of wistful longing. This famous masterpiece remains forever fresh and disarmingly beautiful.