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Dragon Review: Live Music Returns With ‘Greatest Piano Pieces’ And A World Premiere

Published on: 19 Sep, 2021
Updated on: 20 Sep, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

Two of the “greatest piano pieces ever written” and a world premiere by a young composer was the exciting offering by the Guildford Music Society @ GURC on Saturday evening (September 18).

Played by the internationally renowned pianist, Fali Pavri, the pieces were enthusiastically received by the audience at the well attended concert at Guildford United reformed Church, Portsmouth Road.

Fali Pavri, pianist, performed at the GURC church hall for the Guildford Music Socienty @ GURC in collaboration with Hennessey Brown Music.

Fali Pavri spoke about the Schubert B flat Piano Sonata D.960 as a “vast landscape”, akin in some ways to the majesty of a Wagnerian creation. Of the Beethoven Piano Sonata C minor Op 111, he said it was about “struggle, tension and drama” and towards the end “perhaps we get a glimpse of heaven”.

He also played Tide and Current, a contemporary piece by the 20-year-old composer, Theo Hill.

Theo’s father, Tim, and sister, Doraly, were in the audience and looked thrilled at the audience reaction.

Tim said: “It is the first time I have heard it and I loved it. It is a revelation when you see your own children create something like this.”

Fali used a computer tablet with the music for Tide and Current, turning over the “pages” by tapping his foot against a device on the floor – 21st century technology on a 19th century piano. Ingenious.

Fali Pavri played on Guildford United Reformed Church’s fully restored  Bechstein concert grand piano, that dates to about 1892. It has a wonderful full sound.

One of the pleasures of concerts at the venue is they are so personal. You can be as close to the performers as in someone’s front room.

Fali Pavri played flawlessly, effortlessly, for over an hour, without music for the Schubert and Beethoven, a phenomenal feat of concentration, skill and musicality. It was wonderful to be there, to see it live.

The secretary of the Guildford Music Society @ GURC, Gillian Lloyd, said in her introduction to the performance that it was great to have live music back at the venue. How right she is.

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