A Potton Hall concert to remember

Chopin by Wodzinska. Courtesy Wikipedia.org

It was always going to be a fabulous concert at Potton Hall. Lucy Parham is acknowledged as one of Britain’s finest pianists and, I think I’ve got it right when I say she was one of the artists with whom Jeremy first worked with at Potton Hall. Lucy’s first celebrated combination of piano and script took the form of Beloved Clara – Robert Schumann, Clara and Brahms, a true story of passion, music and tragedy”. Her new production ” Nocturne – The Romantic Life of Frédéric Chopin ” sold out in July this year at London’s Wigmore Hall and so we all packed into Potton Hall last Sunday evening with much anticipation of a repeat performance. We expected an appearance from Juliet Stevenson but sadly due to the passing away of a close relative the day before, Stevenson, understandably, couldn’t make the performance. Thankfully, Emily Bruni, who has performed with Lucy in the past, stepped in at the last minute to join Henry Goodman.

Lucy compiled the script of Nocturne with the help of letters, diaries and correspondence written by Chopin, George Sand and their contemporaries. The acoustics and intimacy of Potton Hall brought to life the warmth and passion of all three artists’ performances. Whilst we missed Juliet Stevenson, I felt, Bruni’s performance was hard to beat and I thought the script and performances by both Bruni and Goodman introduced a poignant dimension. Whilst I know and love Chopin’s music well, this concert taught me a great deal too!

Its unfortunate that I’m not qualified to deliver a formal critique of Lucy’s performance but it didn’t take much to recognise that I was being treated to the talent of a much acclaimed pianist. A friend who joined us at the concert summed it up pretty well saying something along the lines of it being hard to believe that “all those notes could came out of only two hands!” We have the combined artistry of both Chopin and Lucy Parham to thank for that.

In the spirit of openness, I wanted to disclose that I help Helen and Jeremy with Potton Hall’s online presence and therefore work on the website as well as help with the online booking and promotion. I do this in an honorary capacity because I feel that Suffolk is truly honoured to have Potton Hall in our midst. Both Jeremy and Helen Hayes’ commitment to Potton Hall, and its artistic integrity, ensures that we are treated to the very best of talent when we are invited to attend these concerts. I am greatly looking forward to hearing another two pianists: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Libor Novacek in their upcoming concerts as well as the local North Suffolk Youth Choir when they perform in December’s Christmas concert. I have also been lucky enough to hear about who we have to look forward to in 2011, so keep your ears close to the ground. (I’ll make sure I publish all the details on the Pottonhall.com website as soon as I can) 😉


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