Sunbury and Shepperton Arts Association

Review by Richard Black of the piano coffee concert

given by Anna Le Hair on Saturday 11th October 2014

Anna Le Hair’s debut concert at the Riverside Arts Centre was a notable success and gave great pleasure to a large audience. It was a singularly well-chosen programme consisting mainly of Romantic pieces with a substantial work by Beethoven in the first half.

Anna proved herself to be a highly sensitive and poetic player, playing with power when the music demanded it, but never forcing the tone. The RAC Yamaha was in splendid form, having been recently re-voiced.

The Prokofiev prelude in C which opened the programme was played in a seductive limpid style in the outer sections with just the right amount of spiky force in the middle section.

“Bagatelle” is often a word used to describe something trifling. Not so for Beethoven’s Six Bagatelles which, as Anna told us in one her informative explanations, were composed to be played all together. Both individually and as a set, these are pieces of substance and Anna revealed the differing character of each of them.

Next came two “autumnal” pieces. ”October” from The Seasons by Tchaikovsky, played with intensity, and the very original “A Blown-away Leaf” from The Overgrown Path by Janacek, full of the haunting harmonies and disturbing ostinati that are characteristic of the composer .

After three well-known Chopin waltzes, Anna gave a full-toned and passionate reading of Rachmaninov’s  Elégie Op 3 and the Nocturne Op. 33, no.3 by Faure, a yearning tune accompanied by raindrops of sound .

Four of the Lyric Pieces by Grieg, three with an elegaic quality and finishing with the joyous Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, played with a generous but never over- aggressive power, completed a programme which entranced the audience.

                                                       Richard Black      11.10.2014