Wednesday, 5 August 2015

World class Debussy ~ in a village hall!

I had an unexpected pleasure yesterday evening.  H asked if I would like to go to a charity piano recital in Sampford Peverell (the next village along from this one) and off we went – for yet another night out (!)

I wasn’t expecting anything special of a pianist cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, towing a grand piano, but as it was in aid of MS I thought it would be churlish not to support the man. 

But what a surprise!  We heard a superb pianist perform Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Ginastera - and all from memory.  I enjoyed everything in this varied and well thought out programme, but I particularly enjoyed Edward Pick's rendition of Debussy.  

To be honest, it's only in recent years that I've begun to appreciate piano music, at all, let alone Debussy, but I was on the edge of my seat when I listened to Edward's selection of five pieces from Debussy's Préludes (Book 1). Edward doesn't include any recordings of other composers' work on his web site, so the best I can share with you is this clip of Cecile Ousset, playing Voiles:

Edward really comes into his own when playing 20th century music, which I suspect is where his heart lies.  And what a joy it was to be introduced to a new composer.  Before last night I'd never heard of Ginastera, one of the leading Argentinian composers of the 20th century

I hesitate to share this clip of someone else playing Ginastera's Danzas Argentinas, because it may not be your taste, but you will doubtless appreciate the technical skill required to play this really well, which Edward did.  

Edward is a technically very accomplished pianist, with a maturity beyond his years, who is also a great communicator.  

And he's also very modest.  I leave you with Edward's own words:
Thank you for visiting my site! For a long time, I have felt that I should do something significant for charity, so I decided to combine two things I love: playing the piano and cycling. I'll be cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats 1 - 21 August 2015, playing concerts along the way. All the proceeds will be donated to the MS Society. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, I have set up a JustGiving page: please visit

There will be a total of 12 concerts over 21 days. This is very slow by the usual standards, but being very much an amateur cyclist, and combining this with full recitals, I have made succeeding a priority - hence the slower route! The venues I've selected are small, supported mostly by local residents (and of course visitors to the area). I felt that bringing music to areas which do not routinely have access to such events on their doorstep was very much in keeping with the spirit of the whole trip, and I can't wait to play in all the interesting places I have lined up! 
I'm very grateful to Mum and Dad, who will be my support crew for this adventure. They will also be carting the piano around for the entire trip! 

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