REVIEW: Pianist Warren Mailley-Smith’s sparkling Valentine’s concert at Ely Cathedral ‘never ceases to amaze’

PUBLISHED: 07:42 14 February 2018

Hundreds packed Ely Cathedral for their annual Valentine's concert.

Hundreds packed Ely Cathedral for their annual Valentine's concert.


Locally-born concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith gave a wonderful St Valentine’s concert on Saturday.

Warren Mailley-Smith Warren Mailley-Smith

He has a phenomenal technique that never ceases to amaze. The strength, agility and fluidity of him playing the most demanding passages enhanced the pieces wonderfully.

His fingers flew over the keys giving each phrase the right amount of pressure so that we were mesmerised with clear, powerful melodies and flowing, accurate, rapid accompaniments. He often used that special musical technique of holding back just a moment, making the listener wait until the last second, before a poignant note is struck inextricably drawing us into the inner workings of the music.

The programme was especially well devised and the inclusion of the highly competent Veles ensemble and Susan Parkes (soprano) coloured the performance positively.

The variety of composers included in the programme added to the sparkle of this wonderful evening too.

The compositions chosen were those unforgettable, romantic favourites that reflected the romantic nature of this Valentine’s concert perfectly.

In Debussy’s ‘Claire de Lune’, I could easily imagine moonlight shimmering on the water, his fluency reinforcing the nature of this impressionistic work.

Other notable items included Mendelssohn’s ‘Song without Words’, Liszt’s ‘Lieberstraume 3’, Chopin’s ‘Fantasy Impromptu’, Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’ and a delightful selection of Puccini’s best arias.

The thrill and excitement of the final rhythmical foray in works by Piazolla brought this wonderful concert to a most entertaining close.

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