Piano solos / duets with narration

Together they make an excellent team; gentle, humorous and expressive… his sensitivity in the quieter passages was exquisite and his sense of power and panache grew steadily as the evening progressed. The Grand Galop Chromatique was exhilarating and the Pathetique Sonata slow movement was delicious. ...A splendid evening of high quality entertainment.

Somerset County Gazette

  • The Nostalgic Piano and Memories of Bygone Days

    Composers include Rachmaninov, Chaminade, Anton Rubinstein, Lecuoona, Scott Joplin, George Botsford, Ponce, Lasson, Sinding, Palmgren, Alfred Harlen and Richard Addinsell.

    In this programme we go back in time for a performance of piano pieces that were highly popular at the end of the 19th and at the turn of the 20th centuries. In almost all cases it was the composers themselves who made these pieces famous by performing them in their own recitals around the world. Kim Colvill will introduce the pieces and provide a fascinating insight into the lives and times of the composers and their travels.

  • The Golden Age of Vienna

    Composers include Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Johann Strauss II

    Between 1790 and 1850, Vienna experienced a golden age of music; it was certainly the musical and cultural capital of Europe, if not the world. Heading a long list of composers who made their reputations there during this period, are the four great classical masters: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert and, a little later in musical history, the famous Strauss family.

    These composers are included in our programme and their music is represented by piano solos and piano duets. The narration will include anecdotes, letters by the composers and contemporary reviews – all of which, combined, present an overall picture of the musical scene and culture of Vienna during this gloriously productive age.

  • The Life & Times of Edvard Grieg

    Composers include Grieg, Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky

    Edvard Grieg was a modest, gentle and unassuming man, who achieved great popularity in his own lifetime. He was acclaimed for both his compositions, which particularly reflected the scenes of his homeland, and his public performances of his own music. He was also a great writer and public speaker and excerpts from some of his delightful letters are included within this programme’s narrative. Grieg’s music, so innovative and individual in style, was extremely popular in concert halls the world over, and so he travelled widely, playing and conducting and making friends with many other famous musicians and composers. The narration will give a fascinating picture of Grieg and include some of his wonderfully vivid and insightful letters.

  • Chopin’s Last Tour

    By candlelight and in period costume an all Chopin recital; music includes Preludes, Nocturnes, Fantasy Impromptu, Revolutionary Study, Berceuse, Scherzo No2.

    Only eleven months before his tragic death, at the age of 39, Chopin accepted an invitation from his Scottish pupil, Jane Stirling, to visit Great Britain. He arrived in London on 21st April 1848 and for the next three months enjoyed the hurly burly of London life. It is said he performed for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; he met Jenny Lind and many other famous characters and he gave recitals in the homes of the aristocracy.

    After a ‘Gentlemens Concert’ in Manchester, Chopin travelled to Scotland, where Jane Stirling arranged lavish hospitality in the homes of her family and the Scottish nobility. Jane also succeeded in organising two public recitals for Chopin in Glasgow and Edinburgh; despite his ill health these were a notable success.

    Chopin wrote in detail about his experiences and although his health was failing, nevertheless maintained a biting humour in the letters he wrote to his friends and family. The narration will include extracts from these letters, together with newspaper reviews and a narrative of Chopin’s travels and experiences in England and Scotland.

  • Schumann’s House Party

    Composers include Robert and Clara Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt.

    A programme designed to evoke an atmosphere reminiscent Of the musical soirees held by Robert and Clara Schumann.

    Robert Schumann suffered bouts of severe mental anguish during his adult life. Indeed, tragically, the last months of his life were spent in a mental hospital. At the height of his illness his tortured mind gave way to fantastic and impossible imaginings. In this programme we find Robert Schumann in an asylum near Bonn. As he sits alone in his room he allows his mind to wander – and he remembers the parties he and his wife, Clara, used to hold in their houses in Leipzig and Dusseldorf. In a somewhat confused state, Robert conjures up an imaginary house party, with an elite guest list of his dear friends, some of the most famous musicians of that time.

    While the house party is a figment of Robert’s imagination, Kim Colvill’s narration will separate fact from fiction and explain how Robert and Clara were first introduced to the musical characters you will meet during this presentation. The narration will also include excerpts from original letters and articles written by Robert, Clara, Brahms and Liszt and include reviews on Chopin and Mendelssohn’s performances.