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Review: Llyr Williams, King's Lynn Minster

What a pleasure to sit back and listen to a wonderful concert of piano music.

The colours of the music were adeptly enhanced by the skilful playing of Llŷr Williams who seemingly effortlessly performed some of the world’s masterpieces. Never overstressing the keys he still managed to bring the subtle changes of force and tenderness through, caressing the different moods.

Whether his hands were in the ‘normal’ position or crossed there was no loss of distinction or clarity, with each note sounding crystal clear. It was as if he was an integral part of the music – he being totally immersed in his rendition.

Brahms’ Theme and Variations in D minor (adapted from a larger work for Clara Schumann) is perhaps less well known than most of his work but is none the less a delightful piece in its own right.

The brightness emphasises the friendship between the composer and the recipient, particularly in the arpeggiated chords bringing the piece to its climatic end.

The word humoresque normally conjures up thoughts of a short skittish interlude. Schumann’s Humoreske, however, breaks that mould and is more like a series of tales told in music.

Written in several sections, each of which has its own story to tell using a variety of tempi and dynamics, the contrasting moods are evident. Repeated phrases had their own identity and interpretation from the extremely deft fingers of Williams which also made the different tempi between the hands seem perfectly natural.

Three pieces from Chopin followed the interval to further enhance the pleasure of the evening.

These were a refreshing change from the usual popular pieces and demonstrated the broad variety of Chopin’s rich offerings. Waltz in A flat major, Nocturne in D flat major and Piano Sonata in B minor tested the dexterity of Williams’ fingers to the limit using the whole of the keyboard, tempi and time signatures to great advantage.

All too soon the enchantment came to an end – but not quite, as the appreciative audience was rewarded with not one but two encores. I would thoroughly recommend that everyone should listen to Llŷr Williams and enjoy his playing.

Sheila Johnson

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