What better way to spend Valentines day than a coffee concert in the Elgar room at the Royal Albert Hall. Everything red starting with Elton Johns Red Piano Tour piano right down to the red coffee cups. Luka Okras just married playing a superb programme of Debussy,Rachmaninoff,Schumann and Liszt. The silence that greeted the end of the Kinderscenen said it all.The Poet Speaks and thus it was .Such was the way he let every piece speak in a deceptively simple way ,the packed out Elgar Room were mesmerised by this poet of the piano. Right from the first work Childrens Corner it was clear that we were in for a very special concert from a real musician.Little were the public aware,quite rightly so,of his mastery of the pedals on this not easy piano bequethed to the hall by Marksons Pianos. We were not without fireworks too in Rachmaninoffs scintilating Moment Musicaux n.4 or the virtuosity in Liszts old warhorse of Second Hungarian Rhapsody…no idea who the cadenza was by ,but it brought the house down and I think a smile of approval from Elgar. I was hoping indeed for Salut D`Amour today of all days . Instead we got a magical performance of Bach/Siloti Prelude in B minor . Wonderful choice of programme much appreciated by all present and indeed having been a bit perplexed by a previous performance of Luka s of much bigger works now I am completely won over .Not only the choice of repertoire but maybe the choice of a companion for life has made all the difference. I like to think so on today of all days as I rush to lunch with my much adored 103 year old Valentine today! Once again Canan Maxton always present to support in person another from her remarkable stable. They do say that birds of a feather flock together.