That Nightingale in Westminster Square

A nightingale sang at the Chopin society today in the form of Piers Lane. Such a spell was set with the exquisite sounds he spun in Chopin’s nocturne op 27 n.2 that at the end not a breath was heard until the magic was broken by an enthusiastic public that had been regaled by almost two hours of some of Chopin’s best known works. Some unexpected embelishments that Piers had found in the original edition in Warsaw showed what a complete thinking musician we were privileged to hear. But above all such a sense of balance that allowed the piano to sing as rarely it can these days. An impassioned performance of the F sharp minor polonaise made the beseeching mazurka in A minor even more poignant. Asked by the pianist not to clap between pieces so that we could savour his refined choice of the different keys of some of Chopins most famous pieces.Op29,49,10n.3,47,44,55,62 . Ending of course with the sublime Barcarolle which Cortot likened to being in heaven and Ravel admired so much . I well remember listening to someone playing a piano transcription of “A nightingale sings in Berkeley Square” on BBC radio 3 and being overwhelmed by the beauty of the sound I just had to stop and listen. It was,of course,Piers Lane. Alas there are very few these days that can make the piano sing as purely and simply as that nightingale by the name of Piers Lane .

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