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Leon McCawley                                   5th July 2021 St. Mary’s Church Map

Our season begins with the welcome return of virtuoso concert pianist Leon McCawley. Particularly regarded as one of the finest players of his generation in the masterpieces of the 18th Century, the first half of his programme is devoted to classical sonatas by Haydn and Mozart. His authority in this repertoire is unmistakeable.

Characterful miniatures by Grieg open the second half, followed by the elegant sweep of Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze. This 18 movement suite is something of a love letter to his wife-to-be, the pianist Clara Wieck. Veering between the polarities of the imaginary characters of Florestan, so passionate and fiery and the calmer, less extrovert Eusebius, these musical portraits pay homage to Clara’s gifts as a performer – and indeed as a composer too, the work opening with a mazurka written by the woman who inspired some of the most romantic music of the 19th Century.

In each and every age
joy and sorrow are mingled:
Remain pious in joy,
and be ready for sorrow with courage.

‘Mr McCawley… probing and virtuosic… an acoustical cocoon of bright, passionate sound.’

New York Times


Franz Josef Haydn – Sonata in C HXVI/50

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Fantasie in C minor K475

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Sonata in C minor K457

Edvard Grieg – Slåtter (Norwegian Peasant Dances) Op 72

No.4 Haugelåt. Halling (Halling from the Fairy Hill)

No.2 Jon Vestafes Springdans (Jon Vestafe’s Spring Dance)

Robert Schumann – Davidsbündlertänze Op 6

B&W Poster for download/print