Perth Festival

17th - 26th May 2018
Box Office: 01738 621 031


Nocturne - The Romantic Life of Frédéric Chopin With Lucy Parham (piano), Dame Harriet Walter and Henry Goodman

Box Office 01738 621031

Friday 30th May 2014

St John's Kirk of Perth, 19:30

This event was part of the 2014 Festival Programme.

Tickets will also be available on the door on the night.

Finishing time 21.30

A programme of words and music scripted and adapted from letters and diaries by Lucy Parham chronicles the romantic life of one the greatest and most popular composers for solo piano – Frédéric Chopin. The narrative follows his turbulent relationship with the controversial literary figure George Sand, their time together in Majorca, his fragile health and his ultimate demise in poverty in Paris at the age of 39.

The readings, by Dame Harriet Walter and Henry Goodman, are interspersed with some of his most loved and poignant compositions. Nocturne received its London première in the London Pianoforte Series at the Wigmore Hall in July 2010 - the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth.

Lucy Parham first came to public attention as the Piano Winner of the 1984 BBC TV Young Musician of the Year. Having made her Royal Festival Hall concerto debut at 16, she has since appeared regularly at all the major concert venues in the UK.

"A passionate, humorous and deeply moving portrait of the relationship between Chopin and Sand" Music Web International 2010
"The Best Chopin of the Year" The Times 2010

Review from BBC Music Magazine April 2014
Lucy Parham's trailblazing evening concerts in which she fuses music and words with the help of some of our most distinguished thespians, have become one of the must -see events on the musical calendar. In an age that has seen the piano become increasingly objectified, Parham takes her listeners back to a golden age when music was a metaphor for life itself. Hers is playing that is not so much about the actual notes but exploring the elusive regions of expressive reverie that lie tantalisingly hidden between and behind them.
She paints the rich musical canvases of the ballades with a beguiling range of hues and colours and an exquisite feeling for rubato that appears to grow naturally out of the music's internal fabric.
Indeed, no matter how many times one has heard these captivating miniatures, Parham's velvet-gloved sonority and rare ability to impart a poetic coherence to Chopin's stream-of-consciouness flights of inspiration had one listening afresh.
Experienced in the context of Harriet Walter's and Samuel West's compelling exploration of the Chopin-George Sand love affair through their letters and diary entries, the music assumes a special sense of poignancy.
Performance ****(four stars)
Recording *****(five stars)
APRIL 2014