Notes from the Piano Stool

A piano recital with a difference.

Here’s how it appears in the brochure for Forde Abbey Concerts and Cranbourne Farm:

David Owen Norris – piano
Eminent pianist, broadcaster, composer, organist, columnist, critic, and expert on early pianos, David Owen Norris has been described by one critic as “perhaps the most interesting pianist in the world”. Always engaging, often amusing, he is possessed of boundless enthusiasm, knowledge and experience. In a programme entitled “Notes from the Piano Stool” we will hear gems and curiosities from the piano repertoire, introduced and explained in David’s own inimitable style.

The programme can be flexibly adapted to promoters’ wishes. The Cranbourne Concert, for instance, included music by Sir Hubert Parry: and in a special afternoon session, I played Parry to pupils from Parry’s own prep school, Twyford.

I often include pieces that no-one else plays. One is Elgar’s coruscating Concert Allegro

that’s the beginning – wait till you hear the ending – and another’s by Walton, believe it or not. Tales include the unvarnished truth about Jon Vickers and the Tweed Jacket, Sir Peter Pears and the Power of Suggestion, and how I rode my motorbike up the A12 with a harp strapped to my back.

Depending on the mood of the audience, I might play my new Song without Words upon a theme from HengeMusic

or sing the song I wrote for the Plain English Campaign.

Or possibly both.

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