France is in the news recently, as is Covid, so a first Wesley post-lockdown concert of French piano music seemed so apt. Stuart Long was playing solo piano on Poulenc, Satie, Ibert, Debussy and Chaminade and he's an Aussie and no liar so this was a wonderfully expressive outing and an eye/ear-opener for me. I hadn't heard a whole concert of French music before, so it suddenly took on a new sense of investigation, playfulness, lightness, modernity with tradition. So it was an education. Now this fascinates me. I've visited Paris and travelled in France, but my Australian experience is subtly coloured (by Anglo/Franco history, Henry IV Pt.1, French/US revolutions, Italo/Franco variations) and I always feel this is not a culture I really know. So this was quite a revelation. Stuart did a great job and has obvious love and respect for this music, treating it with gentleness and intimacy. And being a return concert, this was doubly significant. Too bad about our Pants on fire bad manners of late. But nothing unexpected there.
Stuart Long (piano) played French music at Wesley.