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Memorable evening of romantic music from Bernard d'Ascoli

West Sussex County Times April 2011.

There can be no doubting the popularity of Bernard d'Ascoli making his fifth visit to Horsham Music Circle since his first in 1983. This most accomplished of French concert pianists gave a most memorable evening of romantic music. He was warmly received by an appreciative audience left wishing for more.

He opened with Liszt's descriptive "Jeux d'eau" which, along with "La Leggierezza", gave scope for evocative treatment of the light descending passages.

Schumann was represented by the eloquent Arabesque in simple Rondo Form and by ten short sketches from opus 99 which displayed a colourful array of musical moods.

Bernard d'Ascoli brought out all the wealth of imagination, craftsmanship and musical detail in Mendelssohn's opus 54 Variations.

Chopin was represented by two justly popular Ballades and the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise opus 22. As an encore it was a bonus to hear the Waltz in C sharp minor.

The Steinway Grand responded perfectly to the artistry of d'Ascoli's fine playing. He plays with unusually wide-ranging expression, from muscular grandeur down to the most restrained pianissimo. His performances reflect the warmth of his personality and superb technique.

G.T.

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