ADVERTISING this concert as a piano recital to be played on an 1828 Broadwood Grand Piano could have been a risky policy.
After all, we live in an era of concerts performed on modern metal framed pianos which stay in tune and produce a predictable sound.
But David Owen Norris relished this opportunity to demonstrate, to a full church in Stockbridge, the extra resonance of his piano and its enhanced range of dynamics due to its ability to move the entire keyboard sufficiently to direct the hammer to play on only one string out of three, producing a very different sound.
His passionate interpretation of Haydn’s Sonata in E flat major stunned the audience. And the second movement of Mendelssohn’s Sonata in E major with its fortissimo chords and descending octaves was a huge moment.
Norris has an irresistible enthusiasm and joy for his music and he embraces the audience with his immense knowledge and desire to extol the virtues of his nineteenth century piano.
Throughout the evening, particularly during his playing of Beethoven’s Sonata (Pathetique), the audience had the rare privilege of listening to familiar music and yet hearing a different sound.
Norris’ skills are such that he seemed to float over the key board with an end product that was electrifying.
The audience left with a great sense of having heard something very special indeed.