Tranquility of classics help to lift shadow of atrocities

British pianists and chamber musicians James Lisney and Sarah Beth Briggs.
British pianists and chamber musicians James Lisney and Sarah Beth Briggs.

MUSIC REVIEW: The Lisney/Briggs Piano Duo, South Holland Concerts, South Holland Centre, Spalding

It is hard to believe that classical pianists James Lisney and Sarah Beth Briggs sensed the tragic irony of their programme ahead of Saturday’s concert.

Just 24 hours after the dark events in Paris, James and Sarah took to the South Holland Centre stage in front of a larger-than-average audience for the second in this season’s South Holland Concerts series.

With French composers Faure and Debussy both on the menu, alongside Mozart, Schubert and Dvorak, the true horror of the events in the French capital came home, in a cultural sense, to Spalding.

But there was also time for what the concert programme called “piano music for four hands” as James and Sarah introduced works by Schubert written at either end of his desperately short 31 years.

One of these was Fantasie in G minor D9 written by Schubert when was “barely old enough to sit his GCSEs”, according to Sarah.

Unlike piano duo BingBing Li and Elena Kiseleva in Swineshead three weeks earlier, this duo played from the same piano, but with the same empathy as the Chinese/Russian pair.

A welcome oasis from the raw horror of Paris.

Review by Winston Brown