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England's Leon McCawley took center stage on 14 May and offered an evening of sensitive, deeply felt music making. McCawley's patrician musicianship and elegant pianism were indeed special. The strong profile and florid musical line that he brought to Mozart's Fantasy in C Minor was mesmerizing. In Schumann's lovely Kinderscenen McCawley displayed supple lyricism and delicately sculpted phrasing. McCawley played Mozart's Sonata in C Minor with brisk, classical precision. The Adagio sang from his keyboard like a finely spun operatic aria.
McCawley's traversal of four sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti pulsated with rhythmic life. His lithe phrasing, idiomatic fluency and pianistic brilliance made this thrice familiar music sound new and vibrant. In Rachmaninoff's awesome Variations on a Theme of Corelli, McCawley commanded fervent power and wonderful romantic coloration. Here was artistry of the highest order. McCawley is a great and unique musician!
Copyright © 15 December 2005
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA