Matthew Barley/Cellist

Music exemplifies nature’s harmony – it balances man and heaven.

Ancient Chinese tract

Schumann World Premiere!

Last night was the first performance of my arrangement of Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Chamber Orchestra. It was a charity gala raising money for Leonard Cheshire Disability and was a lovely warm and Christmasy occasion. The gorgeous Katie Derham was compering, and in the midst of all the carols, we played the Schumann – it’s one of my favourite concert pieces to play with piano, and I wondered recently how it would sound with a string orchestra accompaniment, and it worked well. The only problem was that the parts were very hard, and being a gala show we didn’t get quite as much time as we needed, but the orchestra were great. I also did an improvised introduction to, and then played along with the London Philharmonic Choir’s beautiful rendition of Silent Night – they are such a good choir. The audience visibly got excited when they heard I was going to improvise and I’ve seen this before; as soon as the crowd know that you’re making it up, they sit up, I think simply because they know that something could go wrong! It becomes more knife edge, and I really like that atmosphere!

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