British concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith has performed the complete solo works of Chopin from memory in 2015-16 at St John’s Smith Square. This amounts to 230+ separate titles and approximately 3.5 million notes. The series spans 11 concerts, from September 2015 to July 2016. Today you can hear Warren include Chopin’s works in many of his recitals.
The Chopin series enjoyed an association with the Mayor of London’s Music Fund the Polish Cultural Institute and sponsorship from Truphone.
Each of the 11 recitals was preceded by a pre-concert event, designed to paint a wider picture of Chopin’s inspirations, his other compositions, his life and times.
Pre-concert events have included:
- Talks by: Writer Jeremy Nicholas, Academic Robin Nelson, Broadcaster and Journalist Stephen Johnson, President of the Chopin Society UK, Lady Rose Cholmondeley
- Cello Sonata: Tim Lowe (cello) and Andrew Brownell (piano) Other works for cello: Lionel Handy (cello) Dominic John (piano)
- The Piano Trio in G minor: Matthew Jones (violin) Annabel Thwaite (piano) Tim Lowe (cello)
- Polish Songs: Susan Parkes (soprano) Dave Alexander (piano)
- Traditional Polish Dance demonstrations: The Mazury Dance Troupe
- Piano Duet (Rondo in C): Samantha Ward (piano) Maciej Ragina (piano)
President of the Chopin Society, Lady Rose Cholmondeley, has congratulated Warren on his remarkable achievement in performing the complete works of Chopin in 11 recitals over a 10 month period. “I am delighted to be introducing Warren’s penultimate recital and talking about Chopin’s visit to Britain in 1848 and the Berceuse and Barcarolle, both of which Chopin performed during his visit and which Warren will be playing this evening. Warren has done a wonderful job in exposing audiences to the whole range of Chopin’s piano works, including the lesser-known pieces, which most people will not have heard, and I salute him for this feat”.
Here are some of the things that the press have had to say:
” .. here is a very fine Chopin interpreter indeed .. formidable technique .. breathtaking command of dynamic gradations .. wholly exceptional .. This quite memorable recital was justly rewarded with a spontaneous standing ovation.” – Classical Source. Sep 2015
[Etudes Op 10]“.. assured technique .. In Warren’s hands each (Etude) was a minor miracle, sensitively rendered and deftly delivered. .. overall result was exceptionally engaging and intense.” – The Cross-Eyed Pianist Oct 2015.
[Sonata No. 1]”It was fascinating to encounter this rarely-performed work, and what he did with it was intensely poetic: under his sensitive touch the music grew and ramified persuasively” The Independent, Nov 2015
[Preludes Op 28] “Mailley-Smith’s assured, spacious account was just as effective, and the interior quality of his playing eloquently expressed their subconscious interdependency. Flashes of extrovert, Liszt-like oratory shaped the sequence, and there was much to admire in Mailley-Smith’s elegant tone and emotional refinement” Classical Source. Jan 2016
[Four Ballades]”Chopin would have enjoyed the beauty, sensitivity and intellectual nous that Warren Mailley-Smith brought to his performance on this the seventh of his eleven-night Complete Chopin Cycle marathon….” Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Today, May 2016
“This is not only Romantic piano playing, this is a romance between the performer and the music. It’s quite hypnotic, actually”. Fanfare Magazine, John Puccio, on Warren Mailley-Smith’s CD: Chopin Souvenirs 2013
“Top 10 editors pick” Timeout Jan 2015
‘The embodiment of the modern Romantic Concert pianist’ – Musical Opinion.