Nocturne, an original programme of French piano music, dance and song, was a completely absorbing aesthetic experience. We sat on chairs arranged in a semi-circle around the performance area, the grand piano to the left, the dance space alongside it, illuminated by small portable footlights. In the far corner was a Christmas tree, lit with plain white lights; overhead there were angels carved on the wooden ceiling, and behind us, Jacob Epstein’s statue of Lazarus.

Musically, the programme fell into two halves: the first half, which included the dance, being Gabriel Fauré’s 1er Nocturne in E flat minor and Toru Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch II; the second a performance of French poems in settings by Fauré, Claude Debussy, Henri Duparc and Reynaldo Hahn, elegantly sung by Rory Carver. (more…)