Yesterday we were very pleased to play host to classical pianist Anastasia Parker (https://www.anastasiaparker.com/) who popped into Abbey to give a mini-concert, combining beautiful piano playing with forgotten tales about the music.
Anastasia treated us to pieces from Chopin to Rachmaninoff to Bach, sharing backstory about each. For Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# Minor, the story goes that he wrote it about a friend being buried alive in a coffin after a grisly medical mix up. The Bach piece she chose was composed when Bach was an adolescent – apparently critics said the reason it was so powerful was because of all those teenage hormones!
For Chopin, she talked about his role in elevating musicians into ‘high society’ whereas previously they were treated like tradesmen and not allowed to eat with guests at the parties where they performed. All very interesting stuff. The music was utterly entrancing and we all felt deeply relaxed and moved by it.
Anastasia says about her concerts:
“I want my concerts to be fun, I want the audience to leave there buzzing – from the music, from a great performance, from new information, and with a smile on their faces. Because I have one on mine.”
We think she’s definitely achieved her goal! Thank you so much for coming and playing for us.