Another stunning concert at Seaton Music

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 March 2018

Pianists Sarah Beth Briggs and James Lisney. Picture:Contributed

Pianists Sarah Beth Briggs and James Lisney. Picture:Contributed


The pianist Sarah Beth Briggs has performed in Seaton several times in the past, the first time when she was only 13-years-old.

On February 22, she returned with pianist James Lisney to perform a programme of piano duets for Seaton Music.

Very often such programmes include works which have been arranged for piano duo but were originally written for other instruments or even for orchestra – but not this time!

Every piece was written for this combination. The evening began with Three Marionettes written in 1958 by the Austro-Hungarian Jewish composer Hans Gál who spent a large part of his career in Scotland following his escape from Austria.

This is a glorious piece, full of beautiful tunes and deserves to be better known.

Then came Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C major K521, written in May 1787, making it one of the earliest piano duets, which Sarah and James played with great skill and sensitivity.

The first half ended with Schubert’s Rondo in A major, full of grand melodies which Sarah and James played to great effect.

The second half of the concert consisted of what the pianists called ‘lollipops’ but popularity does not diminish the superb quality of Fauré’s Dolly Suite (famed for the first movement which introduced the BBC’s Listen with Mother for many years) or Dvořák’s well-known Slavonic Dance in E minor or Debussy’s Petite Suite, conjuring up pictures of lazy afternoons in French country houses and gardens - or indeed the final work in the programme, Mozart’s Variations (K501) on a tune of his own with its lovely dialogue between the players.

The audience was greatly impressed with these two superb musicians and would not let them leave without an encore which they duly received in the form of Bizet’s riveting Gallop des Jeux d’Enfants which brought the evening to a resounding close.

This was a concert was one in which there were few fireworks (at least until the encore!) – just a superb display of musicianship and pianistic skill which left the audience in awe of these two pianists. It was great to see everyone leaving the Gateway with hearts uplifted and smiles on their faces.

The next and last concert in this Seaton Music season is on March 22, at 7.30pm at the Gateway Theatre, when the young flautist Charlotte Ashton and pianist William Vann make their Seaton debut with a programme including music by Handel, Poulenc, Samuel Barber and Widor. Tickets are £14 from the Box Office at the Gateway or online via

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Midweek Herald