5 STAR REVIEW IN BIRMINGHAM POST

Leon has received a 5 star review of his recent recital for Bromsgrove Concerts by Christopher Morley in the Birmingham Post on February 15th:

“Bromsgrove Concerts’ imaginative programming brings hidden rewards, there in abundance on Friday when pianist Leon McCawley led us off the beaten track with a fascinating sequence of comparative rarities…none can surpass McCawley in his thoughtfulness of approach, and his ability to make himself as one with an instrument new to him. His pedalling on Bromsgrove’s piano was so subtly coloured, so well-contoured to the phrasing…and always so right for the music under discussion.
Haydn’s C minor Sonata launched the evening, a mysterious work bridging the deft precision of Scarlatti and the generous phrasing of early Romanticism, McCawley drawing out its personality and making much of its caressing thirds and cross-hand virtuosity.
There was more C minor in the shape of Beethoven’s amazingly terse 32 Variations, their Sarabande-like launching-pad a wonderful context for a dazzling sequence in which we were charmed by colour and gripped by McCawley’s articulation — all this in [10] minutes, in a work which every music-lover ought to get to know better.
Between these two came three Preludes by Hans Gal, a refugee from the Nazis who settled in Scotland, and whose music as evidenced here, despite influences as disparate as Mussorgsky and Brahms, has nevertheless a definite personality of its own.
Schubert’s beatific G major Sonata concluded, McCawley displaying stamina both intellectual and physical over its lengthy span, and spreading a rapt stillness which lasted long after its conclusion”.