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Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition `

& Variations for Judith (multiple composers)

Christopher Guild piano

Great Hall, St Thomas's Hospital, London, 22 July 2013.

An interesting programme from one of our newer contributors.

The little variations on Bist du bei mir put together as a surprise present for Judith Serota, contributed by many leading British composers, are many of them individually quite interesting (if not all obviously characteristic of their composers) but disappointing because of insufficient contrast played as a whole.

They were sensitively performed by Chris Guild against the cacophony of passing traffic in the hospital corridor, but moving to the front made it easier to focus on the main item. Loud (in part) though many of Mussorgsky's Pictures be, they were compelling there and indeed as exciting as any live performance I've heard; and better for being seen rather than just heard on most of the numerous CDs.

Guild is a great pianist to watch, one with wholly reliable technique (he played everything without music) and who feels the music and expresses it with his body; his movements however do not appear to be devised for audience reaction.

A memorable lunch-time concert in a regular series at St Thomas's and at Guy's. But the audience was very small, not enough to fill the historic wooden benches, perhaps daunted also by the appalling din from the hospital corridor; surely St Thomas's could afford a couple of sound absorbent portable screens to help contain the ambient noise?

Peter Grahame Woolf

Scottish pianist Christopher Guild
is in demand as a recital artist, concerto soloist and collaborative pianist, with concert engagements taking him to a wide range of venues across the UK. - - A strong advocate of contemporary and lesser-known repertoire, Christopher Guild will begin a survey of the piano works of Scottish composer Ronald Center for Toccata Classics in Spring 2013.

As a chamber musician and ensemble musician, Christopher appeared as a Park Lane Group Young Artist at London’s QEH Purcell Room, and the Wigmore Hall, in 2012 with violinist Diana Galvydyte. Their disc of 20th century Soviet, British and Italian violin and piano works [R] was released on the Champs Hill record label to critical acclaim.

Christopher entered the Royal College of Music in 2005, successfully gaining a First Class BMus (Hons), and the MMus and Artist Diploma’s with Distinction - - .
© Christopher Guild 2013