Kathryn Stott

Tuesday 19 June 2018



BACHJesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (arr. Myra Hess)
GRIEGLyric Pieces Op. 52
CHOPINMazurka Op. 7, No.1
WAGNERIsolde’s Liebestodt from Tristan und Isolde
GINASTERADanzas Argentinas
BACHSiciliano (arr. W. Kempff)
STRAUSSRamble on Love from Der Rosenkavalier (arr. Percy Grainger)
VARIOUSLondonderry Air, My Favourite Things, Embraceable You (arr. Stephen Hough and Earl Wild)
LEUCONAMazurka en Glissando

One of the first places Kathryn ever played as a child, at about the age of seven, was Skipton Town Hall. Since then she has performed for Skipton Music on many occasions, so she says it is a real pleasure to return in the year she anticipates her 60th birthday! With that in mind her programme will focus on ‘Song and Dance’, featuring some of her favourite pieces.


Top of the Girls.

When I first had the pleasure of reviewing a recital given by Kathryn Stott for the Yorkshire Post in the nineteen eighties, I said that she was arguably the finest female recital pianist in the UK. As the years have moved on, ‘arguably’ is no longer appropriate in the light of her continuing brilliance.

Her formidable technique conquers the most challenging of works, where her dynamism lies in her rhythmic drive.

Nothing ever flags or becomes wayward as her opening item, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ proved. This well known piece can so often be over sentimentalised by tampering with the steady tempo. But in the hands of Kathryn Stott it flowed beautifully.

Alas! The trusty Yamaha is signalling some signs of distress as a result of its use over the years. It is sounding ‘dry’ in the middle range where most melodies are located. This proves a challenge to the player insomuch as a singing tone is difficult to produce. Kathryn overcame the lack of resonance by a very skilful use of the sustaining pedal.

The sustaining pedal is a bit like the right pedal in a car. It can get one in or out of trouble in pianos either by reducing the sound to a mush, or imparting extra resonance. I listened and looked and her pedalling was always calculated to sort out the sound she was producing.

This is the first time I have seen Kathryn wear specs, use music for a recital and have the assistance of a turn-over aid. The young man who fulfilled this difficult task did so with quiet aplomb and dexterity.

There were some outstanding moments in this splendid recital.

For the Classicists. We had Liszt’s transcription of Wagner’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’

For the Latin lovers, Villa Lobos.

But exceptionally, there were some evergreen favourites for those of us who were taught that Tin-Pan-Ally was an apology for classical American Music.

Hurrah! ‘It ain’ got no thing if it ain’t got that swing.’

Nowadays such players are called, ‘Crossover Musicians’ but the derogatory term was, ‘One foot in, ‘Tin-Pan-Ally’.

Kathryn Stott can put her pianistic feet anywhere. She understands music and does a brilliant job.

Adrienne Fox