Friday, 5 October 2012

Tetbury 10

The music festival at Tetbury seems now a well-established part of our calendar: others attend from far further afield than Cheltenham, and indeed local hotels can count on doing a roaring trade this weekend.

In its tenth year, there is cause for celebration. So it seemed fitting that Mitsuko Uchida, that sublime performer, should be on the bill to open this year's festival: there is no bigger name in the world of piano playing today. We were looking forward to hearing her in the flesh for the first time.

But it was not to be: she rang the festival codirector a week ago to say that her doctor had told her to rest for two months. Last night's audience was not the only one to be disappointed.

But was it? Amazingly, the substitute found at such short notice was none other than Paul Lewis, and not only that, he played all three of Schubert's last sonatas for us. Some stand-in. Some performance.

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