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Thursday, October 2, 2014


(Review from the artSMart team covering the Witness Hilton Arts Festival which ran at Hilton College from September 19 to 21)

Pure delight to be whisked off on a magnificent musical journey. (Review by Pauline Dalais)

I have to admit at the start that I know nothing about classical music but I had heard so much about Christopher Duigan that I wanted to experience a live performance from him. Linked to the fact that he was performing with Anthony Stonier, Sparky’s Magic Piano became a “must” for Hilton.

I also had little knowledge of the production beforehand so did not know what to expect. We were blindfolded for most of the show, so we could fully experience it the way it was originally created in 1947 - on radio or record.

It was a pure delight to be whisked off on a magnificent musical journey with Duigan’s piano playing and Stonier’s captivating storytelling skills. When the blindfolds came off, I was mesmerised by the way Duigan’s fingers flew over the keys in the various moods.

Sparky’s Magic Piano is about a little boy who won’t practise his piano music. The piano turns out to be a magic one and does his practising for him! This leads to much amazement from his teacher, family and friends and before long he’s on a concert platform. But for how long is the piano going to put up with Sparky’s arrogant behaviour!

I was pleased that I actually did recognise most of the pieces that were played and look forward to expanding my knowledge of this kind of music. – Pauline Dalais