In the past year there have been almost no live concerts, and therefore no reviews of the traditional kind.
But sometimes there are reviews of streamed concerts, and the piano quartets I performed earlier this month with the excellent Scottish Chamber Orchestra principal players Maria Wloszczowska, Felix Tanner and Philip Higham (the concert is still free to watch here) have had two online reviews. One is from Vox Carnyx, Scotland’s new classical music website, and the other is from the long-running Bachtrack.
I can’t resist quoting this from Bachtrack:
‘Tomes grips the eye as well as the ear, for she has mastered the art of throwaway perfectionism in music that’s in her blood. Relaxed and authoritative at the keyboard, the alchemistic Scot spun black printed dots into gold as what appeared to be an idle flick of the wrist or a casual finger-twiddle became a perfectly formed moment of virtuosity. The weighting of her left hand in the first movement of K478, the earlier of Mozart’s two essays in the form, was even more delicious than her elegant right-hand acrobatics. It’s only a short leap from this repertoire to the piano concertos – indeed, Mozart’s Allegro moderato finale is fully formed as a concertante movement with bright cadenza flourishes and thickly textured piano writing – and it found Tomes at her most commanding.’
Normally one is advised not to pay too much attention to reviews, but after such a bleak year for performers, words of appreciation feel like water in the desert.