Monday, February 14, 2011

Maria Thompson Corley Plays 'Adagio in F' of Saint-Georges & 'Étude in A Minor' of H. L. Adams at Bermuda Festival

[Maria Thompson Corley]

On Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 in the City of Hamilton, Bermuda, Pianist Maria Thompson Corley made her first appearance in the Bermuda Festival. She performed Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata Op. 13 Pathetique; Barcarolle, Op. 60 of Frederic Chopin; the rarely performed Adagio in F minor of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges; and the Étude in A minor of H. Leslie Adams. profiles both Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) and H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932).

Natalie Hinderas recorded the Adagio in F (6:25) of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges on LP. It is now available as a download from for $1.59.

The Bermuda Festival program notes tell us:
"Jamaican-born Canadian pianist Maria Thompson Corley, who is also Bermudian, is the granddaughter of Cecily Caisey, a well-known piano teacher on the island of Bermuda. Maria Thompson Corley gave her first public performance at the age of eight. Since then, she has appeared on radio, television, and concert stages in Canada, the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Europe, both as a solo and collaborative artist."

The program notes say of the work of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges:
“His Adagio in F Minor is an eloquent expression of deep sorrow, rendered with the sort of transparency that makes this piece deceptively difficult.”

The program notes quote the pianist as saying of the composition of H. Leslie Adams:
“While Adams' intention in his études was to create moods, rather than focusing exclusively on one technical problem, several of them follow the mould established by Chopin in his famous sets of concert études. The Étude in A Minor fits this category; it is an octave étude, full of turbulence, but with a delightfully unexpected blues break in the middle.

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