First of all, it took me a long time to do this review! We had such a busy week before Christopher's recital and a hectic day on the day itself. So, sure enough as soon as it was over I caught a bad cold, which I couldn't get rid of for more than a week! During this time, however, we received many positive comments about Christopher and his performance, which made it clear that the recital was a great success.

Many members loved his program with Beethoven, Liszt and Ravel – very generous, long and full of technically demanding pieces. I had looked forward to it, and it was indeed wonderful – as soon as Christopher began playing, I was in a different world. I left all the busy thoughts and worries, and just indulged in this superb music.

The first piece, Beethoven"s Waldstein Sonata was impressive.  I adore the first movement. It begins with a succession of chords in an anxious tempo.  It needs to be sharp and shrewd, played in pianissimo.   This is followed by a sweet choral theme in dolce, and this flow is absolutely gorgeous.  Christopher"s meticulous approach suited my taste, and I believe every one liked it!  The second movement, Adagio, is short, tranquil, peaceful and lyrical.  This is an introduction to the third movement, so it gets gradually more unsettling as it progresses and moves towards the third movement.  I think Christopher demonstrated his ability in full in the third movement, which involves daringly fast scales in the left hand.  His right hand worked on a continuous trill and a series of broken chords in triplets was amazing.   There are so many notes to be played in this movement and it certainly keeps the pianist busy!  One member mentioned that he himself used to play this sonata but was truly impressed that Christopher never missed one single note, nor made a single mistake.  His powerful and energetic execution of this Sonata was a perfect start to the memorable evening.

This was followed by two pieces by Franz Liszt, No. 3 Benediction de Diu dans la solitude S173 and Premiere Ballade S170.  Again, very impressive '“ his total engagement and concentration together with his superb technical skill made those pieces very appealing.

After the interval, Christopher played Deuxieme Ballade in B minor by Liszt, followed by a long awaited piece (by me), Ravel"s Gaspard de la nuit. The programme note from Making Music describes this piece as a 'œvirtuoso masterpiece of phenomenal difficulty'.  It was mysterious and haunting.  I particularly liked Ondine, a story about the water sprite.  It was so inspirational, spiritual and a bit spooky, bringing out the sense of a beautiful water movement which was bewitching and luring.  It certainly exploited the instrument to its utmost limits.  Of course he deserved every bit of thunderous applause from our members!

As we demanded more, he came back to play two more pieces for encore.  I was absolutely delighted when Christopher played Schumann"s Arabesque, one of my favourites.  Its highly lyrical melody was refreshing, especially after that haunting Ravel!  He played it melodically and I really loved it.  This was followed by Liszt"s Pastoral, which concluded our evening perfectly.

It was a fabulous evening, even though the weather was once again awful with pouring rain.  Thank you very much for coming, and thank you Christopher, for your stunning performance.

About Christoper

Christopher Devine was born and raised in the Netherlands in 1982, from a German mother and a Scottish father. He studied at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and presently is continuing his studies in Vienna. Christopher Devine has also won First Prizes at several national and international competitions, such as the Princess Christina Competition and the Young Dutch Musician of 1998 Award.  Click for Christopher's full biography.


  • Beethoven:  Sonata No 21 in C major "Waldstein" Op. 53
  • Liszt:  Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, No. 3 Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude S173
  • Liszt:  Deuxième Ballade in B minor S171
  • Ravel:  Gaspard de la nuit: Ondine, Le gibet, Scarbo