I am hugely grateful to Maria for her haunting, magical première of ‘Goodwood by the Sea’ – it was a great compliment to me and a sign of her dedicated professionalism. She brought my music alive with great sensitivity and made it glow in a way I had not imagined possible.
Roderick Williams OBE, commenting on the world premiere at Shipley Arts Festival
“…Full marks here for enterprising and imaginative programming…played with imaginative verve, sensitivity and technical accomplishment…She most definitely brings this (Williams’ Goodwood by the Sea) tremendously evocative music to life on this album and it certainly deserves to become a standard British solo piano repertory item. For me it is the standout item on this album…
“…a superb transcription of his song ‘Sea Fever’… by…Roderick Williams…’Goodwood by the Sea’, a wonderfully realised sea picture…All phenomenally played, with Marchant’s chameleon-like ability to inhabit each work something to marvel at.
“…There are gems aplenty in this sensitively played and wholly absorbing survey of British piano music…Maria Marchant brings both power and delicacy to Ronald Stevenson’s marvellous Peter Grimes Fantasy…Kenneth Leighton’s masterly Six Studies (Study-Variations), Op 56… rivet the attention in their exhilarating technical prowess and harmonic resourcefulness…what tingling hush and concentration Marchant brings to the concluding ‘Night’ from Britten’s youthful Holiday Diary, and how deftly she showcases a sequence of six Holst piano works composed between 1924 and 1932…
“…Marchant excels…but is most impressive in Kenneth Leighton’s Six Studies Op 56, from 1969, displaying cool control in the monolithic chordal movements and great dexterity in the highly complex contrapuntal sections. Other treats include a new piano piece from the baritone Roderick Williams, a blue-skied and sunny Goodwood by the Sea…
“…[Schubert/Liszt’s] Am Meer was performed with great poignancy….Throughout Marchant played with great sensitivity and the audience welcomed her back enthusiastically for a sublime encore of Balakirev’s transcription of Glinka’s ‘The Lark’.
Sue Burge, Eastern Daily Press
Maria Marchant’s recital on Sunday afternoon was without doubt a thoroughly satisfying and memorable occasion. She is a musician of great sensitivity – but, as in the Liszt Ballade in B minor, capable of much power and passion. Perhaps most of all she has the gift of sharing her enjoyment of music making with her audience.
Hilary Elgar, Worcester Concert Club
The piano music of John Ireland occupies a significant place in twentieth century British music. Maria Marchant has a particular understanding of its combination of poetry and rhythmic bite, highlighting the unique combination of virtuoso pyrotechnics and depth of feeling.
David Wordsworth, The John Ireland Trust
“…Debussy’s ‘Bergamasque’ followed encapsulating the different moods and atmospheres of the four movements which included the renowned ‘Clair de Lune’. Maria engrossed herself in each of these demonstrating the different aspects of harmony and dance with consummate ease…
…outstanding performances of Bliss’ piano music at the Eastbourne Arts Centre…. ‘Dramatic Recitative’ was more characterized than any performance I have ever heard….the two Bliss items fitted well into the balanced and interesting programme…the audience were delighted.
Robert Milnes, Arthur Bliss Society
Maria Marchant’s ‘Conflict and Memories’ programme is an extraordinarily imaginative idea, vividly contrasting three different composers’ writing during the First World War. Not only does Maria capture those contrasts so vividly in her playing but she also meets the huge technical challenges of all the works with great skill and musicianship.
Leslie East, Chairman, City Music Society
Maria Marchant is the consummate concert pianist whose annual playing in the Shipley Arts Festival touches each member of the audience individually with original and creative programming that inspires the community to fill our venues to capacity.
Andrew Bernardi, Artistic Director, Shipley Arts Festival
…….Maria Marchant’s intelligent and expressive reading of Haydn’s G minor Sonata, so subtle in its composition with much being spun across its two movements from so fine a thread…..
Robert Matthew-Walker, The Classical Source
…the prodigiously gifted Maria Marchant…..another promising pianist of clean fingers and ambition…..Maria Marchant’s unfussy, emotionally charged and superbly virtuosic playing caught Leighton’s brand of fierce romantic mysticism…….the whole series ended with Kenneth Hesketh’s Poetic Conceits which Marchant played with consummate mastery.
The Times, The Classical Source and Musical Pointers
The music presented by Maria in Seaford derived from thoughts raised by the introduction ‘Conflicts and Memories – the First World War’, resulting in a remarkable range of styles and challenges, all of which Maria conquered with breathtaking virtuosity. The recital was notable for its fluency and dramatic impact, with pianism and musicality of the highest order.
Dr Frank McCapra, Seaford Music Society
In two works by John Ireland and one by Frank Bridge…the genius of two somewhat neglected composers was revealed in playing of extraordinary power and eloquence. ….the demanding, technique-stretching G Minor Ballade, to which Maria brought a sense of controlled abandon ….In the two Opus 27 Nocturnes the piano sang with crepuscular sweetness; and in three of the Opus 25 Studies the technical demands were somehow wrapped in the musical qualities that Chopin brought to the genre and that Maria revealed to the full.
Maria establishes an immediate rapport with her audience. Her programmes are well thought out and played with sensitivity and insight.
Elizabeth Swift, The Bishop Auckland Music Society
It has been a unique pleasure to conduct for and work with Maria in quite a few concerts. She is an artist of consummate technique, musicianship and insight. Her preparation is thorough and she is at home in all the many styles of music we have performed together.
Adrian Brown, Conductor
Thank you for a lovely recital – so well thought out and full of lovely music beautifully played. I know they all enjoyed it so much!
Juliet Abrahamson, Director, Cambridge Summer Music Festival
Maria set the scene well with her introductions in this delightful programme. She held the audience with her fluency of thought, technical assurance and total concentration throughout, capturing the essence of the music and projecting it with conviction.
Janet Evans, Darlington Piano Society
’Selected by the Royal College of Music as one of its ‘Rising Stars’, pianist Maria Marchant opened the season in October with a fascinating programme…. All were impeccably played, but the pièce de résistance were Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas. The furious rhythms, intertwined ancient modes, general feel of the Pampas, and not to mention the tremendous glissando at the end, made the performance a gripping experience.
John Dalton, Honiton Festival
The piano recital given by Maria Marchant….excellent and very well received.
Harris Music Club
‘This was a splendid start to Darlington Piano Society’s new season…an accomplished and confident musician performing an attractive and thoughtful programme….[the] three London Pieces were so vividly portrayed….it was possible to imagine the varied scenes she described in her introduction.’