Batsford’s set is very enjoyable and wonderfully relaxing
Batsford plays the pieces in suites, playing three pieces uninterrupted before seguing to the next set, which provides a nice lucid flow to the event. Batsford’s melodies are skilled and beautiful pieces, with clear influences from Yann Tiersen and even Michael Nyman. His compositions are easy on the ears but also emotionally rich with beautiful arpeggios and trills.
After treating us to a few of his own compositions, including the pleasant Australia-inspired Gudonya and the captivating Retinal I movements, Batsford pays homage to the great Ludovico Einaudi and plays three of his beautiful compositions. Then we’re given some piano improvisation.
His improvisational skills are clear – he’s released a whole album of recorded improvisations, but the performance here seems a bit limited. The improvisation itself is pleasant but the delivery and engagement is lacking. This would be more impressive if he perhaps asked the audience what style they would like to hear, to really showcase his improvisational talents and make it more engaging. It’s also a pity that due to technical hiccups we couldn’t get a recording of the improvisation.
Nevertheless for an afternoon of soothing piano, Batsford’s set is very enjoyable and wonderfully relaxing. With provocative compositions, a healthy amount of Ludovico Einaudi and some improvisational playing to boot, Rich Batsford’s Classically Chilled Piano is a lovely way to spend an hour of the afternoon.