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Seen and Heard International, April 18th 2021
Solo Recital at Wigmore Hall, March 19th 2021
[In] Schubert’s Drei Klavierstücke McCawley captured the driven febrile quality of the first piece with its racing triplets and there was close attention to detail and richly varied tonal and dynamic contrasts. The second piece in E flat received a ravishing performance here. The opening section was enchanting and a rare moment of poetic beauty. Both here and in the ensuing two episodes McCawley gave a masterclass on how to make the piano sing. The third piece with its syncopations was robust and lively in equal measure and I loved the handling of the modulation ushering in the central section. McCawley’s virtuoso technique came to the fore in the coda driving the set to an exhilarating conclusion.
Seen and Heard International, October 17th 2020
Solo Recital at Wigmore Hall, October 10th 2020
There was much to admire in McCawley’s sterling interpretation of this work [Schubert Sonata D664]. He displayed enormous sensitivity and tenderness while also breathing life into the more dramatic elements of the work and the strong dynamic contrasts. The slow movement was poetic and eloquent, and McCawley did a wonderful job in capturing the reflective intimacy of the music. The finale was enchanting as Schubert’s scales and runs bubbled along delightfully.
Overall, this was an extremely impressive piano recital featuring a consistently high standard of playing throughout.
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Classical Source March 1st 2016
Wigmore Hall Solo Recital March 1st 2016
Every time in this excellent Wigmore Hall recital when I thought I’d nailed the main, generating aspect of Leon McCawley’s style, he’d confound expectations. His seemingly ascetic, self-contained persona would deftly step aside to allow comedy, fantasy and passion to hold the floor, on the back of a disarmingly profound and mercurial virtuosity, and his playing just sounded right…
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