Corn Exchange. Dorchester

THE life and works of Chopin brought to the stage by three starry performers - this has to be an evening never to be forgotten.

And that is what it proved to be when piano virtuoso Lucy Parham along with acting duo Harriet Walter and Guy Paul treated us to the romantic life of the Polish musical genius.

Struggling with ill health for most of his short life, it is remarkable that Chopin managed to give to the world such a rich tapestry of piano compositions and the audience were treated to a dozen of his most notable works played with sensitivity and love by Lucy Parham, a world acclaimed pianist.

Her ability to change the tone and flavour of the pieces is amazing as she ranged from the joyful to the solemn with a sweetness that few could emulate, the Minute Waltz and the powerful Raindrop Prelude demonstrating Chopin at his very best.

The story of Chopin’s life, compiled and written by Lucy Parham, has been immaculately researched from archive material and the narration by Harriet Walter and Guy Paul gave the audience an insight into the composer’s struggle with anxiety as his health declined.

His relationship with the French writer George Sand is outlined with skill as she not only inspired him but also cared for him during his later years when the narrative takes on a touching emotional depth, all wonderfully illustrated by preludes and ballads performed between the narratives.

As the autumn season at the Arts Centre moves on, Dorchester is privileged indeed to be treated to quality entertainment across such a wide spectrum, we owe the organisers a debt of gratitude.