The location for this performance by Fabrizio Paterlini, Stoller Hall, in the heart of Manchester, was a new one to tick off the list. Arriving at this beautifully intimate venue, it is found situated in a side street dwarfed by the cavernous Manchester AO Arena on one side and the bustling Manchester Victoria Train Station on the other. Once inside, you discover a delightful room which seats around a hundred or so and couldn’t be a more perfect setting for this kind of performance.

In complete contrast, barely 500 yards away, over 15,000 fans are packed into Manchester’s AO Arena for a night with American rap superstar 50 Cent but, once inside and Italian pianist Fabrizio Paterlini takes to the stage, his wonderfully intimate music easily drowns out any distractions from across the road. Joined by a 3-piece string section, the Italian’s performance, which featured work from his latest album ‘Riverscapes’, is absolutely mesmerizing.

On the album, Paterlini’s music is hypnotic and magical but, to experience it in the live setting, you can’t help but get lost in the sounds pouring from the stage. Playing to an audience mainly ranging from twenty to forty year olds, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who Paterlini’s target audience could be. That being said, while this was a diverse audience for sure, it is one that is held under the pianist’s spell for the entirety of the show.

It was a dreary Friday evening in Manchester when the Italian takes to the stage. Couple that with the stresses of another long work week and you need something to wash it all away and help you forget it for an hour or two. Up steps Fabrizio Paterlini who makes sure that, for almost two gone-in-a-flash hours, the world outside Stoller Hall and all the stresses that have built up over the last seven days, simply don’t exist.

Read our review of Fabrizio Patelini’s new album Riverscapes here.

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