Laing demonstrated great technical mastery of the complex compositions … such was the speed of the playing in the finale of the Ravel that smoke and not rosin dust appeared to be rising from the violin. But he also showed a flair for conveying the emotion and mood of the pieces, particularly evident in the second movement of Beethoven’s “Spring” sonata.
As well as the brilliance of the playing, what made the evening stand out was Laing’s clear, entertaining but informative introductions to the works. This gave the audience a greater understanding of the music before it was performed, and an indication as to the musicians’ feelings about the pieces … It was a pleasure to be in presence of such talent. Lichfield Mercury, April 2008.
There is something rather haunting about a piano and solo violin. In the hands of accomplished performers such as Laing, on violin, and Caird, the instruments can sound bright, baroque, romantic and even fun but somehow they always ready to drift into that melancholy which brings back images of wartime black and white films of despair and desolation.
John Williams used just that when he composed the theme for the Oscar-winning Schindler's List with violinist Itzhak Perlman in mind which was one of the highlights of the concert.
The opening was more traditional with Mozart's Sonata in E minor and Brahms' Sonata No. 1 followed after the break with shorter pieces from Elgar, Fritz Kreisler, Massenet and, a bit of a party piece, Monty's Czardash.
Laing showed a fine touch while Caird proved an excellent foil on piano. It was a pity though that more people, especially the young, were not there to see a fine performance. Birmingham Mail, April 2009.