From recent reviews:
Technical Mastery and Control in Harp Concert
There could hardly have been a better way to take time out from the hassles of the festive season than spending an hour in the enchanting company of harpist David Watkins.
David had chosen a programme of short and attractive pieces which really highlighted the instrument's best qualities, and which he presented with the bare minimum of spoken introduction, ensuring that this hour-long recital was virtually wall-to-wall music.
Despite this, part of David's charm is his really unassuming delivery, both when playing music by other composers and, indeed, his own pieces.
In a recital which encompassed works from Croft to Godfroid and featured such immediately appealing items as Zabel's Sad Marguerite At the Spinning Wheel, Spohr's Fantasy and a crossover version of Liszt's well-known Consolation which now seemed better suited to the harp than the original piano, David's assured technical mastery and control were irrefutable.
A Welsh Landscape, dedicated to Pembrokeshire poet, sculptor and fellow-harpist Rosalind Sharples, attested to David's standalone skill as a composer where, not surprisingly, the writing was both totally idiomatic and eminently successful in conveying the music's descriptive programme. With a short seasonal inclusive, Simon Wright's simple yet effective take on Silent Night, and a generous encore, this was not only an immensely enjoyable concert, but the perfect template for those who follow, in terms of length, content and balance.
PHILIP R BUTTAL
Recital for the Mayfield Festival
Neil Mackie C.B.E. 28 April 2008