The Cumberlands News
Riyad Nicolas - Carlisle Music Society, St Cuthbert's Church, Carlisle -18 November 2017
Aleppo-born pianist Riyad Nicolas took to the stage and delivered a recital to the crowds of Cumbria.
Beginning his recital, he gave no sign of the stress he must feel as his friends and family struggle at home.
The epic late Beethoven Op.110 Sonata showed his technique was perfect for the task, his quiet authority and meticulous preparation a pleasure to behold, the opening phrases of the sonata a joy.
Moving to Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, big fireworks in Scarbo - yet, when called for, the touch of an angel's feather.Infact, terrific.
After the interval, two sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti whose output was prodigious. These, seldom heard in recital, called for yet more refined technical dexterity. Admirable .
Chopin's Polonaise Fantaise is again rarely heard and not altogether typical of the composer's output. This preceded the fifth Scriabin sonata, a very different work, ushering in modernity to the early 20th century. More fireworks, beautifully executed.
For an encore the Chopin Etude known as Winder Wind giving a purely musical, sensitive prelude to possible winter storms ahead.