Nicola Losito in Steinway’s Hall of Fame – London
The young Italian pianist Nicola Losito gave his debut recital in London for the Keyboard Charitable Trust.
Still only 22 he was noted a few years ago by Moritz von Bredow one of the KCT Trustees who was on the jury of the International Piano Competition in Osimo when Nicola took first prize.
Having graduated with highest honours from the Tartini Conservatory in Trieste where he studied with Massimo Gon. He is now perfecting his studies at the International Piano Academy in Imola under Leonid Magarius .
Already two CD’s to his name and a string of successes in International Competitions he played under the eagle eye of Paderewski in the magnificent Steinway Hall of Fame.
With all the greatest pianists alive and dead looking on, undaunted he played a programme of Chopin.Haydn and Schumann to a very discerning audience.
Thanking him in his inimitable way, Moritz von Bredow at the end of an exhilarating recital he touched on the very point that was so evident from the very first notes of the recital.
The Chopin studies played with great assurance but above all each one was shaped and coloured like a miniature tone poem.
A true musician with a virtuoso technique that knows no difficulties and can concentrate on the true musical values with all his youthful exuberance and passionate involvement.
Seven studies from op 10 and 25 by Chopin opened the programme.
The first two studies op 10 notorious for the technical challenge they pose were played with a real sense of architectural shape.
The imposing majesty of the left hand in the first study with the arpeggios adding only shape to the melodic line .Very subtly played with some great contrasts always following the melodic line of the majestic bass notes.
The second study of chromatic scales in the right hand was played with a teasing charm worthy of that great disciple of Godowsky ,Jan Smeterlin who was looking on from the wall much bemused.
The third study op 10 was beautifully shaped with a refined sense of rubato and a great sense of direction that made the return of the melody so touching. It was the same sense of style that he brought to the slow op 25 n.7 building up to the great climax before dying away to almost nothing.
I felt op 10.n.4 could have been more scherzando as I well remember in Perlemuter’s hands with the call to changing from one hand to another so clearly marked.
The last two studies from op 10 and op 25 were played with the same passion of the young Chopin who had written them.
The famous Revolutionary Study with Chopin’s dynamics well understood with his yearning from afar for his home land under siege.
The final study op 25 was given a tumultuous performance and this very fine Steinway Grand Piano was made to sound very noble and grand indeed.
The Haydn Sonata in C n.50 Hob XV1 was given a very rhythmic performance but a slightly less Beethovenian sound would have allowed for more character in this Sonata where Haydn’s impish good humour can be so telling.
This was a fine performance of a young man who was enjoying the wondrous sounds of an instrument that Haydn would not have known.
Noretta Conci-Leech and her husband John,the founding fathers of the KCT had flown in especially for the recital. I expect knowing that Nicola was going to play the Carnaval Jest of Vienna by Schumann that was a speciality of Michelangeli who was Noretta Conci-Leech‘s mentor for many years and she became his assistant too.
Some beautiful things played with youthful passion and a great sense of forward propulsion. Never allowing the tension to flag for a minute .It lacked the subtle inimitable colouring of Michelangeli’s famous performance but had something of the same electric exuberance that Richter treated us to in those very first recitals he gave in London.
Noretta Conci-Leech is often telling me of the care that Michelangeli took over the pedal and fingering.
Almost no pedal in the classics where it is the fingers that have to find the sounds and clarity.And only a little more in the romantics.
A little less pedal in this rather resonant hall tonight would have allowed us to appreciate Nicola’s very subtle rubato and detail .But as one critic present said it was indeed a very “sensuous” performance .
It was that of a very talented young man on the crest of the wave and it was in the passionate Intermezzo that his true personality was fully revealed more than the rather seriously played Scherzino.
A beautiful performance of Chopin’s first nocturne was a fitting way to close this very successful recital in the magnificent space that is The Steinway Hall of Fame .
Moritz was only too happy to thank Steinways for allowing the Keyboard Trust to have a platform in many parts of the world for the extraordinarily talented pianists who only yearn for an audience to share their music with after years of dedication and intensive study.
Many of those associated with the KCT were in fact looking on from the hallowed walls tonight.
Alfred Brendel,Evgeny Kissin,Leslie Howard all Trustees of the KCT are just a few that were looking on today and I am sure we will see many more KCT artists adorn these walls in the future.
There was a very interesting discussion after the concert with Moritz von Bredow,Elena Vorotko and our founders about the
creation of an Alumni Association.
One that would unite many of the artists that have been helped by the KCT in an exchange of invaluable ideas and experiences in the music profession.
Birds of a Feather indeed.