Nicola Losito played a masterful recital at our beautiful venue, the Orangery of castle Rheda, a week ago.
Inge and Bernd Jostkleigrewe, our dear friends, had once again organised the entire events with incomparable love and care about any detail.
Having arrived a day before after an 11 hour journey, Nicola was able to practise at the Einstein-Gymnasium, the local grammar school’s Steinway B on Friday morning. In recognition of this opportunity, Nicola had agreed to performing for over 250 school children, explaining and talking about the works he played. The school director, Mr Jörg Droste, who also attended the recital in the evening, was very generous in allowing Nicola to practise, and the 50 minutes’ event was an unforgettable experience for the children and teachers alike. THANK YOU, dear Mr Droste!
In the evening, Nicola Losito’s extraordinary recital took place:
A brand-new Steinway B with an astonishingly warm and even range of colours and sounds had been generously placed into the Orangery by the piano house ‘Micke’ from Münster in Westphalia.
The hall was sold out (about 175 seats), it was once again a beneficiary charity recital for INNER WHEEL of Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Inner Wheel, founded in January 1924 by Welsh nurse Margarette Golding, née Owen, was originally an organisation to promote friendship, service and understanding, open to wives of Rotary club members. Today, this women’s organisation has over 100,000 members in over 100 countries, working for people and institutions in need of support.
Nicola Losito, now 26, had studied with Maria Puxeddo (she died in January 2021, aged almost 96) as a child, later with Teresa Trevisan and Massimo Gon at the state conservatory Trieste. Over the period of four years, he had also studied with Arrau‘s student, Argentinian pianist Aquiles delle Vigne (he died at the beginning of this year, aged 75) in Salzburg, Paris and Lucca. For many years recently, he had in addition been Leonid Margarius‘ student at the International piano Academy in Imola.
This impressive list of teachers has clearly added imprints to Nicola Losito‘s vast musical talent and on his capacity as a mature and utterly musical pianist.
The programme he performed consisted of two Beethoven sonatas in the first half, and music of the romantic era in the second.
Nicola Losito’s rendition of Beethoven’s Opus 27 number one and two was a clear demonstration of his ability to play the Viennaise classic repertoire in a most idiomatic and convincing manner. The scarce use of pedal, combined with his sharp sense of rhythm and metrum brought his interpretation to a very high level, and often I felt it was Arrau himself performing. Especially the tempo of the first movement of the E flat major sonata, often taken much too slow by too many pianists, was beautiful: andante (but written in Alla Breve!!) has to be moving ahead rather than tapping slowly and sleepingly. There is one recording of Walter Gieseking that demonstrates how it should really be performed. Nicola has fully understood this work and Beethoven’s intention. So this was beautiful, and the consistency of expression and beautiful choice of metre and tempo added to his interpretation, also it’s beautiful rendition of the Moonlight Sonata. With his sound always singing and clear, never too hard and with no exaggerations in either slow or fast movements, the audience became very enthusiastic about Nicola’s Beethoven, and rapturous applause closed the first half after about 30 minutes.
What followed in the second half was simply breathtaking: a Dante Sonata which would have impressed you, dear Leslie, played in the most haunting way when it came to hell, and in the most celestial beauty as a contrast. Nicola’s technique is such that it allows him to play anything, and despite his slim figure and finely shaped hands, he can produce the most incredible sounds, as if a big orchestra were playing. Not once any banging of the piano occurred!
A choice of four preludes and Etudes-Tableaux by Rachmaninov clearly demonstrated Margarius’ influence, no Ukrainian or Russian pianist could play this more convincingly than Nicola did.
Nicola Losito concluded his recital with a beautiful rendition of the plum sugar fairy dance of Tchaikovsky‘s Nutcracker suite, transcribed by Mikhail Pletnev. The rhythmic sense was delightful, and one could imagine a whole ballet dancing and floating through the Orangery. The beautiful weather allowed the evening sunshine to shed warm colours on everyone.
A masterful, breathtaking encore of Chopin’s study Opus 25 number 12, C Minor (with Chopin’s hidden Hommage to Bach subtly but clearly demonstrated by Nicola) concluded an evening that so many people had yearned to hear for over two years. It was an impressive, delightful and long awaited experience, and Nicola Losito deserves full marks.
A masterful pianist, a delightful, modest and highly educated personality, Nicola Losito represented the Keyboard Charitable Trust in a most dignified and noble manner – he should also be supported in the future, so I am advocating for him to be sent also to the United States and elsewhere whenever possible. BRAVISSIMO, CARO NICOLA!
I now want to thank Inge and Bernd Jostkleigrewe, our dear friends, who have long had a very close connection with our foundation, once initiated by their wonderful daughter Anne Jostkleigrewe, when she herself was working as a cultural attaché at the representation of the city of Hamburg in Berlin. Inge & Bernd have once again organised this recital, followed by a generous dinner invitation afterwards, with meticulous care and love for our work. THANK YOU, DEAR INGE AND BERND!
With very much love and gratitude that I was once again given the opportunity to organise a recital for foundation. I hope we will be able to continue, although the pandemic is looming over autumn.
Much love to all of you,