Aidan Mikdad at the Wigmore Hall astonishes and ravishes with Scriabin of mystery,passion and colour as he reaches for the stars.

Promoted by the Royal Academy of Music.

Aidan Mikdad at the Wigmore Hall in the Royal Academy Piano Series astonished and amazed in Scriabin as he entered completely into a world of mystery,passion and above all colour.
Reaching for the elusive star that was very much Scriabin’s llfelong obsession with the ominous opening appearing as a menacing shadow before the passionate frenzy of the Presto con fuoco.
The sumptuous opening sounds marked ‘Drammatico’opened a Pandora’s box of colour with strands of melody that were like jewels sparkling in this cauldron of effusive sounds.

There was mystery even in the Allegretto second movement with it’s constant forward moving rhythmic energy and whispered drive.
But it was the Andante with it’s liquid luminosity that cast a magic spell from this true poet of the piano.The gentle menacing opening motive was like a distant memory entering into the spell cast by the Andante .It burst into action with the transcendental pyrotechnics of the last movement.The triumphant explosion of the ‘star’ was played with the youthful passionate conviction of someone who had completely understood this mysterious world that Scriabin inhabited.
An audience that was totally mesmerised by an extraordinarily powerful performance was rewarded by even more ravishing effusions with Scriabin’s early Waltz.The jeux perlé and lightweight sounds that flew from his hands reached peaks of passionate effusions before returning into it’s opening shell.

It is obviously no coincidence that Aidan has been touring with Arcadi Volodos whose ravishing sense of colour is legendary.
If Aidan has acquired something of the the same love for sound he has not yet acquired the sheer beauty of movement of Volodos who like a sculpture shapes the sounds giving the same form to his hands on the keys as the sounds he is painting in the air.
It was this rather pianistic approach to the keyboard that made his brilliant performance of Schumann’s Carnaval rather lacking in charm and seemed strangely black and white compared to the multicoloured performance that was to follow.
Surely there are many variations of forte and piano as marked by Schumann that he was later to find so wonderfully in Scriabin.
It was scrupulously played and technically flawless but needed more time to breathe and Schumann’s duel personality of Eusebius and Floristan seemed unfairly one sided .

There were of course many beautiful things because Aidan’s natural artistry will always shine through but it was a world that he looked at rather than inhabited.It was a young man’s Carnaval but was not Rubinstein’s always youthful even at 90 on this very stage!There were some beautiful moments in Chiarina which reached ravishing heights in Chopin played with the same aristocratic sentiment that was very much Rubinstein’s.But the fleeting vision in Reconnaissance is marked pianissimo in the score as was missing the playful squabbling between Pantalon and Colombine.Paganini was played with flawless perfection but many passages are marked piano and if the final four chords are played too loudly the magical pianississimo echo will not stand a chance of appearing like a magic vibration.Schumann marks the final March ‘non allegro’ which was certainly not the case today but Aidan’s youthful exuberance did add great excitement to the final pages .Eusebius and Aveu were beautifully played as the melodic line was allowed to unravel and breathe so magically.Aidan did bring astonishing bravura and excitement to his Carnaval but the melancholy wistful fantasy and subtle rubato of a Rubinstein were missing.Aidan was happier with the deep brooding of Scriabin rather than the seemingly frivolous effervescence of Schumann.


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