A Review by Nathalie Kyrou © 2012 www.kyrou.com
Yiannis Georgiou’s recent piano recital at Rialto theatre in Limassol on December 1st was all that it promised to be, and more. With works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Moussorgsky, this unique medley of classical music was the perfect way to start off the festive season.
Yiannis, one of the most celebrated Cypriot pianists, is surprisingly humble on stage – amicable without having to say a word. He does what he knows best: he leaves his playing to do the talking. He began the night warming up with a Bach prelude, a piece a little better known than the same composer’s slightly more complex fugue that followed. Beethoven’s sonata was performed with expertise and grace, followed by the delightful and resonant Brahms’ Capriccio and Intermezzo, where Yiannis illustrated that professional piano playing does not require frantic theatrics in order to entertain. In fact, the converse is often true: real skill is exemplified when one occasionally holds back speed and volume whilst not holding back emotion or depth.
The second half of the evening was a journey through Moussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, a fantastic masterpiece inspired by art, comprised of a medley of related parts. With some broken down, tender moments and other swift and animated pieces – breathtaking in their impressive pace – Yiannis succeeded in creating a nice balance throughout. He kept the momentum going, whilst still pausing in between each work, allowing us all to catch our breaths before leaving the real world behind us once more as we became re-engrossed with the melodic story unravelling before us.
Bent over the piano as if caressing it, Yiannis did not just play the sweet and dramatic compositions – he played with them, encompassing the music within his entire being, as he teasingly bounced notes back and forth, taking us for a ride on this fun and poignant musical exploration. His body hugging the piano, his face positioned close to the keys, his expression entranced, I was left wondering what magical spells his lips could be whispering to his agile fingers to make them embody such blissful sounds and rhythms.
The roaring applause from the packed audience and the special guest of the evening, Limassol’s mayor, ensured Yiannis an encore, where he delighted us with a soothing, beautiful Chopin Nocturne – the perfect lullaby with which to end the night.