CRITICS
 

 


Nicolas with the German "Master of  Music Critic" Joachim Kaiser

Firehead from Cyprus
… Economou's stupendously polished technique is never an eye-catcher, but a starting point combining both spiritual and musical perception of the texture, it is the mark of a practice method which has no parallel in Europe. His touch delicately articulated the sombre yet sweet melancholy of Tchaikovsky, and transformed the superficial artistry of Prokofiev's ‘Preludes’ into new depths of meaning: he characterized each individual scene in Mussorgsky's ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ with a touch that corresponded unfailingly in the mood and expression. When he came to the end of the suite, finishing with a dramatic and highly powerful rendering of ‘The great Gate at Kiev’, the audience broke out in a storm of applause that barely subsided after several encores.
Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 17.1.73

Cypriot Sound Magician
The 24 year old Economou, born in Cyprus and educated in the strict Moscow School of the very Richter and Gilels, proved himself as a talent, which apparently has no limits. …
For the realization of such a talent all desirable means stand to his disposition: profound knowledge of musical texture combined with high sensitivity, enormous musicality and a technique, which couldn’t be more perfect, as he proved by celebrating the Mephistowalzer in an almost Paganinian magical way at the end of the heavily demanded encore. …
Augsburger Allgemeine, 11.5.77

Nicolas Economou
… The publicity for Mr. Economou’s piano recital on Thursday promised something of a wild man, an importunate daredevil, and one went in trepidation. In fact there was nothing to blench at, and a great deal to admire…
His bold attacks on Liszt’s B minor Sonata were, I thought, triumphant. Apart from the sensational piano-playing, with some hair-raising speed solidly held, the essential dramatic continuity of the work was sizes whole-heartedly – it is full of dangerous transitions, and Economou found a perfectly convincing treatment for every one, to the vast benefit of the Sonata. …
Financial Times, 6.5.80

… Was it the devil or Liszt himself behind the keyboard, I thought, listening to his performance of Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz….
F. Straatman in Trouw, 18.12.84 (translated from dutch)

N.E. Kreisler démiurge et insolant
Beyond doubt Mr. Economou is the most “extraordinary” personality discovered at La Roque Festival in the course of five years. In him, this Festival did fulfil its contract. …
It’s very rare that a contact between interpreter and audience arises such spontaneously. …
In this sense, music appears more like a divine ritual than a ‚salonstück’. ...
Le Méridional, 17.8.85

Exciting advances into extreme dimensions
The matinee proved to be an encounter with a genius pianist, which – already in possession of the highest technical artistry – brought his expressivity even beyond depictable limits…
Flensburger Tageblatt, 29.10.85

... His vigorous temperament, the delightfully powerful left hand, the fascinating, highly accurate right hand, which masters all octave-leaps with great facility, a highly polished technique, a steely touch and a delicate exploring of sound-valeurs in remarkable changes: all this literally massed together into a scenario marked by a sheer brilliant art of characterization. …
Donau Kurier, 17.3.87

… Of course: this is not a pianist, just won somewhere a first-prize, and as a result grants a certain number of engagements. But he is someone, who – I can put my hands into fire for this – plays better and more interesting piano than hundreds and thousands of well-known pianists, whose time-table are filled up. …
Nicolas Economou is the type of pianist, who thrills the audience, who gets reactions from delirium to scandal. This is the type of pianist we need, who never allows his audience to fell a second asleep.
I promise you, that Nicolas Economou will in few years be a superstar. …
Extract from a letter to Harrison/Parrott Ltd; 9.9.85

And certainly we will not talk about his technique - such problems Economou is not faced with: The brilliant, crystal clear perlé playing, with the boundless possibilities of colour and potentiality; the faultless digital control and his always precise use of the pedal, allow him everything. For, all those facilities with which Econornou is endowed with and for which thousands of pianists try very hard to conquer - if they ever do and to what extend of perfection they can achieve it - in Nicolas Economou they function as a means; they are transformed into music. In music which nails you down and sweeps you away immediately into its world.
Music Review, 3.9.80

... of particular interest has been Economous own composition ‚Kinderlaunen’, quite a pleasing program music, which made such an impact on the audience, so that several requests for a recording had been made, something that is still not available.
Coesfelder Nachrichten, about 1975

Young Firehead On The Piano
… after this, Schumann’s ‘Arabeske’ made the lasting impression. It seems sheer impossible to play this piece with more heartfelt depth and poetic understanding. Even the brilliant Liszt [Mephisto Walzer], performed with limitless powers, fades in comparison. One has to follow Economou’s further development with all attention.
Süddeutsche Zeitung; 14.5.77

Volcano with a Russian Soul
... Rumours precede this young artist, hints of sensation. There is someone, who is able to improvise brilliantly over given themes and styles from Bach to Chopin, who thunders Liszt with fascinating accuracy, who is at first totally different than all the others. …
For everyone it was exciting to the point of exhaustion. It’s hardly imaginable to perform the ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ in an even crazier and brutal way.
Joachim Kaiser in Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15.2.78

... Comprehensible for everyone became Economou’s musical language finally at the encore. The ‘Adagio’ from Mozart’s Sonata in F major was performed in simplicity beyond comparison. It was such a clear moment of concentration, that the whole audience suppressed all kind of coughing for a few minutes.
Main Echo, 10.3.87

... It’s very rare to hear such an entertaining Tchaikowsky. … Those, who were present experienced an unexpected moment of luck. It’s just impossible to plan such remarkable events.
Wiesbadener Tageblatt, 31.7.90

In praise of Schumann's piano writing
… Deep within him Nicolas Economou knew better than many the doubts that assailed Schumann. His generous nature, fertile imagination and interpretative powers match the genius of his piano playing. His excesses are always for a reason and bring him close, in many ways, to Schumann.
Michel Le Naour

This record is absolutely wonderful. The Liszt Sonata for its painful nobility, its wounded grandeur, its bad temper, its rage, its sensual ecstasies, it takes its place at once among the most beautiful visions. More it amuses me, though with some doubts to compare this interpretation with some of the numerous ones: the grandiose Arrau (Philips) the demoniac Horowitz (RCA), the frantic Argerich (DG) and the meditative Richter (Philips). Should l dare to confess? Nicolas Economou thrills me even more. Better he gives me a feeling of genuineness and incomparable clearness.
Philippe Van den Bosch

Dear Panos
Nicolas “Sonata for Chick” is a great performance – it is also very much an improvisation. So, in this spirit I plan to honor Nicolas when I come to Cyprus.
Thank you for sending me the tape.
Best regards
Chick Corea

A great part of the public is still ignorant of the energy and creativity of such an artist. One can not but to greet this undertaking of rehabilitation. …
The very vast repertoire of Economou is one of his common points which appear to be so near to the first bars of the Liszt's Sonate in b minor of Vladimir Horowitz. The personalities are certainly different but the "electric" energy is comparable.
The immense dynamic palette, the melodic vibrations, the sense of epic -almost nearing improvisation- are wonderful, and that only with an ordinary concert piano. What clarity in the theme of the fugue of the finale, taken at a tempo miraculously held.
This superhuman dimension is even more impressive in the dynamic reading of the goblin's (gnomenreigen) rondo and the intensity of the Mefisto valse, in a version which leaves one breathless. … Economou leads the listener to the brink of dream.
Classica, Octobre 1998, Page 78