Irish pianist and artistic director of the West Wicklow Festival, Fiachra Garvey, gave an outstanding recital in Winchelsea Church on Saturday evening to a large and appreciative audience. Since graduating with an MA in musical performance from the Royal Academy of Music in 2013, Fiachra has already given recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Fazioli auditorium and performed Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
The programme was cleverly constructed to mix the familiar with less frequently heard works. Fiachra began with Brahms’ Variations on an original theme in D major. His performance ensured that every nuance in the variations was carefully communicated. Furthermore, each contrapuntal line was heard clearly and phrased immaculately.
Two of John Field’s nocturnes were included, this was particularly fitting since Field was a nineteenth century Irish composer who invented this genre. Again the playing was infectious and the audience were enraptured. The first half finished with Rubinstein’s favourite piece, Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat, which was performed with great verve and flair following the more pensive Field.
The second half consisted entirely of Rachmaninov’s first piano sonata in D minor. This rarely performed work inspired by Goethe’s Faust sparkled and roared in the generous acoustic of Winchelsea Church in the hands of Fiachra. The virtuosic playing provoked an instantaneous standing ovation.
The recital proved to be a wonderful celebration of nineteenth and twentieth century piano repertoire from a young pianist who has a glittering career ahead of him.
Image Credits: Pic Alan Place Press 22. .