Nicolas with the German "Master of Music Critic" Joachim Kaiser
… 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
… 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Thank you for sending me the tape.
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