Van Poucke calms the rebellious strings with determined lyricism. His elegant dexterity is impressive, but what keeps echoing is how he lets the instrument speak meaningfully. For example, if he mimics the rebellious strings with his left hand, before whispering his soothing rebuttal. A true poetic musician.
Jenny Camilleri, VOLKSKRANT
Not many pianists are able to approach this musically and psychologically complex world with so much naturalness. Van Poucke plays the 21-part Carnival, which can be understood as a fragmented self-portrait, which is painted here with a rich touch and a lot of musicality. Even more beautiful are the Fantasiestücke, which Van Poucke brings to life with a beautifully dimmed tone. In the closing Arabesque he shows daring rubati. The nearly eight minutes will be over before you know it.
Erik Voermans, PAROOL
Highlight two is the great Schumann album by the Dutch pianist Nicolas van Poucke with the piano cycles Carnaval Op. 9 and the Fantasiestücke Op. 12. He plays them wildly as young Schumann was, with the allure of a capricious, fearless temperament. You can hear the rhythmic suppleness and the splashing brilliance of the big boys. Well done. Here is a raging fire that you should not want to put out cowardly. Here the power of the imagination demands maximum exuberance, maximum intimacy, maximum mobility and maximum stillness. Van Poucke has the technique and the eagerness for it.
Bas van Putten, De Groene Amsterdammer
‘In the third sonata, his playing is decidedly mild and nuanced, demonstrating great insight into both the profound and constructive aspects of Chopin’s music.’
Frits van der Waa, VOLKSKRANT
‘Van Poucke proves musical muscles and poetry in Chopin can merge. He brings out the strong – sometimes even demonic – elements of Chopins music in both virtuosic and sensitive manner.’
Joost Galema, NRC Handelsblad
‘Nicolas is without question a very fine musician, whom I really respect and appreciate. His Concertgebouw debut recital with an all Chopin program was impressive, showing not only his command of the instrument but also a passionate and riveting interpretation’