SELECTED REVIEWS

 

"The emotional heart of this afternoon’s programme emerges as Collins and [Ailish] Tynan perform the twelve songs of Schumann’s much-loved Liederkreis [‘Song-cycle’], Op. 39..... The songs ‘Mondnacht’ [Moonlit night] and ‘Auf einer Burg’ [In a fortress], fabulous in themselves, are brought to mysterious and powerful life with both Tynan’s superb singing and Collins’ fine playing. No stranger to Schumann, Collins’ experience shows in his elegant, understated playing here, and they create a strong partnership that will hopefully continue into the future."

Michael Lee, GoldenPlec, December 4th 2016

Dimanche après-midi, le pianiste irlandais Finghin Collins s’entourait de l’Orchestre des Jeunes de Suisse Romande (beaucoup d’adolescents, certains âgés de 13 ans!) dans le Concerto en la majeur KV 414 de Mozart à Vevey. Son jeu élégant, gracieux, épicurien (malgré quelques effets romantisés dans «l’Andante»…) sied très bien à l’œuvre.

Julian Sykes, Le Temps,  le 27 juin 2016

"Acclaimed Irish pianist Finghin Collins was the soloist for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1. As he swayed and allowed the orchestral opening to engulf him, it was obvious this was going to be something special. It was as if Collins himself became the concerto, with an absolutely mesmerising and exquisite performance through all three movements."

Stephanie Hall, The Bournemouth Echo, October 26th 2015

"Friday’s star was Finghin Collins, who took a grip on the stormy emotions of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto as if the piece might have been written for him."

Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, May 13th 2015

"And yet, something different happened: he played in a way that made you all but forget how these pieces were technical nightmares. His mastery was so assured and complete. He tamed them. Technique departed centre-stage. He didn’t play as though trying to prove something, but rather as though recounting some little story he had uncovered in each one. This was transcendent playing. Collins transcended Chopin’s technical minefield, filtered out all the noise of physical overachievement, and reverted to music-making. It was spellbinding stuff that reached deep."

Michael Dungan, The Irish Times, October 1st 2014

"The highlight of the Dutch orchestra’s programme was Finghin Collins’s account of John Field’s First Piano Concerto. It’s a musically naive piece, but full of fanciful decoration, which Collins, playing an 1822 Broadwood instrument, treated with the utmost finesse. Music, instrument and player seemed in perfect concord."

Michael Dervan, The Irish Times, December 3rd 2014

"It's clear that Finghin Collins delights in Mozart and the four concertos here are the fruits of his time as Associate Artist with the RTE National SO, which he directs from the keyboard. The works range widely in mood, from the relatively carefree K415 to the proto-Beethovenian K466, and Collins is alive to their different personalities and at pains to give each phrase apt contour and detail.  The long lines of the slow movement of K415 are finely wrought in what is perhaps the most compelling performance in the set."

Harriet Smith, Gramophone Magazine, September 2013 issue

"However many versions of these great works you already own, these new performances will give much pleasure". [Mozart CD recording with RTE NSO]

Misha Donat, BBC Music Magazine, October 2013 issue

"Of Finghin Collins as soloist, little needs to be said that has not been said before: he is exceptionally fluent, exceptionally intelligent, exceptionally sensitive, responding to every possible nuance that Stanford prescribes. Kenneth Montgomery is resolute and sympathetic in support."

Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review, April 2011

Le jeu concentré de Finghin Collins, salué ici même pour ses disques Schumann, imprègne ces accords arpégés d'un sentiment réligieux. Les mystérieuses dernières mesures, quasi morendo, résonnent d'accords brucknériens, telle une fin du monde - une splendeur. Et l'Allegro molto conclusif, ainsi dénué de toute vulgarité et de toute pesanteur, gagne en impact; en poète du piano, le jeune Irlandais y met autant de sensibilité et de poésie que s'il interprétait le concerto de Schumann. .... L'Orchestre et son chef Kenneth Montgomery, d'une noblesse conquérante, sont également préférables... "

Bertrand Boissard, Diapason Magazine, mars 2011

"Ravishing and tender though this was, you could feel the excitement of the ensuing Allegro waiting just around the corner. Young Irish pianist Finghin Collins was alert to the music's wayward tenderness - left and right hand conversing like lovers - and its sudden moments of triumph."

Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph, September 10th 2010

"The young Dublin pianist Finghin Collins made his London Proms debut last year with the Ulster Orchestra, and this fine partnership continued in the Ulster Hall on Friday night. This time they combined in Brahms' massive Piano Concerto No 2 which again demonstrated the close rapport between the pianist and the orchestra, under the direction of its Principal Conductor Kenneth Montgomery. Finghin Collins was equal to the technical and emotional demands of the differing moods of this concerto, with its power and sensitivity delicately balanced throughout....  This was an evening where the soloist, the orchestra and also the conductor were on top of their form."

Alf McCreary, Belfast Telegraph, February 27th 2010

"Collins plays Schumann in a refreshingly direct, unfussy manner, with a warm-hearted tone full of telling touches and refined rubato. Listen, for instance, to the way he subtly shapes the melody of the first of the "Three Little Pieces" of Bunte Blätter (the whole set is a joy, not least the concluding "Quick March") and sings his way over the energetic semiquaver accompaniment in the Intermezzo from Faschingsschwank aus Wien, a preferable performance to the hard-driven and flinty Piotr Anderszewski in his recent Carnegie Hall recital (8/09)."

Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone Magazine, September 2009

"In this version of the Etudes symphoniques (in which he incorporates the posthumous variations) he shows himself to be a very rare artist in that the fearsome technical difficulties are surmounted seemingly without effort, at the same time as the poetic nature of his interpretations place him in the highest class, alongside Perahia and Kempff. Where Collins scores so admirably is that his combination of those elements are placed wholly within a profound understanding of the underlying structural mastery of the studies - a demonstration of the Celto-Germanic revelation. At times, it would be hard to imagine more sensitive pianism (such as the posthumous Variation IV) or more controlled virtuosity (as in the succeeding Variation VI, Allegro molto) or more technical-expressive virtuosity (as in the ninth Etude). This is deeply impressive playing throughout."

 Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review, June 2009

 

"The performance by the Quatuor Ebène and Finghin Collins gave full rein to the harmonious architecture and richness of inspiration of this music [Fauré's Second Piano Quintet] which combines youthfulness and serenity, two virtues normally opposed. What juvenile freshness in the opening of the first movement and in the impressive scherzo where a mad wind blows. What balance between this communicative joy and the purified depths of the prayer in the Andante!"

Jean-Jacques Scherrer, Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, September 14th 2009

 

"Together with Finghin Collins they [the Callino Quartet] created an elegiac magic with Schnittke's Piano Quintet that almost moved me to tears. Collins was at his brilliant best in this. I did not believe it was possible to play as quietly and insistently musically as he did when suggesting Time ticking away, as the composer struggles with the idea of death being present in life."

Declan Townsend, The Irish Examiner, March 27th 2008

"But the Irishman Finghin Collins stole the show [Nuit des Révélations at La Roque d'Anthéron], remarkable in Schumann (Kinderszenen and Arabeske) and a wonderfully refined Schubert (superb Sonata No. 23)...."

Philippe Gut, L'Humanité, France, August 27th 2007

"The Fantasiestücke op. 12 are a good example of this homogeneity. He finds just the right mood for each piece (iridescent for Des Abends, open and frank for Aufschwung, streaky for Traumes Wirren..), but their juxtaposition creates a remarkably well balanced ensemble, which is in no way spoilt by the inclusion of the superabundant Feurigst at the end. In the thorny Humoreske, constantly changing between exterior influences and interior voices, Collins speaks without chattering, sings when he should sing, asks all the right questions, gives all the right answers - in short, the success is total."

Etienne Moreau, Diapason magazine, France, October 2006

 

"This young pianist has everything to become a great artist: virtuosity, mastery, sensitivity,inspiration. But in addition he possesses a sort of poetry of expression and approach which touched us from the beginning to the end of the recital.....In his interpretation of a Mozart Sonata, he displayed a sensitivity which recalled the pianist to whom he owes so much, Clara Haskil."

André Peyregne, Nice Matin, 27th February 2001