THE PRESS WROTE
About the debut-concert the 30. of November at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen:
AN EXTRAORDINARILY GIFTED PIANIST
If you believe in reincarnation, the thought might occur, that one of the last centurys romantic piano-virtuosi is reborn in the young pianist Nicolai Krog, who last night had his debut in Copenhagen from the solist-class from the Royal Danish Conservatory in Aarhus. If not Liszt himself, then maybe Thalberg, who invented the effect of playing the melody in the mid-section of the piano wrapped in broken chords in the high register. Nicolai Krog has a passion for this technique wich makes the melodies grow out of the harmonies like a low relief, seen in changing lights of glittering tone-cascades.
When you as an only 26 years old pianist masters this kind of technical refinements, it is a matter of course that you put Ravels Gaspard de la Nuit in the end of the programme as a trump card, and Nicolai Krog got his trick with bravour. His Ravel-playing was convincing and splendid. Closer to the romantic side with thick pedalization than to the classic clear side, but within the freedom of interpretation that the artist is allowed. With the stressing of the harmonic element in Gaspard de la nuit, Nicolai Krog emphasized the connection to the evenings other virtuos masterpiece, CÚsar Francs "Prelude, Chorale and Fugue" which certainly calls for the pianistic skills and inspired sound-quality that the deubtant allready possesses so impressively.
No one can doubt, that Nicolai Krog is an extraordinarily gifted pianist, who allready masters some of the piano-litteratures most difficult works with bravour.
Jens Brincker, Berlingske Tidende.
FROM MOZART TO RAVEL
The romantic expressive tendency which was sensed in his Mozart, was justifiedly released in Cèsar Francks darkly expressive "Prelude, Chorale and Fugue". With the constanct demands of crossed hands and brooding tone-weawings spun around the melodic lines, we talk about a french piece of piano-music with considerable technical demands, which did not prevent Nicolai Krog form playing it with warmth and broadness, making the expiration culminate in a hole-hearted and well formed fugue.
The melodic lines from Brahms glowed and showed the way through the evening into the night in Ravels Gaspard de la nuit. Nicolai Krog explained thoroughly the titles referrence to deamons of the night, and then played a fine shapen siren-movement, a dramatic bloody gibbet-scene and a thriller of a scene from the bedroom, where Scarbos horrifying laughing face showed itself anywhere and anytime. Also here, in the last movement, where Ravel, with half painted bursts of waltz-tones in an orchester-like piano-piece, requires great technical abillity of the pianist, Nicolai Krogs performance was confident.
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken.
About concert in june at Aarhus Summer-festival 2002:
LEFT-HAND-PASSAGES AND RIGHT-HAND-THROWING IN THE CHURCH OF ELLEVANG
Virtuose piano-playing is often connected to the romantic repertoire, and the young pianist Nicolai Krog certainly gave a series of splendid demonstrations of this link, when he opened this years Aarhus Summer-festival at a well-visited concert sunday evening in the church of Ellevang.
At Chopin and Liszt the polonaise in f-sharp minor and the mephisto-waltzer was filled with this kind of delicacies, and you noted with summerly pleasure that Nicolai Krogs technique showed impressive skills in the left-hand passages as well as a splendid confidence in the throws of the right hand - where single notes and octaves in the high register lightens up in the mid-section's rumbling cascades of tones.
Eventually, the virtuos elements also appeared in the baroque- and newer music. Ornaments rose and fell in Rameau's "Gavotte", and in Liebermanns only two years old "three impromptus", Nicolai Krog showed that both he and the composer had studied the example Schubert - romanticism on romanticism it was, well known and still new - thoroughly.
The concerts perhaps most interesting piece was Rued Langaards "The Fire-chambers" from 1937. He is hard to rubricate, the danish composer in Carl Nielsens shadow, but the music contains long passages of fascinating thoughtfullness and violent expressitivity. Langaards musical sentense-making was clearly formed and revealed by the pianist, and the piece was contributing with an important element of surprise and depth.
Nicolai Krog demonstrated a big and convincing talent - also in the encore, which was rustle of spring from Norway.
Ole Straarup, Aarhus Stifttidende
About koncert in Farum Musik-society in may 2003:
he introduced in a splendid manner every piece in the evenings big, difficult program. He warmed up with a piece of french baroque - Rameau's gavotte from cembalo-suite no. 2 i a-minor. Allready in this movement, Nicolai Krog demonstrated how big a talent he is.
The evenings program led us from french baroque over vienna-classisism to french and danish late-romanticism, and concluded with one of frence impressionisms killer-piano-pieces: Ravels "Gaspard de la nuit".
Let it be said at once: Nicolai Krog is a tremendous pianistic talent...
In the rest of the programme he demonstrated an astonishing musical maturity and an impressing pianistic reserve. It will be exiting to follow the young pianists further developement. A great piano-virtuoso is on his way.
Carl-Henrik Bentzen, Farum Avis