Lara during her debut at St George's Bristol
"Occasionally muting the piano strings to mimic the sound of a Turkish lute, it was a seductive, enchanting sonic tour de force, weaving a musical magic carpet that brimmed with captivating mystery...
The remainder of the program was made of music by Chopin. Three nocturnes - C sharp minor, D flat and C minor - were infused with an incredible amount of passion and reverence for the material; the fiery, dense passages raging with an almost unbearable intensity, and the quieter, delicate sections sustained with a gossamer-thin beauty and will-o-the-wisp wonder.
Chopin's titanic masterpiece Sonata No.2 in B flat minor was the finale showstopper, a four-part masterwork that has become a popular favourite of the piano repertoire. Unquestionably one of the most outstanding performances of the piece I've ever heard, it evoked its yearning, energy, loneliness, lyricism, fury and gutsiness with playing of stunning precision, technical adroitness and immense, perceptive feeling. Even the well known, oft-performed Funeral March - suitably sombre and dirge-like to start before transmuting to an beguiling, exquisitely brittle high-register melody before plunging back in to the thundering, monotonous march - was given a captivating freshness as if hearing it for the first time.
Take it from me, Lara Melda is a piano playing firecracker and a seriously formidable talent to watch. Displaying a technique, range and virtuosity well beyond her years, the music world had better stay on its toes. This girl can kick some serious musical backside."
Jamie Caddick, 365Bristol