The Argus: Brighton Festival ThumbIt's rare for a pianist not to encore after thunderous applause, but Alexander Karpeyev could have had nothing left after this recital’s pyrotechnical virtuosity.

The formidable technique achieved by the young Russian has already won many international competitions, demonstrated in his programme of Beethoven, Schumann and Liszt at the Pavilion Theatre.

A noticeably slow opening, Andante for Beethoven Op 27, No l offered contrast to the properly thunderous Allegro and Allegro Vivace: the slightly smudgy Scherzo and Trio was either an acoustic or a heavy left foot, but these were minor cavils in a thoughtful and brilliant performance.

Karpeyev seemed more at home, perhaps more relaxed with the introspective romanticism of the Humoreske, Op 20. Schumann can be just as difficult to play as Liszt, but musical content overrides bravura showiness. As for the Rhapsody Espagnole, a famous piano warhorse based on Corelli, Liszt would have had strings flying out of the piano and young ladies fainting.

We nearly did, out of sheer fright, but Alexander Karpeyev survived – brilliantly.

He is still very young, and it would be good to hear Schumann’s poetic Eusebius come to the fore with less of the fighting Florestan in future.