Finghin Collins came to The Large Room last week for Waterford Music and despite the torrents of rain, warmed the romantic hearts and performed a storm of brilliance with a Schumann Faschingsschwank – a Carnival Jest from Vienna.

Collins has great confidence and mastery of the keyboard and while I felt the first half was a little bit bitty with six Bach Partita, based around twinkly little dance tunes, and then six Schumann Intermezzi. Yes, the Bach was twinkly and lyrical with passages of attack, but overall the measured and, at times, dreary work didn’t satisfy me. Similarly the Schumann Intermezzi were short, invigorating and entertaining passages interspersed with breath-taking flights of romance.

After the interval we got three Brahma Intermezzi, but the mood had changed. This was virtuoso work and special with relaxing, dreamy passages, giving way to restless piano ideas.

Then the Schumann Carnival Jest, with crashing arpeggios, extreme pace, rapid tempi and a short, kiss-me-quick Romance. The music turned more symphonic with sad and emotionally charged passages as Collins took control of the piano and pounded out with style and confidence, attack after attack of almost dissonant music, that had the fury of a Beethoven and the attack of Jerry Lee with a knife to the keyboard. I was swept away with a torrent of music, such energy and such control. Brilliant work.

Then he encored with a floating Schumann romance. My rock and roll heart cried out – Yes, Yes, Yes!