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Takemitsu, Schumann and Musorgsky.
MALCOLM MILLER at a recent recital by Noriko Ogawa


Noriko Ogawa

An attractively colourful tonal palette and appealing communicability were amongst the qualities in a highly enjoyable recital on 28 April 2001 by the Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa. Since her prize in the 1987 Leeds Competition Miss Ogawa has developed a reputation especially for the music of Japanese composers, and Takemitsu in particular, whose complete piano works she has recorded (Bis label). Takemitsu's works featured heavily in her London Wigmore Hall recital on 29 April, but a beautiful performance of one work, Rain Sketch II also formed part of an entirely different recital (!) on the previous night at Trinity Church in Golders Green. Presented by the Hendon Music Society, the last concert of its impressive 42nd Season, her programme on this occasion also regaled a capacity audience with stirring accounts of two major works, Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze, and Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

Takemitsu's exquisite miniature is one of a trilogy, including Rain Tree Sketch (1982) and Rain Tree for percussion, inspired by the short stories by the writer Kenzaburo Oé. Its subtitle 'in memoriam Olivier Messiaen' underlines not only the French impressionist influences, but specific allusions to Messiaen's harmonies within the layered pastel-shaded tableau. Miss Ogawa projected the reflective poetic mood with eloquence, the emerging and receding inner melodic line and the sustained, ostinato bass balanced by luminescent, Messiaenic chord progressions above.

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Copyright © 3 May 2001 Malcolm Miller, London, UK





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