<< -- 2 -- Malcolm Miller TEENAGE TALENT
It was apt to follow this with Debussy -- who both explored Japanese idioms
and exerted an important influence on Takemitsu. Here Asuka Nakamura imbued
each movement with a fresh sense of colour, notably the famous 'Clair de
Lune', in which the textural layering and nuance of pedalling brought out
of the impressionistic gestures to magical, dreamy effect. The spontaneous
applause was deserved, whilst the polished elegance of the 'Prelude and
Menuet', and the pointed articulation of the bristling concluding 'Passepied'
affirmed a special affinity for Debussy. Similarly idiomatic was her performance
of Kunio Toda's atmospheric Fantasy on Koto Tunes, a rather attractive,
stimulating post-modern synthesis of Japanese traditional and European elements.
The music alludes to the sounds of the ancient string instrument through
bold repeated chords at the outset, which are set against the antithesis
of fugal imitation alluding to Bachian archetypes. That confrontation was
vividly projected in Asuko Nakamura's spacious canvas in which she switched
mercurially from the evocative sonorities, rapid repeated notes, wide spaced
chords and resonant overtones, to the more driving momentum of the counterpoint.
As a fizzing finale Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No 10 was a tour de force
that showed off the young pianist's virtuoso zest to telling effect. In
the 'Friska's' glistening glissandos the piano's tone glowed resonantly.
Fortunately, the capacity audience would not leave without an encore, and
the beautifully shaded impressionism of Ravel's Sonatine again affirmed
her sensibility for this repertoire.
At St James's Church, Piccadilly the next day (14 December), she performed
a Beethoven recital which included the 'Tempest' sonata. These concerts
augure well for her continued success in concert platforms in Britain and
internationally. It will be fascinating to follow the development of this
young talented pianist in future.
Copyright © 21 December 2001
Malcolm Miller, London, UK
BEETHOVEN PIANO SOCIETY OF EUROPE
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