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Intelligent and Cogent

JULIAN JACOBSON attended the
Beethoven Piano Society of Europe's
Summer Celebrity Festival


This unique Mini-Festival [28 July to 4 August 2006, Regent Hall], in the middle of London's teeming Oxford Street, not only offers an oasis of rest and tranquillity for tired shoppers from the Summer Sales but a launchpad for young performing artists, of whom the following happened to catch my ear on this occasion:

Yoko Misumi, a post-graduate student of Martino Tirimo at Trinity College, who played on 28 July, had impressed me with her account of Beethoven's A major Sonata Op 2 No 2 when she won Second Prize at the Annual Beethoven Intercollegiate Piano Competition in 2005. Opening her recital with this same sonata, she sounded initially less at ease; perhaps attempting to increase the scale and weightiness of her playing to suit the larger hall while thereby losing some of the grace and fluency of her earlier performance. But there remained much to enjoy, projected as it was with an admirable seriousness of purpose -- this was no makeweight, dutiful Beethoven.

Nonetheless I felt she did enjoy the rest of her programme more -- and, therefore, so did we: a fluid, entirely idiomatic and beautifully played account of Takemitsu's Rain Tree Sketch and three of Ravel's Miroirs, sensitively coloured and with power to spare for Alborada del Gracioso (pretty neat double-note glissandi too).

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Copyright © 15 August 2006 Julian Jacobson, London UK


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