Edinburgh International Festival - EIF 2017 - Reviews
|My musical introduction|
- Mitsuke Uchida In Recital - 21 August 2017
I have no great knowledge of the minutiae of classical music, and learned most of what I know about it from my grandad's 12 album Reader's Digest collection of "light classical music". So with an open mind I have tended to just give things a go, without any pre-conceived notions about it. I have found that I particularly enjoy opera and twentieth century classical music. My oldest son however has been learning to play the piano for several years now, and has given me great insights into the music that he likes, of Mozart and Chopin. About 8 years ago when he had not long started playing piano, we took him to see Mitsuke Uchida play in Glasgow City Halls. So I was delighted to take the chance to see her again in the Edinburgh Festival this year.
The Japanese pianist is a world renowned interpreter of the works of Mozart and Schubert, but the main reason that I rushed to get tickets for this recital in Edinburgh was because of the mention that she got in a book that I read recently. Absolutely On Music is written by Haruki Murakami, recounting his discussions about music, from several afternoons spent with Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa. As they listen to a recording of Uchida playing Beethoven, Murakami says
"Her touch is so clear. You can hear everything so clearly - every strong note, every quiet note. She plays with total mastery: there is nothing vague in her performance"Ozawa adds...
"Listen to that, those perfect moments of silence....What an ear she has for music!"Murakami describes the next section of the music with a flourish
"(a) beautiful piano solo unfolds, like an ink painting in space. A string of notes, perfectly formed and brimming with courage, each note thinking for itself."It is a great book, with specific details about the music they are listening to whilst they speak, and timings about which sections they are discussing - the master and the enthusiast. In the era of music streaming you can find most of the recordings online and listen along as you read, part of the conversation.
|The stage is set at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, for Mitsuku Uchida|
The main meat of the evening was in two longer, and more dramatic, pieces by Robert Schumann. His tribute to Hoffman, Kreisleriana, crashed about one minute, before, quietly fading away and Fantasy in C major was a grandiose way to finish the night.
Uchida is a star performer who held the attention of the whole hall. With her total mastery, there was indeed nothing vague about her performance.