Saturday, May 23, 2009

Naomi Kudo

Before the next contestant began, our host Steve Cumming gave a lot of information about blind pianists, who don't use Braille music notation because piano music is too complex to render into Braille. Nobuyuki Tsujii, like other blind classical pianists, learns largely by ear. Cumming knows this because he is the station manager for a radio station for the blind during the day. He gave out quite a bit of useful advice.

This was a tough act for Naomi Kudo to follow. I heard her at the TCU screening recitals as well, and promptly forgot every aspect of her performance. I was listening a bit more closely today, but her performance of Carl Vine's Piano Sonata No. 1 was handicapped by having followed Spencer Myer's yesterday. She was more forceful but less cohesive than Myer, and overall she was less memorable. I wonder if I would have been more impressed if I'd heard her performance first. Her rendition of "Triana" from Albeniz' Iberia washed over me without leaving a mark as well.

She did rather better with her finishing piece, giving an attractive account of Chopin's B minor Sonata. Her playing of the gently cascading second movement was particularly beautiful. Still, the third movement didn't have the ferocity that the music required, and because of the hole she was in, she needed a tremendous performance of the sonata, not just a good one. Too bad.

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