Friday, May 29, 2009
Nobuyuki Tsujii (chamber music)
I was expecting a disaster here. I figured Tsujii would hammer this piece into submission and be cruelly exposed. No such thing. His performance of Schumann's Quintet was well (not perfectly, but well) modulated, with the pianist showing an awareness of when to pull back and when to assert himself. He even adapted his sound to the composer's sonic world, something he failed to do in the prelims when he played Debussy. Chamber music depends on spoken and unspoken communication between the players, and I can't imagine the difficulties involved here, with a pianist who speaks no English and is blind as well. (I'm assuming none of the Takacs players speaks Japanese.) Yet this group played with an understanding of each other that bordered on amazing. There may be better performances of the Schumann quintet later on, maybe as early as tonight when Michail Lifits takes his turn. However, I'm starting to think that Tsujii has a bit more game than I initially gave him credit for. Let's see his solo recital.