Thursday, June 4, 2009
Nobuyuki Tsujii (Concerto I)
I mentioned that Di Wu had a tough act to follow last night coming after Bozhanov, but Tsujii had to follow him, too, because he was playing the same piece as the Bulgarian: Chopin's First Concerto. The Japanese's rendition of it wasn't as fluid as Bozhanov's, and it certainly wasn't as polished. However, it was a creditable performance all the same, convincing on its own terms. (And that sound you hear is the sound of the comment-thread denizens gnawing on the bone that I just threw them.) Tsujii has more experience playing with orchestras than with chamber groups, and he did a good job of differentiating his instrument from the orchestra without banging on the keys. He showed some ability to modulate his sound (not enough in some spots, but still...) and he didn't race past the music in the second movement the way he did in the Chopin etudes in the prelims. Here's an intriguing question: Is he better playing with other musicians than he is as a solo recitalist? I think he might be. On paper, this concerto figured to be the part of his final round that was most likely to give him trouble, and he got through it with no major glitches. His other final-round performances look to be well-suited to his strengths. So that's good, then.