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MUSICAL OPINION

Hiroaki Takenouchi at the Purcell Room

As part of the Fresh Young Musicians’ Platform series, pianist Hiroaki Takenouchi performed at the Purcell Room on 24 November.  Throughout a varied programme he showed himself to be a confident, strongly intelligent and deeply musical pianist, with a versatile ability moving through a range of styles.  A rhythmically poised and wonderfully characterful Toccata in D minor BWV913 by JS Bach opened the recital.  His warm rounded tone and attention to detail were traits which continued throughout the evening, as in Beethoven’s Six Variations on an original theme in F major, opus 34 and Haydn’s G major Sonata Hob XVI/39.  The latter was carefully balanced if at times overly forward-driven and breathless.  Takenouchi was most convincing in the two larger Romantic works, Grieg’s Ballade in G minor, op. 24 and Nikolai Medtner’s post-Romantic Sonata minacciosa in F minor, opus 53 no 2.  The seeming ease of virtuosic technique which he unleashed on the piano, coupled with an impressive palette of colours and sonorities, was a joy to listen to.

Manus Carey

(January/Februay 2006)