After a long blank and preparation, the concert finally took place last Friday in the Crystal Chapel of the Rihga Grand Hotel, Osaka.
In spite of the overwhelming frenzy of the Rugby World Cup and the perturbing hurricane attacking the whole of Japan, we saw over 100 people pouring into the chapel to be enchanted by the works of Beethoven, Paganini and Kreisler.
The venue was a big chapel which was located in the upper floor of the hotel. The chapel is a specious room with a ceiling of 41 Ft. high and two antique chandeliers hanging down in the centre, with the passage carpeted with decorations.
I’ve performed in many churches and cathedrals across the world, ― all of which were worthwhile experiences ―, but I was inclined to feel very special about playing in this particular place that seemed to resonate incredibly well with the music and its effect.
Beethoven’s “Kreuzer” sonata is, ― in and out of itself, ― a gigantic repertoire to play. The challenge does not lie only in its scale and the length which is about 40 mins (for me anyways) but also in the effort to keep guiding the listeners through one atmosphere to another with ever-changing intensity, not by reproducing the sound but by making the emotional experiences afresh and livelier.
Along with Beethoven, we also performed the Introduction and Variations from Rossini’s “Mosè” by Paganini, whose musical and philosophical motto stayed most closely in line with that of Beethoven ― the simplicity and the winning mentality that are quite transparent as part of the nature of the music. The entire piece is played on the G string and requires both impeccably supernatural control in its techniques and gracefully eloquent manifestation of musical lyricism with certain vocal finesse that’s predominant in the Italian operatic arena.
Almost any piece written by Kreisler has been a regular concert repertoire for violinists, and the “Liebeslied” and the “Liebesfreud” are two of the most popular violin music ever written to display the epitome of classic Viennese waltzes combined with vocal lyricism.
The applause during the concert was very comfortable and pleasant to me, and I was pleased to witness the audience did appreciate the hard work I put into this huge program as well as the hidden message in the music somewhere down the line as much as I hoped.
All my thanks go to Ms. Yoshiko Kida the executive manager, my pianist and a friend Ms. Kaeko Suzuki for their support and every single one who visited my concert on Friday.