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Music Review: Chisato Kusunoki “Piano”

Kusunoki’s playing is like the touch of silk!

Piano is an astute collected works by Russian composers Sergei Rachmaninoff, Nikolai Medtner, Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Liapunov splendidly performed by German-born pianist Chisato Kusunoki.

The brilliant musician and scholar started playing her preferred instrument when she was just five years old. She was a natural student who has developed into a sensation.

She attended University College, Oxford where she graduated with the prestigious Gibbs Prize in performance and became a prize-winner at the Newport International Competition for Young Pianists in 2003.

Kusunoki has been described as one of the greatest pianist of her time giving spellbinding performances all around the world. She doesn’t just play with her fingers, which dance across the keys like a graceful ballerina; she incorporates her whole body into a performance giving movement to the music and becoming one with it, almost like a master of tai chi. Quite simply, Kusunoki’s playing is like the touch of silk and is very noticeable on her recital disc.

The chunk of the album comprises of Rachmaninoff’s Six Moments Musicaux, Op 16 beginning with Kusunoki’s mesmerising interpretation of “No. 1 in B flat minor: Andantino” and concludes with “No. 6 in C major: Maestoso”. This is followed by Medtner’s Sonata in G Minor op.22 at the playing time of 17.08 minutes and precedes Scriabin’s Fantasie in B Minor Op.28. The repertoire is brought to a close with Liapunov’s set of compositions for solo piano entitled Etudes D’Execution Transcendante Op. 11 which comprises of “Berceuse”, “Ronde des sylphs”, and “Tempete”.

Kusunoki’s chosen pieces that make up this CD gives sway to an assortment of moods. The melodies can at times be both intense and moderate and can be appreciated singly or as a whole. Her playing matches together ferociousness with subtlety and balances leisurely tempos with rapidness.

To conclude, Piano is 75-minutes of joyous music that can lift the sombreness of any distressing heart, making it essential listening!

“Piano” promo

(Photographer: Francois Rocquemont)

On 11th September 2012 Kusunoki will be featuring in Palermo Classica one of the most prestigious festivals in the world.

Chisato Kusunoki Offical Website www.chisatokusunoki.com

Producer: Michael Ponder

Label: Quartz Music Limited

Release date: November 2011

Special thanks to Rakesh K. Mathur

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