City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Akiko Okamoto Piano Recital Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 15 August 2011

Akiko Okamoto
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St Andrew's and St George's West at Festival Time
Running time: 
Mendelssohn-Liszt, Auf Fluegein des Sesanges; Schumann-Liszt, Liebeslied; Schubert-Liszt, Staendchen; Chopin, Ballade No 1 in G minor; Debussy, Preludes from Book1; Ginastera, Sonata No 1 op22.
Akiko Okamoto (piano)

One of the highlights for me in last year’s Fringe programme at St Andrew’s and St George’s West was Akiko Okamoto’s piano recital. And so I was delighted that she returned again this year from Japan to play a selection of song music on the church’s Yamaha piano.

She chose three lovely songs written by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Schubert, all of whose music was made into a piano version by Liszt. Her nimble fingers were probably at their busiest for Chopin’s Ballade No 1 in G minor, written whilst Chopin was early on in his time in Paris and dedicated to the Hanoverian ambassador to France. He must have been delighted by the dedication.

Akiko went on to play four pieces from Preludes by Debussy - all four from Book 1, familiar because I think she played them to us last year. These were written in late 1909 and early 1910. Akiko concluded her recital with the more recently written Ginastera’s Sonata No 1 op22. Ginastera was an Argentine composer and wrote the piano sonata in 1952.

The applause encouraged Akiko to play an encore - another delightful Schubert-Liszt work.

Her playing is such a pleasure to watch and hear. It was a masterly piano recital and I would not have missed it for the world, as they say.

Event: Monday 15 August 2011, 2.30pm