It would be hard to find a piano recital in this year's Festivals better than this afternoon's with Akiko Okamoto. And she's back at St Andrew's and St George's West for another recital tomorrow afternoon.
Akiko Okamoto was born and learned the piano in Japan. She now concentrates as a soloist and chamber musician in Japan, Holland, Austria and Germany. The highly professional programme set out her outstanding career. The detail of the music she was to play was exemplary.
Bach's Prelude and Fugue was probably first written for a Lautenwerk harpsichord and is an evocation of baroque lute style. This was a rich and generous start. Akiko went to the six short works in Beethoven's Bagatelles. Each distinctly different; Beethoven used the term for those brief character pieces.
Liebeslied (Love's Sorrow) was a tribute to his friend. Simple at the beginning but in the Rachmaninov arrangement one of his cadenzas in the middle. Without a break we were hearing Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee - familiar to everybody listening but at some pace indeed. Such calm dexterity was so impressive.
Rachmaninov's Elegie was thought provoking. But this was building up to four piano studies, all by Chopin where Akiko was really able to show off her massive talent. There was total attention from the large audience. She had a job to break in to the applause to tell us of a short Chopin Nocturne as her encore.
Piano playing at its best - and all credit to St Andrew's and St George's West for having Akiko back with us in Edinburgh.
Event: 9th August 2014 at 4.30pm with a further recital on 10th August 2014 at 4.30pm