What a spellbinding evening it was - Nobuyuki Tsujii’s pianism grabbed the audience’s heart from the first note of the Adagio of Moonlight Sonata and held it firmly throughout the entire evening, leaving a vivid imprint on our memory. How do we even describe this experience – his playing was freshly original and packed with discoveries. How could he play this Sonata, which is just about the most played and known piano piece in the classic repertoire, and move the audience, like as if we’d never heard it before? How could the Liszt Consolation be played with such articulation yet come across as nothing other than the simplest beauty?
Liszt’s Années de pèlerigage ‘Venezia e Napoli’ was a perfect example of Nobu’s ability that has been labelled as the “definition of virtuosity”, showcasing all manner of pianistic devices and bravura without being remotely mechanical, but dotted with sparkling sound jewels.
How could we resist drifting away in a dream with the sweetest melody of Ravel’s Pavane, played with the utmost delicate touch? And finally, the ridiculously fun, swinging, stylish and monstrously technical Kapustin’s Eight Etudes sealed the show with the highest peak.
It is true, his pianism possessed undeniable magnetism which fixed our focus throughout; every detail, voice, melody and accompanying passage sparkled.
Nobu himself was the humblest human being. This is a man who can fill the 18,000 seat Hollywood Bowl yet was thankful to our audience for giving him non-stop enthusiasm and positive vibes.