Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Quiet Moments of Illumination; @Thestandardarts in Association With

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Quiet Moments of Illumination; @Thestandardarts in Association With

Article excerpt

CLASSICAL MITSUKO UCHIDA Festival Hall, SE1 barry millington THE Japanese-born pianist Mitsuko Uchida has been delighting British audiences since she was a prizewinner in the Leeds Piano Competition of 1975 and rarely disappoints. With the Mozart C Major Sonata, K. 545 that opened last night's recital exquisitely refined but never precious, classically poised yet individually shaped she showed just why she has so many admirers. There was much to enjoy also in the two substantial Schumann works which occupied the rest of the programme, even if doubts occasionally crept in.

Uchida's playing has never been of the big-boned, heroic kind and none the worse for that. Rather she offers an ethereal delicacy and subtleties of tonal shading that few executants can match. Such pianism does not equip her well, however, for the muscular fortissimo outbursts of the central movement of Schumann's Fantasie, which here sounded like an unwinnable struggle. But if the treacherous leaps of that movement were the low point of the recital, they were followed by playing of supreme expressivity vintage Uchida. …

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