Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Musical Pu Pu Platter: an appreciation

Miho Sato and seven Japanese musicians gave us a fabulous evening of music. The concert started with the Baroque chamber music by Pla and Bach. This is the first time our venue was graced by the harpsichord which Mr. Yamada assembled on site. What an auspicious start.

These beautiful, but somber pieces yielded to three short violin showpieces by Momoko Matsumura, including the delightful Shoen Rosemarie by Kreisler and the very slavic Czardas.

Miho Sato, accompanied by Atsuko Kida, followed with beautiful arias from Gianni Schicchi and La Boheme by Puccini,

followed by Yuriko Nonaka singing the beloved aria from Madame Butterfly. While she was singing the heart-wrenching "Un bel di vedremo", missing the American sailor who deserted her, it was poignant that the American flag, hung by a local store across the street, was visible behind Ms Nonaka through the glass window of our hall.

Miho capped the Italian segment of the program with three songs by American masters, Gershwin-Copland and Rodgers. The piece by Copland about kitties, which she mentioned as one of her favorites, melted our heart, and primed unsuspecting audience for the upcoming surprise, as the evening suddenly turned dark and mysterious by the appearance of a man with Taiko and a decorous lady in Kimono.

The final segment featured Sumie Kaneko and Isaku Kageyama, performing original pieces by Ms Kaneko. On the traditional Japanese instruments Shamisen and Taiko, the first piece started with an ominous brooding, which to the surprise of the audience, morphed into the My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music!

The evening concluded with two more intriguing original pieces by Sumie and Isaku.

From Baroque to modern pieces that fuse the tradition and the new. The concert which began by promising a dish of pu pu platter turned out to be a luxurious banquet. Not a word of complaint from the satisfied audience!

Sachiko Murata (Oboe), Hajime Yamada (Harpsichord), Momoko Matsumura (Violin), Atsuko Kida (Piano), Miho Sato (Soprano), Yuriko Nonaka (Soprano), Sumie Kaneko (Shamisen, vocal), Isaku Kageyama (Taiko).

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