Saturday, April 05, 2008

Piano recital on the 5th of April

A good evenings entertainment awaited anyone who braved the rain to listen to Japanese pianist Masahiko Shinohara at the Russian Cultural Centre.

To begin with, an interesting programme: Mozart Sonata No.12, K332; Beethoven Sonata op. 111, two Rachmaninov Preludes (6&7 from op.23) and Chopin's rarely heard mature sonata, No.3 op.58.

The playing was more than competent throughout with the pianist showing much sympathy with the music being performed although he seemed a little less comfortable with the Chopin. Tempi tended to be brisk, slightly fast perhaps, but this worked well with all pieces save the Chopin.

The tragedy of the whole affair was the poor attendance, the (fairly small) hall being only about a quarter filled. The organisers who had no budget for publicity were partly to blame although the weather did not help. Given the cost of bringing the poor man down, they could have made a better effort to publicise details, which, if properly done, could have been achieved at no cost. The pianist seemed rather disappointed and opted to shed his jacket and tie to play the second half in his shirtsleeves.

He seemed well pleased by the applause at the end for he returned for no less than four encores, which I confess I could not identify. Two were, I am told Debussy images. I had to leave during his fourth encore and am not sure if he played any more after that.


Irving Bastin said...

I am honored to have Masahiko staying with me at present in the mountains in Southern France. The whole world should hear him play. He gives such life and energy and passion to all that he plays, he's like a wild animal and reminds me of how Rudolf Nureyev was so different from all the other dancers, a tiger in leotards he was, God bless him, and Masa's a Cheetah as his fingers tear across the Sanannah of his keyboard. It's a real shame that the public do not know of him.
I have suggested we animate his rendition of Lizt's Sonata and that we put it up on YouTube.
Remember Fantasia and the success it had in bringing classical music to the masses?
In any case, I woke up this morning for the first time in months and months with a smile on my face. Thank you Masa for traveling so far afield and using Couchsurfing as your magical way of journeying.
Play on maestro, you are the genius of the stars.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for visiting, if he does ever come to this part of the world again I'll make sure that more people attend his recitals.

Irving said...

Hello. I am Masahiko Shinohara. I am now in near to Rennes -Le-Chateau.
I will play concerto with orchestra in Colombo ,september.....parhaps....

Jack Point said...

Thanks! I will defonitely be there if you play and will pass the word around Colombo as well.

Irving said...

You write such interesting articles Jack.I was just reading some of your other ones.
One way to get Masa better known would be to put him in Wykipedia. What do you think?
I might try or maybe you would like to help. You seem good with words.
That photo is of me of course.

Jack Point said...

Thanks Irvin. I assune Masa already has a website as well? If not, a simple website will be useful and a writeup on Wikipedia will certainly help.

You could also post a few clips of his playing onto

There is a lot of classical music on that site (they even have some clasic old clips including some by Artur Rubinstein, Cziffra, Gilels and many others) people do look at it when searching for music so that will help publicise his playing.

I'm not the most tech-savvy person but I could certainly help in any way that i can.

frankfurt said...

I was absolutely amazed when I first heard Masahiko Shinohara play, at a hastily arranged recital at the Russian Cultural Center with only a handful, but exceedingly lucky group of culture buffs attending. Before the second phrased was turned, I realized I was witnessing something very special. I wont be exaggerating when I say that the performance on the whole, was as riveting as the one I heard by Radu Lupu in Prague years ago. Going back stage after the concert, Masa was alone sitting down with a bottle of water, I told him what i felt about his playing. Long story short, we have ended up becoming friends and he will be playing the E flat kv449 with the Chamber Music Society of Colombo this September. Looking forward to seeing you Masa! Lakshman

Jack Point said...

That is good news, any idea of the dates?

Perhaps the organisers could put the event up on Facebook? We can then circulate it to other members.

An email of a flyer can also be passed around to capture anyone not on Facebook. If they can talk to a few radio stations I'm sure a few will give it some free publicity, as will the press, if given enough notice.

Happy days said...

Irving, did you happen to live at Castletown Road in West Ken around 1969, drive an Alvis convertible, and share with Grant and John and Graham? If so I remember it well

Irving said...

I certainly did live in Castletown Road! My email is easy. My name I look frward to hearing from you. Grant came to see me for the first time in 30 years just last summer. It was great to reconnect and remember those exciting days in the 60's. Please contact me.

matare227 said...

Hi. This is Masa. I am a Pianist. I hope you rememnber me I will play piano Concerto 14 in Russian culture center 28th and 29th of this month.I hope we can have tea before concert. Please send me message to my adress I want to invite you my concert. I will have solo concert in october also.

Jack Point said...

Hi Massa,

I have already heard about your concert and will be attending. Will drop you a line