Ayuko Higuchi: Soul of the Piano
2005 Denon Records
(Read about Ayuko Higuchi’s Début at Weill Hall)
Ms. Haguchi is Now Represented by TWINZ Records
And Consulate General of Japan
(Japan Consulate Website)
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 12, 2006
This CD is an example of elegant artistry from a young pianist, who has mastered romantic Études, Ballades, and Waltzes as only a true prodigy could do. Ayuko Haguchi performs two of her own compositions, plus works by Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt on a resonant Steinway & Sons piano. Ms. Haguchi’s compositions are both melodic and mellifluous, sensitive and stylized. She is a humanitarian, a composer, and a pianist to watch in the community of emerging young musicians.
#2–Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 – Composed by Chopin. This majestic work, replete with contrasting tones and moods, is performed with clarity and vivacity. Ms. Haguchi’s bass chords do not overwhelm the treble theme, as it unfolds with resonance and richness.
#5 –Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor – Composed by Liszt. This dervish of a waltz and its repetitive theme, in various keys and rhythmic effects, is riveting in this track. Ms. Haguchi knows her Liszt and contrasts the rapid and floating themes with tender transitions.
#7 –Liebestraum No. 3 – Composed by Liszt. This passionate work, found in ballet scores, includes a challenging waterfall of right hand notes, contrasted by a dramatic left hand theme. Ms. Haguchi appears to possess the inherent emotion and skill to bring the maximum momentum to this difficult track.
#11 –Mädchens Wunsch – Composed by Chopin and arranged by Liszt. This complex work has lightning right hand fingering in various incarnations, and it is intended to resemble the mazurka rhythm. Its intoxicating theme is served well with Ms. Haguchi’s interpretation.
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