Concert Review: JapanNYC opens at Carnegie Hall

Posted on: December 16, 2010

In Wednesday’s (12/15) Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), Ronni Reich writes, “The prelude to Carnegie Hall’s JapanNYC festival was rocky, with director Seiji Ozawa suffering from health problems. Ozawa, 75, former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has canceled many of his engagements throughout the past year and has had to diminish his planned role in JapanNYC. But Ozawa, leading his Saito Kinen Orchestra partially from a seated position and aided by fellow conductor Tatsuya Shimono, pulled off a crowd-pleasing opening night Tuesday. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida appeared as the surefire star soloist of the evening and fully lived up to that promise with her rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. She filled her opening movement with decisive strength and purpose and conveyed the Mozartian twinkle of its second subject without straying too far from the work’s overall character. … [The orchestra] gave a vigorous, engaging performance, as it did in the U.S. premiere of Atsuhiko Gondai’s sonically and conceptually intriguing ‘Decathexis.’ Based on the idea of nirvana, the music came from wispy beginnings, with bows barely grazing strings, which a deep grumbling followed. … Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, led by Ozawa, showed off the strong rapport between music director and orchestra.”

Posted December 16, 2010