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Friday, May 25, 2007
Ingrid Fujiko Hemming
By MARIKO KATO
The Super World Orchestra will unite section leaders from the Vienna, Berlin and Boston philharmonics with two of Japan's most respected pianists, Takeshi Kakehashi and Ingrid Fujiko Hemming, in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Gunma next month.
Kakehashi will play Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor Op.21 in Tokyo (June 9) and Gunma (June 13). Despite losing his sight when he was a month-old baby, Kakehashi went on to study piano in Vienna, debuting at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York in 2002. The Chopin concerto is a flamboyant work, inspired by the composer's love for singer Konstancja Gladkowsk. Yet amid romantic sentiment, Chopin shows a mature, expressive freedom in the middle movement, building carefully from poignant melodies that are reminiscent of his Nocturnes. The finale is an exuberant echo of Polish country dance, in which the violins play col legno (with the wood of the bow) to emphasize the strong rhythms.
Ingrid Fujiko Hemming, born in Berlin to a Swedish artist father and a Japanese pianist mother, made her concert debut as a 17-year-old, but in 1969 while performing in Europe, she was struck deaf, except for 40 percent of her hearing in her left ear. She joins the Super World Orchestra on June 12 in Kanagawa to perform Beethoven's last piano concerto, No. 5 in E flat major Op. 73, which shows the composer at his most experimental as he bridges the Classical Era to the Romantic, the piano's powerful opening solo making for an unnervingly long intro.
Kakehashi and the Super World Orchestra play Katsushika Symphony Hills Mozart Hall, Tokyo, June 9 (2:30 p.m.); Gunma Music Center, Takasaki City, June 13 (6:30 p.m.); Hemming and the SWO play at Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, June 12 (2 p.m., 7 p.m.). For details, visit ticket.rakuten.co.jp/swo or call (0570) 02-9990.