The New York Times (NY)

"The impressive musicianship"

"She performed with impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing."

  The New York Times (NY)

"Also impressive was the performance of [Mozart's] Concerto No.12 by Rieko Aizawa, a pianist with a well-developed technique and even assertiveness; and the beauty she brought to the Andante left a listener assured that subtlety and grace, too, are within her grasp."

   St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)

" ...the Salieri Piano Concerto in C was played so splendidly by Rieko Aizawa. Hers was a graceful reading, one filled with fleet-fingered fast passages and an involving slow movement. Yes, one can see how, at key points in the composition, Salieri chose convention and habit where Mozart may have employed imagination. But Aizawa's performance lent the work a respect it rarely receives. "

  News-Press Correspondent (Santa Barbara, CA)

"beauteously..., with an illuminating clarity"

The Washington Post (DC)

"She played with a beautiful, limpid tone and a sense of characterization and cohesiveness that is unusual."

San Francisco Chronicle (CA)

"She presented the Andante in a gentle, thoughtful way that graced the music, returning Mozart's thought in its spirit. That was satisfying and uplifting, the Rondo a charm."

  Time Out (NY)

"Playing Bach, Takemitsu and Robert Schumann, Aizawa brought something to the concert too frequently missing in our era of authenticity and score devotion. She brilliantly captured the essence of each composer while adding heavy doses of herself."

  The Sarasota Herald Tribune (FL)

"Who could have imagined the resonant brilliance of sound, the controlled fire, the nuances, articulation and variety of color [Aizawa] unleashed."

   The Albuquerque Journal (NM)

"Rieko Aizawa, a returning soloist from two years ago, explored its wide emotional territory with power and passion. She was particularly eloquent in articulation Mozart's seemingly simple, bare melodic lines, as in the second movement. Her performance radiated conviction, strength and dimension."

   The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)

"a pianist of extraordinary refinement and vitality" "Aizawa gave detailed, prismatic consideration. ....Aizawa's effortless grace and crystalline clarity provided superb delineation.... In Aizawa's bold hands, the piano lines melded dramatic contrast with poetic allure."

   The Albuquerque Journal (NM)

"In her hands, the Ravel unfolded like a sustained poem. With a wide palette of tonal colors and exquisite dynamic control, she played as if painting with sound, seeming to respond spontaneously to Ravel's suggestions rather than giving a fixed interpretation."

   Rosewell Daily Record (NM)

"Her rendering of the Chopin concerto was a tour de force of extraordinary technique and artistic expression."

  The Daily Telegram (MI)

"The concert also featured a sparkling performance by guest pianist Rieko Aizawa in the "Emperor" Concerto. She played the Beethoven with grace and precision, and with a beautiful technique that showcased the music to perfection."

  Tampa Tribune (FL)

" was [the conductor's] union with Aizawa that perked up ears and hearts. A sparkling technique triumph, the performance also managed to breathe in a natural give-and-take between soloist and orchestra. Her clarity of tone, impeccable control and subtle style created a strong impression..."

  The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

"The orchestra and guest soloist, Rieko Aizawa, rendered Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 with light, ebullient grace and unrushed pageantry... From her Alberti bass entrance to the trill-tickling cadenza, her frolicsome way with the concerto's opening Allegro bounced across the keyboard. Yet just when one began to wonder if there was more to this 20-something virtuoso than sunny day stuff, Aizawa brought gorgeous gravity to the central adagio. Arms moving in balletic poise, this rising Japanese star let the harmonic intensity and dark interiors of this most-Mozartian of movements possess her - and us."

   Bradenton Herald (FL)

"Aizawa displayed a wide variety of expression and color... with every note clear and sparkling...

   Los Angeles Times (CA)

"... an impressive debut... gave evidence of a large and comprehensive musical talent in her Bach-Schubert-Takemitsu-Schumann program."

   Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)

"Rieko Aizawa, a dream of a pianist for Faure, has a tone that is light and lyrical, playful, or strong and bell-like, as needed."

  The Philadelphia Inquire (PA)

"Young pianist sparkles in recital.... A capacity crowd demonstrated palpable enthusiasm."

   Worcester Telegram & Gasette (MA)

"This pianist not only possesses brilliant and self-assured digital technique, but also has that rare and refined sense of ensemble that makes a top-flight chamber music player."


全体に彼女のモーツァルト像への鮮明な見通しが伝わり、変奏曲も面白く聞かせたが、特にソナタ ヘ長調 K533/494では、対位法的様式と堅固な構成を掌握し、作品の様式的特徴がそれぞれに読み解かれていた。



バッハの平均律クラヴィーア曲集 第1巻第22番、ヤナーチェクのソナタ「1905年10月1日」、モーツァルトのソナタK330と続いたなかでは、相沢の集中力の強さと、多彩な表現力が注目された。


後半に入って、マクダウェル「ゲーテによる6つの田園詩」からの3曲では、柔らかなタッチと甘味な味わいが印象的。神本真理 「空間(そら)に戯れて」(世界初演)での相沢は、独特の空間作りに成功した。グリーグのソナタも、彼女の高度な表現力、豊かな歌心、訴える力の強さを実感させた。


ダイナミックな起伏の大きな、安定したテクニックの、また内面的にも豊かさを示した充実の演奏である。「主題と変奏」では、変奏が進むにつれて高まる緊張感 とそれをしずめるフィナーレが魅力だったし、2曲の「チェロ・ソナタ」では、朗々と響きわたるチェロの好演も色を添えて、ブラームス特有の情熱的でかつ抒情的なロマンティシズムを、たっぷりと味わわせてくれた。



音楽表現がそのまま自己表現として感じられ、絶大な技術的自信に裏打ちされた、強烈な音楽的メッセージを享受することができた。全曲にわたってまったく 「隙」の感じられない、非常に完成度の高い演奏にベートーヴェンのソナタの本質を聴く思いだった。それぞれのテーマやモティーフの語法、あるいはリズムな どが包含する音楽的意味を徹底追及し、それらをあくまでも有機的に構築し、表現し尽くし、さらにそれぞれの楽章を精神的に統一させる完全性はあまり出会っ たことのない類のものと感じた。

作品 109を例にとって当夜の聴者としての充定感を述べれば、楽器からの作品に見合った理想的なひびきを引きだしたなかでの、第1楽章の象徴的に連続する sfpの箇所での、かつて記憶にないほどの説得力をもつ劇的な表現、第2楽章のffであっても硬いひびきの微塵もないなかでの真に力強い音楽的な運び、終楽章ではテーマが女史自身の言葉のように語られ、後続のヴァリエーションのそれぞれが「こころ」で結ばれているが如く恬淡と弾きすすめられた後の、最後に trが支配する部分の技術と精神の絶頂を感じさせる、圧倒的な表現力を特筆したい。




© 2008-2018 Rieko Aizawa

Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

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