Listen to her Tango en skai, if nothing else. this she played for her second encore. her first encore was the cavatina (which she says japanese people really love and does sound like a song straight out of a yamaha piano textbook).
she was really awesome! even the musically illiterate aunties sitting next to me really liked her. her programme was filled with really popular and technical classical arrangements by Hirokazu Sato. The audience didn’t seem to take too well to the Mompou and the Domeniconi, but the rest were hits. I loved Sor’s arrangement of snippets from Die Zauberflote and her La Catedral was fascinating.
The playing was very clean, very accurate. Only some weird bits in the Nutcracker suite threw me off, but that was because of the arrangement. Her Tears in Heaven wasn’t the Eric Clapton version paraded by acne-covered teenage pseudoguitarists all over our country, but some cheemer Sato version you can hear here:
There is a very audible tone change in the video clip where she makes the guitar more mellow and sweetens the melody. Not sure how she does this. I am told guitarists have a special wooden nail file with which to shape their fingernails to produce a variety of sounds. but i think she switched from her nails to her fingertips for that particular tone change. She has impeccable mastery over her instrument, very good balance between the melody, accompaniment, chords, etc. wonderful dynamic range, at least whatever i could hear over the awful hum of the aircons. But they provided a mike this time, so it wasn’t too bad. And such feeling! No pretention. I like how confidently she approaches her instrument, no meekness at all. what a maestra. in all, heads and shoulders above the italian strega. the best guitarist i’ve heard live. totally worth the $45 for a second-class seat.
Her CDs were $50 at the venue, obviously a very jian effort by Tomas Music to jack prices up for the poor sods who hadn’t bought CDs beforehand for the autograph session (me). The mp3 albums on amazon are only $5 – $10. maybe you pay extra for the autograph you can get at the venue. here are some pictures i took.