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Mitsuko Uchida

  • Pianist


Mitsuko Uchida press reviews

Berg: Chamber Concerto, Pierre Boulez, Christian Tetzlaff, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Decca
It’s difficult to imagine a stronger line-up for Berg’s Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and 13 wind instruments than Mitsuko Uchida, Christian Tetzlaff, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Pierre Boulez. Uchida’s diamantine pianism and Tetzlaff’s pure tone combine perfectly. The sound is crisp, the playing suave, the direction alert. (Berg: Chamber Concerto, Pierre Boulez, Christian Tetzlaff, Ensemble.
Anna Picard, 26 October 2008
The Independent
Berg: Chamber Concerto, Pierre Boulez, Christian Tetzlaff, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Decca
…both soloists, Mitsuko Uchida and Christian Tetzlaff, are perfectly attuned to Boulez’s approach – they have given a number of performances of the Chamber Concerto before - and the combination of accuracy and textural clarity with the highly wrought expressiveness that is the essence of Berg’s music is perfectly caught. The authority and logic of the performance are compelling, and this is easily the best version of this intractable work to appear on CD.
The Guardian, 24 October 2008
Andrew Clements
Ian Bostridge, LSO St Luke’s London
The shock came when Ian Bostridge was joined by pianist MItsuko Uchida for Britten’s cycle The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, written in August 1945 and dedicated to the tenor Peter Pears. Uchida attacked the thunderous opening of O my blacke Soule with an air of desperate terror, establishing the bleak but ever-changing intensity of all nine songs.
Evening Standard, 17 October 2008
Fiona Maddocks
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No4, Barbican Hall, 30 September 2008
And if Mitsuko Uchida’s intelligent and minutely attentive style made for a predictably exemplary solo performance, the London Symphony Orchestra were her equal in every respect, matching her for precision of timing and rounded purity of tone. Watching Uchida can be almost as great a delight as hearing her. Beethoven’s magnificently extended trills seem to travel up her fingers from the keyboard, extending gradually along her arm before taking hold of her entire body, shimmering in loose silks. An avuncular Sir Colin Davis twinkled back, conducting for the most part with his playfully communicative eyes.
The Guardian, 1 October 2008
G uy Dammann
Bartok Piano Concerto No3, Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst
As ever, Uchida was a model of poise and clarity, imbuing the folk-influenced material with fine rhythmic spring and molding the prayerful lines with reverent beauty. She provided ample tonal power to cut through the orchestra, including octave and scale-wise passages with which Bartok creates whirlwinds of sound.
The Plain Dealer, 24 May 2008
Donald Rosenberg
Carnegie Hall recital: Schubert, Bach/Kurtag, Schumann
She is, as ever, an engaging and completely fluent musician, and she has her own sense of values. One can argue with them for a while but not for long.
New York Times, 12 May 2008
Bernard Holland
Though some of the winning discs in the BBC Music Magazine's 2008 awards are unexpected, to say the least, there won't be much complaint from me about the one that has taken the top prize. Making Mitsuko Uchida's thrilling recording of Beethoven's Op 101 and Hammerklavier sonatas the magazine's disc of the year is a wonderful tribute, not only to a pair of outstanding performances, from a year that was distinguished by a number of exceptional piano discs, but to a pianist who now has to be numbered among the finest in the world today. …It gives her playing an irresistible combination of passionate involvement and intellectual rigour - whatever she plays, you always sense that Uchida has thought through the reasons for everything she does with it, but always in the best interests of communicating what she feels is the emotional essence of the music. It's a rare, and very precious gift.
The Guardian, 9 April 2008
Andrew Clements
Royal Festival Hall recital: Schubert, Bach/Kurtag, Schumann
Few pianists are capable of giving a solo recital in London's Royal Festival Hall and filling it - not just with a decent enough crowd but also with a sound that resonates in the hall's lofty recesses. Mitsuko Uchida is one of them, and the fact that she did so this week with a programme that went beyond conventional boundaries shows how high her standing is. She is that rare animal, a performer of manifest intelligence and wide-ranging taste who makes choices on principle - and who inspires trust in those choices among a non-specialist public.
Financial Times, 5 April 2008
Andrew Clark