Shunta Morimoto in Reading with the RPO under Antony Hermus.
Liszt’s First Piano Concerto shorn of all excess and rhetoric as Shunta restored it to the aristocratic nobility and scintillating brilliance that Arrau used to bring to it.
Partnered by the Dutch conductor Antony Hermus with infectious joie de vivre and dramatic flair,together with the RPO they were a formidable team.
If the Adagio was not ‘quasi’ as the composer asks it was because there were so many sumptuous sounds to distill with an orchestration remarkably like Grieg’s inimitable concerto that Liszt famously read from sight.Shunta soon picked up the tempo with playing of ravishing beauty where every note was a jewel in a crown floating on a wave of golden arpeggios.
In the rhetorical outbursts of the outer movements Shunta lived every moment of the drama as he not only played but also acted the part as the music took possession of him.
An audience and orchestra that were astounded by the volume of rich sounds this young man could draw out of the piano.Octaves that were shaped and coloured as the drama unfolded with extraordinary immediacy.
Yesterday in Hull the audience was treated to an encore of Chopin’s Mazurka op 17 n 4.
Today in Reading Shunta was totally exhausted after an all or nothing performance that all those present will remember for a long time.
Before the concert hours of work and after,total collapse.I remember that I brought a metronome each time Rosalyn Tureck came to us and she like Shunta would spend hours resetting her performance After, like Shunta,she would be totally exhausted from the complete giving of herself to the music.
Work,work,work is the only way.
Of course God given talent and methodical scholarship helps too!