Mayuko Katsumura at St James’s Paddington
In a special preview for the launch of her latest record, violin soloist Mayuko Katsumura – led by conductor Benjamin Ellin and accompanied by the London Soloists Philharmonia – eloquently delivered an emotional and expressive concerto at St James’s Church in the West End.
In a brief but powerful recital, Katsumura is articulate and moving in this rendition of Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Opus 77/99, by composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Dramatic in tone and style, the piece evokes a myriad of emotions that allows the listener to follow the journey.
About 40 minutes in length, the concerto is made up of multiple, distinguished movements with a cadenza bridging the final two. The first movement Notturno: Moderato is intense and theatrical, creating a sense of dream-like fear as if awaiting impending doom. The isolation created by the vast open space of the church combined with the unnerving harmony this ensemble creates sends chills down your spine.
The second movement Scherzo: Allegro is much more upbeat and animated in its chaos. The energy and pace are uplifting; the commitment and resolve that Katsumura exudes is inspiring. Passacaglia: Andante, the third movement, conjures a sense of gloom and foreboding but carries an underlying tone of acceptance. Throughout, Katsumura is striking in her delivery, creating the most beautiful and affecting solo.
Katsumura this year recorded Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto and Violin Sonata with pianist Nigel Hutchinson at Henry Wood Hall – the two pieces will be published in January 2014.
For further information and future events visit Mayuko Katsumura’s website here.
Watch the video for Shotsakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 (III. Passacaglia. Andante) with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Enrico Marconi here: