Two Times „Four Stars“ for Yu Kosuge’s New CD

Fono Forum - August 2006

Melody as Language

Mozart, the most difficult? Yu Kosuge has already played Chopin und Schumann, Liszt and Rachmaninow. Now the Japanese 22-year-old is taking on two of Mozart’s most famous piano concertos. In doing so, she confirms her reputation as one of the many talented and remarkable musicians surging from Asia towards Europe . When she was 9 years old, Yu Kosuge already wanted to move to Germany , the land of her favorite composers -- and she did. The young talent went to Hannover to study with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. The fact that she asked advice from Andras Schiff illustrates this energetic young lady’s potential.

As soon as the NDR-Sinfonieorchester, under the attentive Lawrence Foster, formulates its well-paced triad signal, Kosuge’s performance in the „Jeunehomme“ Concert gets one’s attention in the impetuous opening phrase. She doesn’t reply, as so many do, with sweeping gestures, but rather with layered, dry inflection, which brings to mind the tones of the pianoforte. Yu Kosuge plays in C Major with spiritual transcendence, her elocution crystal clear, her rhythms confident without sacrificing melodic poetry. To this end, her interview comments about Kämmerling’s lessons – imagining melody as language – come to mind. The balance between witticism and seriousness, virtuosity and meaningful thought combined in a larger realm, remains. Her playing rarely forces her to over-wind her temperament and Kosuge’s interpretation of Mozart has the sophistication to never thrust itself forward in an exaggerated fashion. Her reputation as an artist is only fostered by the dauntless cadence in the first movement of KV 467.

Wolfgang Schreiber

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