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Green Templeton College | Oxford

Maki Recital March 2

It was a packed GTC Common Room for Maki Sekiya’s piano recital last Sunday evening. Especially appropriate during the great weekend thaw, her programme was themed to herald the coming of Spring and included two of the most demanding works in the canon of piano music - Schumann’s Carnaval and movements from Stravinsky’s Petrouchka. Her phenomenal yet seemingly effortless technique and her sensitivity to the broad emotional range of both works held her audience spellbound.

In the Schumann, she brought out the nuances in the composer’s portrayals of his feelings towards the women in his life, different aspects of his own personality, caricatures of fellow composers and characters from the commedia dell’arte. In the Stravinsky, she managed to conjure up the full orchestra for which the composer originally wrote his Petrouchka. Bach’s 1st Partita and some rarely performed Tchaikovsky miniatures completed her programme. An astonishing moment was her transition, with just a short pause for breath, from the impassioned climax of the Schumann to the baroque restraint of the Bach. The audience’s standing ovation was a fitting end to a fine recital.

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