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Nobuyuki Tsujii: Live at Carnegie Hall [Blu-ray]

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Following on the heels of his 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition win in 2009, Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii experienced a dream come true as he appeared on the stage of Carnegie Hall. His brilliant technique and beautiful tone showed through an extraordinary recital contrasting pianistic warhorses with newer pieces, including his own composition in memory of the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Chopin, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Beethoven
  • Directors: Peter Rosen
  • Producers: Peter Rosen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008CWR54C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,936 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 16, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This disc celebrates the Carnegie Hall debut of Nobuyuki Tsujii in 2011 following on from his joint gold award won earlier at the 2009 Van Cliburn competition. The presented program is wide-ranging in its demands both technically and musically. What makes this even more of an achievement for Tsujii is that he has been blind from birth and that consequently he has had to learn everything that he plays by ear. This combination of achievements is fully appreciated by the ecstatic audience to such an extent that Tsujii finds their response to be touchingly overwhelming as the film concludes back stage.

The recital starts with one of the test pieces from the van Cliburn competition, the Improvisation and Fugue by John Musto. This is a technically demanding piece requiring considerable digital dexterity but could not be described as exploring means of expression such as touch or lyricism or other means of expressing a player's sensitivity. The piece clearly establishes the `wow' factor however and thus we are prepared for a fairly robust interpretation of the Beethoven `Tempest' sonata. This robust side of Tsujii's playing is much in evidence throughout the recital and especially in the first half which concludes with Liszt's `un sospiro' (a sigh) and his Rigoletto paraphrase.

The second half of the recital is interestingly very pictorial in its inspiration. It starts with `Pictures at an Exhibition' by Mussorgsky and this is followed by the image conscious `Jeanie with the light brown hair' in Tsujii's own arrangement. Chopin's `Raindrop' prelude follows with its portrayal of rain dripping and the recital concludes with Tsujii's original composition `Elegy for the Victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011'.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CentralCoaster on September 23, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was at the Carnegie Hall debut of Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii on November 10, 2011. The popularity of Tsujii in Japan was (and still is) such that no less than three Japanese TV crews were on hand for that occasion, and the presence of cameras was seemingly everywhere in the concert hall that night.

This video does not have the drama of Peter Rosen's acclaimed video "A Surprise in Texas", the documentary for the 2009 Van Cliburn International Competition, which propelled Nobu to international stardom. Just the same, it is a lovingly made tribute to the unique musical talent and indomitable spirit of Nobuyuki Tsujii.

Because I had heard Tsujii play the other works at previous concerts, the most interesting parts of the Carnegie Hall performance, to me, were the opening piece and the encores.

The recital started with John Musto's daunting "Improvisation and Fugue", performed with the composer in the audience that night. I cannot do better than quoting critic Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, who wrote thus about Nobu's performance of this piece in Texas in 2010: "It is amazing enough that he can make the wide leaps that Musto's composition requires and land so accurately. But, when you ponder that he learned this harmonically complex work note by note, without being able to see the music, the phenomenon that is Tsujii becomes something transcendental."

Of the three encores, the first was a real surprise. Titled a "Tribute to Jenny", it is an interpretation of a parlor song by American composer Stephen Foster (1826-1864): "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair". Nobu the composer chose this song as a tribute to American music, and he is proud enough of this work that it is designated his Opus 1. The second is Frederic Chopin's Raindrop Prelude.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Warren Harris on February 18, 2013
Format: DVD
Nobuyuki Tsujii is the co-winner of the Gold Medal of the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. This DVD is a recording of his Carnegie Hall debut concert, and it is obvious from the footage backstage that this concert means a great deal to Mr. Tsujii, who has been blind from birth - but it's Carnegie Hall, and that's a big deal. And Mr. Tsujii delivers!

The concert features the Improvisation and Fugue of John Musto, and moves right into Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2 "The Tempest", and it is wonderful. But what follows, Franz Liszt's "Un sospiro" from Trois Etudes de concert, No. 3, is amazing - Mr. Tsujii definitely shows that the virtuosity required for this piece is not a problem for him in the slightest. Next is Liszt's Verdi Opera Transcription of Rigoletto for piano, and this is *amazing* and fun. I wish I had been there to hear this in person!

The real centerpiece of the concert, though, is Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Mr. Tsujii performs this work magnificently, with deft technique and sensitivity, as well as conveying the personality of each art work depicted by Mussorgsky. This piece gets a huge ovation from the crowd, and it is well deserved. Mr. Tsujii then plays his own arrangement of Stephen Foster's "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", followed by Chopin's Prelude in D flat major, Op. 28, No. 15, which is absolutely stunning, and ends the concert with a heartfelt work of his own, an Elegy for the Victims of the Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. And Mr. Tsujii's reaction back stage after the concert is over is neat to see as well.

This video is wonderful. Highly recommended.
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Nobuyuki Tsujii: Live at Carnegie Hall [Blu-ray]
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