THE DAILY TELEGRAPH - LSO/Fujikawa
IT MUST BE a long time since London heard such a poised, effortlessly accurate, and sheer beautiful account of Beethoven's Violin Concerto as that given by Mayumi Fujikawa with the LSO at the Barbican on Thursday evening.
Miss Fujikawa entered as though she wanted to delight us with her playing, and she made good her intentions in an interpretation that, above all, spoke to her audience. Here was a violin tone as elevated as that heard on old records of Huberman, and displaying a similar ability to caress the music, let its meaning out from within, and that is an attribute too rarely heard in these days of uniformity.
It was encountered at its most potent, naturally enough, in the Larghetto where phrasing was seamless and poetic thought hung in the air, but it also informed much of the long opening movement and, in a more charming incarnation, in the ebullient finale. That is not that the playing lacked fibre when called for, but where this performance told most unerringly was in its sensuous grace, not forgetting that this derived from perfect articulation of the notes and faultless intonation.
Such a lyrical reading made the rest of the concert, honourably as it was performed, seem earthbound. Günther Herbig and the orchestra did well in support of their inspired soloist, even better by Schubert's C major symphony, full of Schubertian singing, structural strength, but a shade wanting in brio." Alan Blyth
"The evening's centerpiece was both a delight and a surprise ... delivered by Miss Fujikawa with marvellous poise and radiance ... intonation was perfect and the tone was consistently ravishing, broad and luminous, full of deep and vibrant colour. The reading on its own terms was virtually faultless..." Dominic Gill, Financial Times
THE SATURDAY TELEGRAPH
FUJIKAWA takes the plunge - Classical Budget CDs by BRIAN HUNT
Fauré Violin Sonatas Nos 1 & 2; Andante Op 75; Berceuse Op 16. Mayumi FUJIKAWA (violin), Jorge Federico Osorio (piano) - (ASV Quicksilva CD QS 6170)
FAURE'S chamber music has an almost obsessional appeal to performers and listeners of a particular temperament. Writers, too: the first Violin Sonata gets a mention among several references to Fauré in Marcel Proust's novel la Recherche du Temps Perdu. It is a style in which one has to become totally immersed, and Mayumi FUJIKAWA has clearly taken the plunge.
The hot-house atmosphere of Sonata No 1 is conveyed immediately by her sultry tone, dripping with rosin, and her gliding between notes in an absolutely seamless line. In the bubbling flow of the piano part, Jorge Federico Osorio gently brings the counter-melodies to the surface. It is a characteristic of Fauré's writing that the violin is rarely silent; after a while the ear is drawn to the piano, and the liquid purity of Osorio's playing is cooling and calming.
The Second Sonata is less claustrophobic, but has an extra degree of passion - the piano's sparkling ornamental fountain has become a raging torrent, and the violin line is more angular. FUJIKAWA sacrifices some of the honey in her tone as she digs deeper, finding dramatic urgency and at times real pain in the music. Osorio is fully alert to the restlessness and uncertainty of the harmonies, painting in the bass lines with a tentative touch. Though the violin's presence is a little large, and slight traffic rumble can be heard, the digitally recorded sound is very easy to listen to.
The Andante Op 75 and the well-known Berceuse Op 16 make an appealing interlude between the two main works, and are played with the same thoughtfulness and sincerity.
CLASSIC CD - Mozart Violin Concertos
Mozart is particularly well served by an outstanding Double Decca set of the five Violin Concertos, plus the concertante Adagio, K261 and the two Rondos, K269 and K373. The soloist is the young Mayumi Fujikawa who plays with lovely tone and a consistently stylish Mozartian line to create a captivating combination of vitality, grace and freshness. She is splendidly accompanied by the RPO under Walter Weller and the 1979/80 recording is out of Decca's very top drawer, warm, beautifully balanced and completely truthful in its focus of the solo violin. Don't miss this superb bargain - I would give it six stars if I could! (440 621-2) * * * * *
"I cannot find the adequate words to express what one feels when hearing such a talent as Mayumi Fujikawa. In her are united an outstanding violinist and a marvellous musician. To hear her play is pure pleasure. She was the great revelation of the Tchaikovsky Competition." David Oistrakh, Moscow
"The most dazzling name to appear on the musical horizon, is that of the Japanese violinist Mayumi Fujikawa. Her playing left me the most unforgettable memory of my whole musical career." Daniel Shafran, Moscow
"Her playing attracts the attention of the whole musical world. She astonishes by the perfection of all her interpretations. She penetrates entirely into the composers' deepest ideas. Her technique and virtuosity are extraordinary." Leonid Kogan, Moscow
"It is my firm conviction that Mayumi Fujikawa is one of the rare instrumentalists of today who combine full technical command and exceptional musical insight with an exquisite stylistic adaptability. Her integrity, her relentless striving towards beauty and truth and her forceful personality, are commensurate with her brilliant and successful career as a concert artist." Henryk Szeryng, Mexico
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
"...In the first half of last night's concert, one of the Industrial Series, Mayumi Fujikawa played a quite exquisite version of Max Bruch's First Violin Concerto. Neither she nor the conductor put a foot wrong, and the end result was sheer bliss..." Joseph Arch
"...the highlight last night for me was Max Bruch's First Violin Concerto played by Mayumi Fujikawa. For such a familiar piece of music it almost qualifies as an old warhorse. Yet, such was the melting tone from Miss Fujikawa and such was the sensitive accompaniament from Hirokami and the orchestra, that doubts just flew through the window. It was one of those comparitively rare occasions when everything was exactly right." William Leece, Daily Post
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
"... Both Rattle and soloist Mayumi Fujikawa showed utter conviction in Dvorak's somewhat neglected Violin Concerto...Beneath Fujikawa's singing tone was always a steely strength, well-suited to the rustic nature of much of this highly nationalistic composition...."Christopher Morley
"...The centrepiece of the popular programme was the ever-green Bruch Violin Concerto No 1 in which the soloist was Mayumi Fujikawa... There were, of course, no technical problems, and, with honey-sweet tone to enhance her playing, this was a most attractive performance, in which the lovely second movement made a particularly telling impact..." Rathcol, Belfast Telegraph
Scottish National Orchestra
"...Last night's soloist produced an interpretation of unusual varacity and perception. The orchestral contribution was at all times punctillious and well controlled allowing Miss Fujikawa's sound to be clearly heard..."
"She gave an interpretation of overall serenity, achieving warmth and great lyric charm - especially in the slow movement..."
Northern Sinfonia, QEH
"this was a very attractive performance; Mayumi Fujikawa played with a happy smile on her tone and this gave it an uncanny carrying power so that even her most delicate nuances were amply audible in a hall not specially favoured to the solo violin..." Paul Griffiths, The Times
Royal Festival Hall, Philharmonia Orchestra/Sanderling
"Mozart's K218 was sonorously intoned by Mayumi Fujikawa, whose reading admirably emphasised the warm, full-bodied quality of the music and who was delightfully lavish with portamenti and similar romantic turns of phrase. Her tone is silvery and big, her musicianship forcefully impressive..." The Daily Telegraph
"The playing was immaculate, both pure and warm in the slow movement, exhilarating in the rondo finale, where each of the seemingly disparate episodes appeared with the freshness of new discovery..." Edward Greenfield, The Guardian
Singapore Symphony Orchestra
"A poised and dignified reading of Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D Op 61 was given by guest soloist Mayumi Fujikawa last Friday at the Victoria Concert Hall with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Choo Hoey.
Fujikawa was obviously very at home with this work. Familiar with all the notes and nuances she played with an essential tranquility that was supported by a feeling of depth and maturity.
Her entrance in the first movement was authoritative, controlling the direction of the music with determination. Her tone was evenly coloured, warm and vibrant, even in the higher regions... The slow movement was particularly beautiful, with the violin weaving full-toned garlands of lace around the clarinet..." P Y Van, Business Times
DECCA - Mozart Complete Concertos - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Weller
"the playing reminds one of the younger Menuhin's vibrant tones... there is too an immense lyrical strength reminiscent of Suk and Szeryng and a technical assurance which makes one think of Heifetz. In case all these allusions give the impression that this violinist is too good to be true, it must be said that the performances really are that good, for added to technique is something more than the pursuit of mechanical perfection." Kenneth Dommett, HI FI News & Record Review
"her unusually sweet tone suggests a well-controlled bowing arm and a superb instrument and her intonation is remarkably accurate, her technique adroit." The Gramophone
"the advantages of her delicate unpressured cantabile, pearly and finely tuned, charm away the doubts" Stephen Dodgson, Records of the Month, Sunday Times
PHILIPS - Tchaikovsky Concerto - Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra/De Waart
"The violin concerto gets much more musical treatment by Mayumi Fujikawa and I completely agree that, she has an enviable warmth and lyricism as well as a commanding technique." The Gramophone
ASV - Prokofiev Violin Sonatas
"... a powerful, expressive and dedicated performance." The Gramophone