I am a fan of the arts and theatre, and I am very fortunate that I often get opportunities to watch new shows to review on here. And this post is just that. I was asked to review Avex’s first concert of the year, as part of the Avex Recital Series. This was a classical concert, starring the renowned Nobuaki Fukukawa, Principal Horn of the NHK Symphony Orchestra. Something completely new to me, I was unsure of what to expect.
The show was centred around exploring Fukukawa’ artistic spirit and integrity. It was a 9 part concert, non stop for an hour an a half of pure classical class. Starting off stage with the first number “Benjamin Britten (1913-76) prologue from Serenade. As the first time I had properly heard the horn played solo like this, I was surprised at the sounds I was hearing. I had preconceived ideas of classical music being quite mellow and calm, where as this was a rich and vibrant sound.
The only experience I have personally had of classical music was on a short visit to Vienna last year, we visited the mozart museum, and learned a lot about classical legends such as Schumann, Beethoven and Mozart. I got a small feel for classical music, and really enjoyed it.
In this piece Fukukawa changes up mainstream classical music, he introduces the french horn in a solo performance. It was a great opportunity to showcase the instruments contrast from soft and subtle to loud and dramatic sounds and mix up classical music as its often perceived.
The true definition of a one man band in this show, Fukukawa manages to stand alone performing several numbers just on the horn alone. Comparing the horn to other classical instruments like the piano, the horn is a unique and unusual sound to be heard playing solo like in this and there was something quite captivating about it.
The concert was not a sole solo performance, Fukukawa joined by pianist, Eriko Takezawa about halfway through. I personally enjoyed the second half a lot more as the Horn on its own, after so long started to take its toll on my ears. Although I appreciate what Fukukawa is doing here, giving the horn its solo performance, I feel joint with the Piano, they make a great pair.
Fukukawa is a very talented man, and managed to captivate the whole of Wigmore Hall, you could hear a pin drop after each performance. Fukukawa was the winner of the 77th Music Competition of Japan Horn Division in 2008 and in 2015, and joined the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra as the principal horn player at the age of twenty.
This concert was something completely different for me, and that is definitely something I want to do more of this year. Step outside of my comfort zone and enjoy watching or listening to something new. Avex will be back with their second concert of their Recital series, with acclaimed soprano Sara Kobayashi, on Saturday the 2nd of March.
*Tickets were complimentary for review purposes