review of her Wigmore Hall 1 Oct 2006:
"The most striking feature of Megumi Fujita's playing in the Wigmore Hall
on 1 October was the sheer beauty of sound she drew from the piano, always brilliantly
singing yet subtly varied according to which masterpiece she performed....this
was among the best recitals I've heard this year to mark the 150th Anniversary
of Schumann's death"
2006Rachmaninov 24 Preludes
CD (Intim Musik)
Megumi Fujita - piano
Fujita plays it exquisitely...Fujita has a perceptive ear for the poetic virtues
of this music
as well as having all the virtuosity needed to capture the
stormy atmosphere in some of the preludes. "
musicianship was again to the forefront at St.Johns' Smith Square on 2 October
when the Fujita Piano Trio were the soloists in Beethoven's Triple Concerto for
Piano, Violin and Cello. The three sisters exhibited a strong rapport throughout
the performance as they exchanged encouraging smiles and shared their great sense
of enjoyment with the audience. Honoka Fujita was particularly impressive in the
taxing solo passages for cello, as well as in dialogue with her sister Arisa Fujita,
who drew from her violin a silken lyrical tone in the Largo and the virtuosic
execution in the Rondo. Megumi Fujita at the piano played her less flamboyant
part expressively and unified the group in the trio sections.
Sisters at the Wigmore
gifted Fujita sisters, well known for their championship of modern music as members
of the Fujita Piano Trio, gave a remarkably impressive recital at the Wigmore
Hall on 6 June. Arisa, the violinist, was accompanied by her elder sister Megumi,
opening with Schubert's C major Fantasie D934, given an immaculate performance
The six Solo Sonatas Opus 27 by Ysaÿe have never really left
the fringes of the repertoire and fourth of these, in E minor, was brilliantly
and movingly played.
There were two modern works. Alexander Goehr's Suite
for Violin and Piano Opus 70 received its London Premiere.
The work dates
from 2000 and is in three movements, of which the central Rainsong made
the most immediate impression.
Takemitsu's Hika was typically impressionistic,
and the recital ended with a fine account of Franck's A major Sonata.
Classical CDs 2002" Ongakunotomo-sha, Japan
"Record Geijutsu" (The Art of Records magazine, Japan) Nov 2001
is an album of Toru Takemitsu's ten chamber music works recorded last December
by our own rising piano trio, the three Fujita sisters. The title of the CD is "Between Tides", the last work of the programme. Incidentally, this
is the only piano trio in this CD. Members of the Trio are three sisters, Megumi,
Arisa and Honoka Fujita, playing piano, violin and cello respectively.
The teamwork and congeniality in the ensemble among the members are excellent.
I felt they shared the common sensitivity in many points. Perhaps it is because
they are particularly suited to these pieces, a fresh and pleasant performance
filled with pliability and relaxation impressed me favorably. They seem to pursue
even contemporary music from their instinctive point of view, without being over-obsessed
with its intricate details. In other words, the Trio seems to be seeking the music
that fits the hand naturally and the fresh interpretation of the way the music
should be. That is probably the reason why we are drawn to it.
has perfect technique. It is a fine performance with deep understanding of Takemitsu's
Chamber & Solo Piano Pieces.
Issue: Jan-Feb, 2002
splendidly-recorded program is the best collection of Toru Takemitsu's pieces
for piano and piano with strings that I've heard. This Japanese composer must
be played with great sensitivity and nuance, but he can't be allowed to drift
off into undifferentiated mysticism--which can happen, given his iridescent Scriabinesque
harmonies and the timeless, ecstatic, ineffable visions he tries to convey. Still
Takemitsu's music, with its exquisitely shaped and articulated (and lovingly echoed)
phrases, rigorous motive development, and clear (if sui generis) large-scale outlines,
is, in its own way, extraordinarily disciplined and precise. It has both the sense
of direction and logical structure too often lacking in Messiaen--however influential
that grandiose Frenchman was on Takemitsu's idiom.
emphasize this because, after hearing the Fujita sisters play Takemitsu's music
with such superlative skill and understanding, I now see why I've so often been
disappointed by other, less convincing performances. (I haven't heard the new
recording of Paul Crossley playing Takemitsu's complete music for piano on GMN
114, reviewed last issue.) Peter Serkin, for example, is often held to be an authoritative
performer of Takemitsu, but comparing Megumi Fujita's playing of Litany and Rain
Tree Sketch II with Serkin's renditions (RCA 68595, Mar/Apr 1997) clarifies why
I think Fujita is so much better. Serkin elongates and attenuates the music, making
everything ethereal. The result is a cloying lack of variety, a self-indulgent
obscuring of the form, and a dilution of emotional impact. In Rain Tree Sketch
II for instance, Serkin plays the second idea--an airy, gliding theme (marked "joyful")--almost as dreamily as the more tentative, elliptical first
idea. He simply ignores the subtle but unmistakable shift in mood called for in
Takemitsu's score. Fujita allows the second idea to flow and sing--indeed to rejoice--so
that the return to the gnomic first idea feels like a return instead of an endless
circling that never goes anywhere.
good as the Fujitas are with the five piano pieces (Romance, Pieces for Children,
Litany, and the pair of works designated Rain Tree Sketch), three violin-and-piano
duos (Distance De Fee, 'Hika', and From Far Beyond Chrysanthemums), and Orion
for cello and piano, they are simply magnificent in Takemitsu's chamber music
masterpiece, Between Tides. In this 15-minute piano trio, written three years
before his death, Takemitsu truly achieved the transcendence he had been seeking
for so long: to achieve a sound as intense as silence, as he put it. The final
section of this trio--though the trio must be heard complete to feel its full
impact--is as heartbreakingly beautiful as anything in all of music, whether of
the West or of the East--or, as here, of both.
(France) February 2002
of Takemitsu Between Tides CD by Fujita Piano Trio (5/5)
Stereo image: 8/10,
Definition: 8/10, Sound quality: 8/10, Dynamics: 8/10
possessed the gift of poetry, a point that is confirmed by all the pieces of this
collection. If the same language is not always present from the piano piece Romance
(1948) to the trio Between Tides (1993), there is at least the same quality of
inspiration, the same liberty in the evolution of music permeated by dreams, the
same meditation and references to nature. This is a constant facet of this great
ten works, only two of which last more than ten minutes, are more like miniatures
than "haikus", and this difference is not negligible in a musical universe
that is constantly dispatching us back to French tradition. If someone insisted
that Romance from 1948 was in fact an unknown Prelude by Claude Debussy, everyone
would be willing believers. Distance de fee, composed three years later might
bring Ravel to mind, and already Messiaen is brought to mind in the piano part
of the Lento misterioso of the Litanie a la memoire de Michael Vyner, Messiaen
whom Takemitsu wished to honour - in memoriam - in his Rain Tree Sketch II. And
since we are on the subject of French music, would it be excessive to mention
the names of Poulenc, or Satie, in connection with the delicious and malicious
pieces for children (Breeze and Clouds) from 1979?
if there are many French references floating over this music, they are subtly
interwoven with the Japanese ones; poetic sources with Shuzo Takiguchi (one of
his poems is precisely titled Distance de fee), and Kenzaburo Oe (whose description
of a tree's abundant foliage retaining raindrops for hours, was the source for
the Rain Tree series).
musicians are at work to communicate this music. The three Fujita sisters are
tender, dreaming, delicate and know how to preserve the simplicity of a very pure
and natural art.
(France) January 2002
Takemitsu CDs by Fujita Piano Trio (9/10) and Ensemble 2e2m directed by Paul Mefano
leaves and rain have returned with autumn. And this is no joke; so have the recordings
of Takemitsu's soaken works. It is not a joke, besides, he wrote it himself: "From
far beyond chrysanthemums and November fog". Naturally we are all a year
older in our bones and particularly in our ears, which, through those recurrences
as regular as the tide, "Between Tides", "see" how the memory
of a recently departed master evolves.
Mefano, who is experimenting an excellent personal autumn, has chosen, with the
excellent Ensemble 2e2m, an asserted, even turbulent if not stormy Takemitsu,
where all these pieces with rain or water in their titles gather an astonishing
depth. It is nearly a case of reverse usage, all the more so since the nuance
of the Japanese is the product of a claimed French influence, and is heralded
by Mefano in his role as composer, leader and citizen of our four cornered hexagon
aaaaaaWe sometimes come close to Takemitsu-Janus
II, composer of film music, that is to say the cinema one, the one using effects
(and we should not attach too quickly the adjective "easy" to this word!).
This opinion is very easy to defend and can reveal that Mefano also desires to
put on a great act. He has developed a taste for real (musical) life, since his
harmonization of Waldteutel. He, who has served the contemporary for so long,
perhaps craves to escape its ghetto, unless audacious as he is, he only wishes
to take the contemporary out of its ghetto. It is part of the current trend.
Takemitsu of Fujita Trio, whose playing is as delicate as a trinket, manages the
rather Japanese paradox of being more French than Mefano because it is more intimately
Japanese and perhaps, Takemitsuimian. Its subtle programme covers the complete
work, from student to the master acclaimed by everyone. One can compare the Rain
Tree Sketch from 1982, gracious, nostalgic, with the composition dedicated to
Messiaen, ten years later, painful, essential. One will even discern an inclination
towards the second Viennese school in Orion, commissioned by the Austrian radio.
will also discover, with great interest, the very melodious Piano Pieces for children,
following the example of Helmut Lachenmann's Kinderspiel, opening up new piano
horizons to young people, to enthusiasts of all ages and their teachers.
Strad, September 2000 (review of The Fujita Piano Trio Purcell Room concert)
concert was enjoyable, the three players - Arisa on violin, Honoka on cello and
Megumi on piano - proving to be accomplished musicians who chose to play the whole
programme from memory.
The concert opened with Judith Weir's Piano Trio (1997),
a work in which all three parts seem equally important. The first movement pitted
a solo line against a two-voice accompaniment, giving all three players a chance
to demonstrate their ability, while the second was more animated. The third movement
made use of imitative textures, evocative in places of both Faure and Bach, the
trio adapted well to both styles.
In the first movement of Beethoven's 'Archduke'
op97 the triumphant passages and more intimate moments were equally well captured
by the trio, the sisters using their excellent range of dynamics to good effect.
The Fujitas showed real ensemble in the Scherzo-Allegro second movement, while
their rhythmic precision was highlighted in the finale.
Ravel's A minor Piano
Trio is a virtuosic work and seemed ideally suited to this group.
showed good use of dynamics throughout, with a crescendo to fortissimo in the
And fourth movements that almost shook the auditorium"
Musical Opinion, Spring 1999 (review of The Fujita Piano Trio Wigmore Hall
Between Tides, composed in 1993, was the high point of the evening. All three
sisters were completely at one with each other, able to convey the programmatic
nature of the work so that we could hear the ebbs and flows of the tides which
at points created a suspenseful tension, offset at others by a calm, almost ethereal
mood. The final work of the evening, Tchaikovsky's A minor Trio, was a tour de
force in all respects. The opening pezzo elegiaco contained some spine-tingling
Strad, June 1999 (review of The Fujita Piano Trio Wigmore Hall concert)
Fujitas' rendition [of Takemitsu's Between Tides] was subtly coloured and beautifully
nuanced, but it paled in comparison with their marvellous Tchaikovsky Trio in
A minor op 50. A difficult work to pull off with conviction, the Fujitas rose
to the challenge. The episodic Theme and variations second movement shone."