Minoru Nojima's First American Recording!
A great gem from the Reference Recordings catalog, now released for the first time as a 45 rpm 2LP set, half-speed mastered. Nojima Plays Liszt (RM-2516) is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl from Quality Record Pressings, and packaged in a beautiful old-style gatefold jacket.
Anticipating the judgment of history is no doubt presumptuous, but to hear Minoru Nojima is to find irresistible the idea that here is a pianist destined to join the pantheon of keyboard immortals. Nojima has a technique that invites comparison with the most dazzling of the great piano virtuosi, past or present. Even more, he has a depth of musical expressiveness that one can relate only to the spiritual, to music as an almost religious experience. His playing, once heard, is literally unforgettable.
Given Nojima's artist greatness - and to my mind that is unarguable - it is strange that he is not yet widely known to the American musical pubic, although his reputation is high among American pianists. The reason for his limited public exposure has been his reluctance up to now to make recordings. Fortunately, those who have not had the privilege of hearing Nojima in concert will now have an opportunity to hear him in this, his first American recording.
Nojima Plays Liszt (RR-25) was named Best Recording of the Month by Stereo Review when it was originally released in 1988. It was described as A stunning demonstration of technique put at the service of profoundly musical ends.
Connoisseurs of great piano playing will love these performances. A reclusive cult figure who records even less often than he plays in public, Nojima is Japan's most celebrated concert pianist and a Cliburn Competition Silver Medal winner. The album includes his highly acclaimed performance of the Sonata in b minor.
"Best Recording of the Month" - Stereo Review, May 1988
"As recorded by Keith Johnson, the sound is faulous, spectacular, bold, and perfect for this music. From the leaping opening of Mephisto Waltz #1, the exceptional clarity and percussive nature of Nojima's Hamburg Steinway burst from one's speakers with a veritable peacock's tail of shimmering color and 'hey, check this out!' sass. During slower passages the beauty of Nojima's romantic nature is allowed to shine, as the wide dynamics and remarkable layered overtones in the air between the notes makes for a riveting experience 'til the very end." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, Rated 4.5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics
180g Virgin Vinyl
Half-speed Mastered by Paul Stubblebine
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Deluxe Stoughton gatefold jacket
Minoru Nojima, piano
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
1. Mephisto Waltz #1
2. La Campanella
3. Feux Follets
4. Harmonies du soir
5. Sonata in B minor -- beginning
6. Sonata in B minor -- conclusion
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
7. Alborada del gracioso