from CRQ 464 HANAE NAKAJIMA PLAYS BEETHOVEN VOL 2: PIANO CONCERTO NO. 5 EMPEROR AND 7 BAGATELLES OP. 33,
released June 1, 2021
The Japanese pianist Hanae Nakajima was born in Kyoto in 1940. She started to play the piano at the age of five. She moved to Vienna in 1961 to further her studies. She was also a pupil of Wilhelm Kempff. In 1969 she was one of three finalists in the Clara Haskil Piano Competition. She taught at the Nuremberg-Augsburg Music High School. At some point in the late 1960s or early 1970s she began to record for the Nuremberg based record company Colloseum Records, both in solo recitals and in concerto performances with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. Hanae Nakjima jumped to fame in the United Kingdom when in 1972 her recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, ‘Emperor’, was judged by the distinguished pianist Joseph Cooper on the well-respected BBC radio programme Record Review to be the best version currently available. This verdict completely upset the apple-cart of received critical wisdom at the time, and Nakajima’s recording on the obscure Windmill label became a true collector’s item. This recording and many of her other Colosseum recordings reappeared over time on numerous international budget labels on both LP and CD. That Cooper’s verdict was not based on a ‘flash in the pan’ is well borne out by Nakajima’s other recordings both by Beethoven and other composers. Her partner in the three Beethoven piano concertos which she committed to disc was the distinguished Swiss musician and conductor Rato Tschupp. Tschupp, born in 1929, was active in music performance in Zurich throughout his life. He taught conducting at the Music High School in Karlsruhe, Germany, between 1976 and 1988. From 1989 to 2001 he was principal conductor of the Aargau Symphony orchestra. He died in 2002.
CRQ 463 and 464 – Hanae Nakajima plays Beethoven Vols 1 and 2 – are each priced at £4 to allow the set to be purchased for the same price as a single download CD: £8.