29 December, 2007

Sumi Jo ! / Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo

At last, on December 9th, I could get a chance to listen to her voice directory!
An amazing coloratura, which was acclaimed as “a voice from heaven” by Herbert von Karajan.

In the end of last year, we saw her on a very popular Japanese TV program named " Daimeinonai Ongakukai”(the concert with no name) that have aired her stages repeatedly, and we were bewitched her performance as soon as watched it. Hence, we bought her some CDs and a DVD forthwith, and then my wife & daughter went to her recital that was held at the Tokyo Opera City this March, and they were knocked down completely. Luckily for me, the recording source of that recital of March was aired on NHK-FM radio this summer. I listened and was really impressed. Lascia chio pianga, Agitata da due venti, and La traviata .... those were miracles. However, my daughter insisted that "the emotion of the 'real' stage is incomparable! "

So, we got her "S-seat" tickets of this December concert for three of us. I knew it was a little bit,,, nope,,, very expensive considering that our daily life, but I expected that it would be a special treat to ourselves as a Christmas present. Actually, it was worth it.

She was collaborating with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by maestro Yuri Simonov.
All of numbers were wonderful. Especially what impressed me were;
L’etoile du Nord - C’est bien l’air que chaque matin (Meyerbeer)….the collaboration of flute players and her coloratura was amazing!
Les Contes d'Hoffmann - Doll Song (Offenbach)….it was very comical and super performance. You can see her performance with maestro Simonov on YouTube.
La traviata – E strano / Ah fors’e lui / Sempre libera (Verdi)….my favorite song!
Encore songs the blue Danube Waltz, O mio babbino caro, Sakura/Arirang (a cappella)” were also beautiful.

To tell the truth, I am not a hard-core mania of classical music, but just a novice listener, so I cannot describe any professional perspectives about performances. But I can say it really really moved me!
Sumi Jo, the voice from heaven. It was the best Christmas present I've had in years.


09 December, 2007

Autumn colours in Jingu-Gaien

This weekend, I went to the Jingu-Gaien park to see the ginkgo trees. The line of ginkgo trees in Jingu-Gaien is one of the popular autumn colour spots in Tokyo. Let me introduce the beautiful coloured ginkgos and the symbolic building of this park, Kaiga-kan.

The road was vehicle-free for walkers. There were lots of family groups and amateur photographers who came to enjoy the autumn colors.

The end of the line of ginkgos, you can see the "Kaiga-kan", a kind of art museum.

It was originally established for honoring Meiji Emperor in 1926, 13 years after he pasted away. There are lots of paintings regards to the historical events what Meiji Emperor played a big role.
Actually, I like this beautiful masonry building, but, to tell the truth, I couldn't enjoy those paintings displayed in there. I kind of think they may be valuable not for their artistic value but historical value. Anyway, it's an interesting place for studying modern Japanese history. You know, the reign of Meiji Emperor was a turning point from the Samurai world to the modern Japan.

Other than the "Kaiga-kan", Jingu-Gaien includes many fascilities, such as the National Stadium, Jingu Baseball Stadium/the home-ground of the professional team "Yakult Swallows", baseball grounds for amateur players, Ice skate link, tennis club, futsal courts, etc. They also lend bicycles and offer the free bike riding lesson. Actually, Kana learned riding there when she was in kindergarten.

The closest station: Shinano-machi (JR Chuo line) or Kokuritu-kyogijo (Toei Subway O-Edo line)

Click here to Jump to the Jingu-Gaien homepage.

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04 December, 2007

It's December already!

Finaly, the last month of 2007 is begining.
At the start of this year, I vowed to myself that I would try to post 4 times a month. But regrettably, I'm ashamed to say, and as you well know, I couldn't keep the vow at all.
The actual frequencies of posting were as follows; mean(SD) 1.6(1.23), range 0-4, median 1, mode 1 (times/month). Yeah, I know, I was not able to accomplish the quota.

"Uh, I've been rushed off my feet lately....."
"Mmm, my PC has been troubled since this summer...."

Well, I replaced my PC this November. The new one has sufficient memory, smooth response, so there are no stresses during blogging or uploading photos.
OK, there is no excuse to wag off.