Yamashita in Concert, 1984

Matanya Ophee on attended a concert by Kazuhito Yamashita concert in Toronto, 1984.

 Kazuhito Yamashita

His astute observations provide crucial information to those who are interested in developing the art of guitar playing.

For example:

  • "One thing he must have learnt thoroughly... is to listen carefully to his own playing. That is, it seems to me, the reason he was able to develop this fantastic dynamic range."
  • "... Yamashita is something new, something sui generis. ... "
  • "as he sits down still bowing to the audience in the process, something unbelievable takes place right before your eyes. The shy little boy turns into a giant. Obviously, there is some internal process of concentration going on in the artist’s mind. The visual effect on the audience, perhaps not intended, is that we are made to partake in this transformation of the boy into a passionate and mature artist. "
  • "the powerful grip of a master musician is enough to dispel any preoccupations with one’s own convictions and prejudices. "
  • "in thirty years or so of attending guitar concerts, I have never seen an audience give a standing ovation to the artist right after the first piece in the program."
  • "... he is able to use speed as an expressive device, where and when required. This is the kind of velocity which is taken for granted in violin, flute and piano performance, and for the first time in guitar history, can also be heard in a guitar performance. "
  • "He selected the music first, and then set out to develops the technique required for its execution. Not being bound by blind allegiance to this or that school, this or that mythology, this or that cult figure, he was able to think through a whole new way of eliciting sound from the instrument."
  • "... if you are a free spirit, a free creative spirit who is determined to do your own thing, then you write music like Nikita Koshkin and Wolfgang Lendle, and play music like Kazuhito Yamashita"
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