Claude Debussy: Preludes, Books I & II
"Taka Kigawa opened the program with thoughtful, poetic accounts of Debussy’s 12 Preludes, Book II, and a rich-hued rendering of 'L’Isle joyeuse.'” Mr. Kigawa’s Debussy is carefully shaded and texturally transparent. He knows how to make this music sparkle, as in the final Prelude, 'Feux d’artifice,' with its fiery washes of sound. He is equally adept at tapping Debussy’s sense of mystery, as in the shimmering opening of 'L’Isle joyeuse,' or in the almost mystical chromaticism of the Prelude No. 10, 'Canope.' As an extended encore, he repeated about half the Preludes." - Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"And the context was appropriately provided by Debussy and Ravel: the first book of the former's Preludes and the latter's 'Valse,' not so often heard in its piano solo version. In this earlier music Mr. Kigawa impressed as a careful and serious-minded musician, quietly poetic and considerate." - Paul Griffiths, The New York Times
"Kigawa completed the concert with the French creator’s seminal First Book of Preludes (1910). Although they are enormously important, they are rarely done completely. Their variety is astonishing, going from the total serenity of No. 1, Danseuses de Delphes, to the turbulence of No. 7, Ce qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest (“What the Western Wind Saw”), to the jazzy humour of No. 12, Minstrels, all the time creating new ways to harmonize and play the piano.
Kigawa proved himself a phenomenal virtuoso, both in the whole First Book and in the encore, the dazzling No. 12, Feux d’artifice (“Fireworks”) from the Second Book of Preludes. Following his playing with a score, the perfection of hues, articulations and rhythms was amazing. - Pablo Bardin, Buenos Aires Herald (Argentina)
"Taka Kigawa, the pianist, gave incisive, clear, textured readings of Ligeti’s 'Arc en Ciel' and Debussy’s 'Feux d’Artifice'” - Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"Mr. Kigawa also offered a colorful rendition of 'Feux d’artifice' ('Fireworks'), from Debussy’s second book of preludes." - Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times