Toshiko Nishino Plays the Debussy First Arabesque

An Original Video of an Amateur Pianist

Amateur pianist Toshiko Nishino plays Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1.
This is the first time I have ever studied a piece by Debussy. I really wanted to learn this music because I wanted to have Debussy in my repertoire. I’ve found it comfortable to play the Debussy First Arabesque because it is easy to imagine an idea for each section of the piece. When I play this piece, I see water flowing or birds taking off into the air; other times I see a green field. Almost the whole time I am imagining some sort of tableau.

Sometimes a teacher will give me a lot of suggestions on a piece, and often I take their suggestions and then make them my own. For the Debussy First Arabesque, my teacher suggested that in the opening, the right hand is a kind of melody and to play it with more emphasis then the left. Of course I tried to make the right hand have a bigger sound than the left, but I ended up compromising to create less difference between the two. I felt confident making my own decisions with this music.

When I studied Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude, it was more about technique. Of course for the Debussy First Arabesque I need technique, but it’s more about interpretation and feeling the music. With this piece, I am able to express myself more.

Guest writer Toshiko Nishino has performed as an amateur pianist at several places such as the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, Yamaha Artist Services, Steinway Hall, and Weill Hall. She has studied with Professor Jesey Stryjniak, Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig, and Gohei Nishikawa, and at present is studying with Noriko Suzuki and Cosmo Buono. She works as an accountant at Sojitz Corporation of America, and has been an assistant at H & K Arts Management since July 2011.
Copyright © 2013 Nancy M. Williams. All Rights Reserved.

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