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#1213480 - 06/07/09 05:44 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: wr]  
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signa Offline
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so far the orchestra and soloist in sync is the problem with basically every finalist, and no one seems to escape from it. i kind of realize now that's why the pianist, Di, Zhang and Bozhanov at least, kept watching the conductor because they felt pushed at the moments.

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#1213481 - 06/07/09 05:45 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: wr]  
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She is a BEAST! Go Di Wu!


Ravel - Une Barque Sur l'Ocean
Kapustin - Etude No. 7
Bach/Busoni - Chaconne
#1213482 - 06/07/09 05:46 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: wr]  
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I disagree on the Rachmaninoff. For my tastes, it was one of the worst performances in the entire competition. She banged the heck out of piano for no good reason, didn't voice a single chord, and wasn't even clean in the Mendelssohnian bits in the second and third movements. I really felt that she made the piano sound horrible (and it wasn't the piano's fault, as in Vacatello's Beethoven).

Okay, here's my guess:

1. Son
2. Tsujii
3. Vacatello

What I would hope for:

1. Tsujii
2. Vacatello
3. Zhang

#1213483 - 06/07/09 05:49 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Brendan]  
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After that final recital you'd put Tsujii first?


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
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#1213484 - 06/07/09 05:50 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Brendan]  
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newport Offline
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My wild guess:

1. Zhang
2. Vacatello
3. Tsujii


Chopin Bolero Op.19 / Chopin Polonaise-Fantasy Op. 61
Chopin Piano Concerto No.1/No.2 (2nd movement)
Schumann Piano Concerto

John
#1213487 - 06/07/09 05:56 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: newport]  
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I'll make my prediction and agree with newport.

1) Zhang
2) Vacatello
3) Tsujii

I think Bozhanov has potential, but I don't know his Rachmaninoff, and various other..."intricacies" ars going to go down with the jury, I assume that he will polarize the vote and thus eliminate his chances. Tsujii gave some great performances and really inspires the crowd, so I think he'll get a medal.

Son and Di Wu were good, but they don't really leave any lasting impression in my mind.


http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。
#1213490 - 06/07/09 06:04 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Axtremus]  
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Summarizing my thoughts on the final round...

1. Vacatello and Zhang are the most consistent performers. They did very well in both their recitals and in all four concerti.

2. Vacatello's Prok 3 was the most electrifying of all the concerto performances, sync problem with the orchestra notwithstanding. And she had something very memorable from her recital too -- her ornaments in the Bach piece. She's the champion in my mind.

3. Zhang also gave a fresh and interesting rendition of the Mozart concerto. He'd probably be the runner up if I emphasize consistency.

4. Wu and Bozhanov ... Both are excellent performers, excellent pianists. Wu gave a brilliant performance of the Rach 3, but flopped the Beethoven. Bozhanov pulled off a fresh and interesting interpretation of the Chopin concerto, but flopped the Rach 2 in a fresh and interesting way. Both gave excellent recitals, though I think Bozhanov edged Wu out by a hair in recitals. I'd probably put Bozhanov above Wu if I cannot tie them... definitely put Bozhanov above Wu if I want to emphasize originality and creativity.

5. Overall, it's a close call among Vacatello, Zhang, Wu, and Bozhanov. Based on artistic merit alone, I have no problem cutting out Son and Tsujii. But if I'm a money grabbing concert promoter, I'd drop Zhang and keep Vacatello, Wu, and Bozhanov... these three are simply a lot more photogenic and telegenic than Zhang. Bozhanov has the added edge of being "interesting" and even "controversial" in a Lang Lang sort of way. With a money grabbing concert promoter mindset, I might even drop Zhang for Tsujii if I think I can sell sap stories surrounding Tsujii's blindness.

6. Longer term, though, I think Bozhanov has the best chance of leaving a mark in history. The guy has high potential of leaving behind highly original, highly interesting stuff. While I normally prize originality and creativity rather highly and hope Bozhanov gets something out of this, I also don't think a Cliburn prize matters that much to the truly creative and the truly original in the long run. Zhang might as well, simply because he's still young and has lots of time to develop and mature. If he doesn't get a medal this time, no big deal... he is young and has lots of time to enter many prestigious competitions.

7. So, my medal favorites are Vacatello, Zhang, Bozhanov, and Wu. Which medal Bozhanov gets (or whether he gets one at all) would depend on how much originality/creativity is weighted vs. consistency and deference to tradition.

#1213491 - 06/07/09 06:06 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Axtremus]  
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From Eric Zuber!!

Thanks to everyone involved for making this a fantastic viewing experience. Thanks also to the competitors for your sacrifice in bringing us your vision of this music. To all 29, congratulations.

Not that my opinion matters in the least, but here are some final thoughts and my finalist rankings from a fellow young pianist.

From sixth to first:
Evgeni Bozhanov: He did some absolutely gorgeous things with sound and timing, especially in the Davidsbundlertaenze. He has the capability, confidence, and freedom to be creative musically, often with lovely results. I loved the humor in his playing, Op. 31 # 3 was especially delightful. The concerti were not played according to my personal preference, but that’s just me. Thank you for the wonderful moments. – Sixth Prize–

Di Wu: I was very impressed by Di Wu’s level of personal commitment to the music on stage, especially in her final recital. It may be the first (and the last) time that I hear Schoenberg played with such care and love. I thought Gaspard was beautifully shaded. I just couldn’t disagree more with the tempi that she chose for the Rachmaninov Concerto, but that’s just me. She obviously works extremely hard and is very talented. Wonderful efforts! - Fifth Prize-

Yeoleum Son: Yeoleum is a rock solid pianist. I enjoyed her playing immensely. She has a tremendous amount of confidence. I think this girl was born to be on stage! Wonderful job, thanks so much. –Fourth Prize-

Mariangela Vacatello: This girl blew me away with her rendering of the Busoni-Chopin Variations! It was the first time I heard the piece, but I can’t imagine it being played much better. There were many lovely moments sprinkled throughout her recitals. For my own personal taste, her playing seems just a bit detached from the depths of her soul. Perhaps it’s because I could NEVER imagine playing the piano with such a consistently straight face. If the music is sad, her face is straight—if the music is happy, it’s also straight. Nothing ever changes visually about her at all, so for me it’s a bit harder to get emotionally connected to what she’s doing. While the playing itself is extremely communicative, I just visually can’t see the joy that I KNOW she has for this music. Of course, that’s such a small thing and my own personal preference! Musically and technically, she is an incredibly solid player. I especially enjoyed the rush of energy she gave to the Prokoviev Concerto. She has a wonderful career ahead of her. Thank you for your efforts! - Third Prize –

Nobuyuki Tsujii: His rendering of Opus 106 was in itself worthy of a medal, and his playing throughout the competition was consistently beautiful. His final recital was especially memorable for me. Personally, I find that his playing in certain types of repertoire lacks just a tiny bit of flexibility and sensitivity to harmonic changes. I just don’t always get the sense that he listens between the notes– to the emotional implication of the harmonies. Sometimes I feel that certain nuances get looked over. To simplify even further– I’m missing subtlety in general in his playing. (For whatever reason, this is a less apparent, if non-existent problem in his Beethoven interpretations which are absolutely top-class.) Still, the achievement is absolutely and undeniably remarkable, and I have not a shred of doubt that he will go on to have an incredible career. His story and his playing, two things which will be inexorably linked throughout the course of his life, are both fantastically inspiring. Thank you. – Second Prize –

Haochen Zhang: From the first time I heard this young man play, I knew he would be a finalist. Amid all of the (in my opinion) unjust criticism he received after what was one of the best concerts I’ve ever heard given at a competition, I wrote this:

“Im not sure if everyone heard the same performance I just did, but the one I heard was absolutely stunning in every sense. From a sheer physical perspective, there aren’t many people in the world who can do what he can at the keyboard. Combine that with his obvious sincerity, inate musicality, and perfect sense of timing, and you have a young man destined for a huge career. Mark my words, if he continues to play at that level, or even on the merits of this performance alone, he will be in the finals, and personally I think he will win. If he places second or third because of his age (like Joyce did in 2005) then that and that alone will be the reason.”

That pretty much sums up how I still feel. The glow has not worn off. This is a young man with musical sincerity, complete confidence, technical impeccability. He can afford– and will for sure as he grows and matures—to incorporate more creativity and musical freedom in his playing. Sometimes, it sounds almost a little too rehearsed and refined, with not enough spontaneity. That being said, I find his almost classical refinement refreshing in a musical climate where exaggeration too often equals musicianship to many. In my opinion, he is the clear winner of this competition, and I have absolutely no reservations about saying that. Best of luck in your future endeavors! -First Prize-


Chopin Bolero Op.19 / Chopin Polonaise-Fantasy Op. 61
Chopin Piano Concerto No.1/No.2 (2nd movement)
Schumann Piano Concerto

John
#1213492 - 06/07/09 06:09 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: newport]  
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I can't believe it Eric and me must be mental twins separated at birth ... Hahaha ...(I am laughing at myself :-))


Chopin Bolero Op.19 / Chopin Polonaise-Fantasy Op. 61
Chopin Piano Concerto No.1/No.2 (2nd movement)
Schumann Piano Concerto

John
#1213493 - 06/07/09 06:13 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: newport]  
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i'm on pins and needles...


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
#1213494 - 06/07/09 06:14 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: newport]  
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My opinions line up somewhat with Eric Zuber's. He also seems to enjoy Son and Wu, but they don't really affect him on any great level, and I agree with that. They are consistent and enjoyable performers but nothing more. I also agree that Zhang hasn't given a bad performance throughout the competition, which can't be said for most other competitors. He really does have an immense talent. Reaction to Bozhanov is unpredictable. If the judges are fooled into thinking that anything that looks/sounds unique is immediately a god-given revelation, he could come out on top. Or they may just ignore the bad aspects of his performances and recognize that there is talent underneath somewhere. Either way, I have a hard time seeing him as 2nd or 3rd, it's either top prize or not prize.


http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。
#1213499 - 06/07/09 06:19 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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Originally Posted by jon-nyc
i'm on pins and needles...
You're not in the maternity ward and accidentally sat on a tray of needles and instruments, are you? wink

#1213500 - 06/07/09 06:20 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Axtremus]  
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Not yet! I'm glad this ends now, I have to leave to the hospital in 3 1/2 hours...


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
#1213502 - 06/07/09 06:23 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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Difficult one to call.I enjoyed Wu's final recital but her Rach 3 tonight seemed patchy.Son's Prok 2 was great but her Schubert was a let down for me.Tsujii was good all round but failed to shine anywhere in particular.Vacatello's Prok 3 was the highlight of the competition for me.
I'd vote:

1) Vacatello
2) Bozhanov
3) Zhang


#1213505 - 06/07/09 06:26 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: timmyab]  
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Ridicolosamente Offline
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Albany, NY, USA
What the heck...

1) Vacatello
2) Son
3) Zhang


Currently working on:
-Poulenc Trois pièces
-Liszt Harmonies du Soir
-Bach/Brahms Chaconne for Left Hand
#1213509 - 06/07/09 06:36 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Ridicolosamente]  
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What part of 5pm CDT don't these clowns understand?


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
#1213510 - 06/07/09 06:37 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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Originally Posted by jon-nyc
What part of 5pm CDT don't these clowns understand?


Apparently they think they are in MDT. mad


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1213511 - 06/07/09 06:38 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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1) Zhang + Vacatello
2) Wu
3) Tsuji

Last edited by ThomasF; 06/07/09 07:30 PM.
#1213514 - 06/07/09 06:41 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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Here are my winners from the competition - people I would pay to hear perform (and in no particular order):

Evgeni Bozhanov
Lukas Vondracek
Naomi Kudo
Di Wu
Mariangela Vacatello
Haochen Zhang
Chetan Tierra
Mikhail Lifits

All the hype about their being semi-finalists and finalists makes you forget the superb musicians who were also part of this competition.

#1213517 - 06/07/09 06:42 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Ridicolosamente]  
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How I will celebrate if ...

* Zhang wins - each Kentucky Fried Chicken, dark meat, Zhang's favorite, and pre-performance, food.

* Vacatello wins - buy a picture magazine featuring Italian supermodels and admire them.

* Tsujii wins - eat sushi, but need to research what sort of blind fish can actually be made into sushi first.

* Son wins - eat Korean tofu pot, may be wear a green shirt for a day

* Wu wins - Chinese food or picture magazine with Chinese supermodels... hard call

* Bozhanov wins - don't know, probably go buy a lottery or watch Funny Face

#1213519 - 06/07/09 06:44 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Axtremus]  
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Delaware (slower/lower)
Man! Lets get on with it already.


Do or do not. There is no try.
#1213521 - 06/07/09 06:45 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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Originally Posted by jon-nyc
What part of 5pm CDT don't these clowns understand?


Award ceremony half an hour after the final performance? I could have predicted a delay.


http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。
#1213523 - 06/07/09 06:50 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Axtremus]  
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Originally Posted by Axtremus
Tsujii wins - eat sushi, but need to research what sort of blind fish can actually be made into sushi first.


Come on now, hahahaha....

#1213524 - 06/07/09 06:51 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Theowne]  
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Originally Posted by Theowne
I'll make my prediction and agree with newport.

1) Zhang
2) Vacatello
3) Tsujii


Ditto

#1213525 - 06/07/09 06:53 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Damon]  
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They just showed Zhang in the audience with earphones in. What the heck is he listening to?


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
#1213526 - 06/07/09 06:54 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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I can't believe I wasted 50 minutes of my life watching all that filler.


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
#1213527 - 06/07/09 06:54 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Damon]  
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Theowne
I'll make my prediction and agree with newport.

1) Zhang
2) Vacatello
3) Tsujii


Ditto

Wow, we have a quorum in our own guerrilla court? smile


Chopin Bolero Op.19 / Chopin Polonaise-Fantasy Op. 61
Chopin Piano Concerto No.1/No.2 (2nd movement)
Schumann Piano Concerto

John
#1213530 - 06/07/09 06:56 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: jon-nyc]  
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Originally Posted by jon-nyc
They just showed Zhang in the audience with earphones in. What the heck is he listening to?



James Conlon - Lecture on the technique of playing Mozart concertos.... part 1. laugh


#1213532 - 06/07/09 06:58 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: LiszThalberg]  
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Ireland wins but Krum gets the snitch.

#1213534 - 06/07/09 07:00 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: LiszThalberg]  
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Originally Posted by Debussy20
Originally Posted by jon-nyc
They just showed Zhang in the audience with earphones in. What the heck is he listening to?



James Conlon - Lecture on the technique of playing Mozart concertos.... part 1. laugh



LOL!


If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?
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