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Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649393 06/01/17 10:50 PM
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Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649394 06/01/17 10:50 PM
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Well ladies and gentlemen, that was a master right there.

I really am speechless.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649395 06/01/17 10:52 PM
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Didn't hear everything, but what I did of Dasol Kim is ready for Carnegie Hall!


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Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649398 06/01/17 10:56 PM
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Very close to tears at the beauty of his Schubert. Masterful. And he has such a gracious stage presence, entering and leaving, facial expressions are not clownish, etc. I am able to watch him as well as listen. I didn't want that recital to end.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649399 06/01/17 10:57 PM
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I think that Dasol Kim is perhaps the most refined of all the pianists there but Sunwoo is just almost neck and neck with him in this regard, and since they have such similar strengths I wonder if they are going to cancel one another out to the benefit of Favorin, who is a notably different kind of pianist. Like when two actors from the same movie get nominated for the same Oscar it often goes to someone else.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
vers la flan #2649402 06/01/17 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by vers la flan
I think that Dasol Kim is perhaps the most refined of all the pianists there but Sunwoo is just almost neck and neck with him in this regard, and since they have such similar strengths I wonder if they are going to cancel one another out to the benefit of Favorin, who is a notably different kind of pianist. Like when two actors from the same movie get nominated for the same Oscar it often goes to someone else.


I still think Dasol has the more refined temperament. Yekwon is slick but does let expressive devices get the better of him sometimes. He's not unlike Seong Jin-Cho, whom I regard as great but not a fully developed artist like Dasol. Yet.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
vers la flan #2649403 06/01/17 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by vers la flan
I think that Dasol Kim is perhaps the most refined of all the pianists there but Sunwoo is just almost neck and neck with him in this regard, and since they have such similar strengths I wonder if they are going to cancel one another out to the benefit of Favorin, who is a notably different kind of pianist. Like when two actors from the same movie get nominated for the same Oscar it often goes to someone else.


Good point. This very well could end up with a bronze/silver split and a gold to an underdog - Favorin, Pierdomenico, or Broberg. I think Hsu took himself out tonight.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Spaetensonaten #2649406 06/01/17 11:09 PM
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Dasol Kim is my hard chosen favorite. And yet, Favorin's quarterfinal performance was one of the most spellbinding recitals I think I've ever heard. This is a really tough one to rank.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
vers la flan #2649411 06/01/17 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by vers la flan
Dasol Kim is my hard chosen favorite. And yet, Favorin's quarterfinal performance was one of the most spellbinding recitals I think I've ever heard. This is a really tough one to rank.


Dasol is "a pianist's pianist." Favorin is too, but has that broader appeal. It will be interesting to see what happens. How does Favorin do with Mozart, and does he overpower in chamber music?


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Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649415 06/01/17 11:35 PM
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I still think, at this point, that Favorin has the edge in artistry on Dasol Kim, as wonderful as Kim's recital was tonight. For me Favorin has that almost impossible to describe wow factor. I feel like Kim has broader appeal than Favorin. This is why I would be happy, although somewhat surprised, if Favorin won gold or silver. I just feel like he's a bit too in his own esoteric universe.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649422 06/01/17 11:58 PM
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Any love for Chen? He seems to get kind of lost in the shuffle but I think he has a really nice ear for rhythm and sense of structure. I doubt he's going to win but he's a dark horse to place for me.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
17curleyj #2649436 06/02/17 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 17curleyj
Originally Posted by MikeN
Hmm, I kinda wonder what's going through Hamelin's head considering he was one of the major players in bring Kapustin's music to the public's attention.


I've been thinking about this too. I'm sure it must be stressful for the competitors playing Kapustin to know they are playing for the man who brought Kapustin's work to the public's attention and is known as the premier (besides Kapustin himself) performer and recorder of his music.



Actually, Steven Osborne's all Kapustin CD on the Hyperion label came out first, some years before Hamelin's Kapustin CD. And Osborne's was the one I bought.

Does Hamelin still program Kapustin? If so, it's slipped under my radar (which, admittedly, would be easy to do).

About it being stressful for a competitor to play it in front of Hamelin - I'm assuming having Hamelin there was the main reason it was chosen.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
vers la flan #2649444 06/02/17 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vers la flan
I think that Dasol Kim is perhaps the most refined of all the pianists there but Sunwoo is just almost neck and neck with him in this regard, and since they have such similar strengths I wonder if they are going to cancel one another out to the benefit of Favorin, who is a notably different kind of pianist. Like when two actors from the same movie get nominated for the same Oscar it often goes to someone else.


The Cliburn voting differs from the Oscar voting in one key respect. To quote the official regulations:

Originally Posted by Jury Handbook
Should none of the competitors attain at least half of the votes of the jurors entitled to vote and who did vote in the Final Round, then a further ballot shall be held to decide between the two competitors with the most votes.


This has the effect of cutting down on vote splitting. Even if A and B split votes enough to let C take a lead after the first round, C won't benefit from vote splitting in the run off.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649510 06/02/17 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Brendan
For me, programming Schubert this late in the competition smacks as a way of mitigating the endurance requirements. Often, Schubert's music is on a lesser technical level than Beethoven or Mozart (unless you're programming the Wanderer or the late A major or D major) - it's a way of eating up 30-40 minutes with minimal commitment. Unless you can make a supremely artistic statement with it, the reason is obvious.
But doesn't your statement assume that endurance is a very important consideration? I'm not convinced most pianists perform programs with pieces that all demand super virtuosity. I wouldn't be so interested in that kind of recital.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
pianoloverus #2649529 06/02/17 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Brendan
For me, programming Schubert this late in the competition smacks as a way of mitigating the endurance requirements. Often, Schubert's music is on a lesser technical level than Beethoven or Mozart (unless you're programming the Wanderer or the late A major or D major) - it's a way of eating up 30-40 minutes with minimal commitment. Unless you can make a supremely artistic statement with it, the reason is obvious.
But doesn't your statement assume that endurance is a very important consideration? I'm not convinced most pianists perform programs with pieces that all demand super virtuosity. I wouldn't be so interested in that kind of recital.


Sure, endurance is a big part of this competition. I think last night's recitals underscored the point - one candidate's Schubert didn't seem fully prepared or thought through and the other really knocked it out of the park and made it the centerpiece of his otherwise very difficult program. In this case, the reasoning seemed obvious for both players.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649546 06/02/17 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Brendan
For me, programming Schubert this late in the competition smacks as a way of mitigating the endurance requirements. Often, Schubert's music is on a lesser technical level than Beethoven or Mozart (unless you're programming the Wanderer or the late A major or D major) - it's a way of eating up 30-40 minutes with minimal commitment. Unless you can make a supremely artistic statement with it, the reason is obvious.
But doesn't your statement assume that endurance is a very important consideration? I'm not convinced most pianists perform programs with pieces that all demand super virtuosity. I wouldn't be so interested in that kind of recital.


Sure, endurance is a big part of this competition. I think last night's recitals underscored the point - one candidate's Schubert didn't seem fully prepared or thought through and the other really knocked it out of the park and made it the centerpiece of his otherwise very difficult program. In this case, the reasoning seemed obvious for both players.
Do you mean physical endurance or being able to have a large amount of repertoire ready at the highest level? It sounds to me like you are talking about the latter.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
wr #2649548 06/02/17 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Brendan
For me, programming Schubert this late in the competition smacks as a way of mitigating the endurance requirements. Often, Schubert's music is on a lesser technical level than Beethoven or Mozart (unless you're programming the Wanderer or the late A major or D major) - it's a way of eating up 30-40 minutes with minimal commitment. Unless you can make a supremely artistic statement with it, the reason is obvious.
But doesn't your statement assume that endurance is a very important consideration? I'm not convinced most pianists perform programs with pieces that all demand super virtuosity. I wouldn't be so interested in that kind of recital.


Sure, endurance is a big part of this competition. I think last night's recitals underscored the point - one candidate's Schubert didn't seem fully prepared or thought through and the other really knocked it out of the park and made it the centerpiece of his otherwise very difficult program. In this case, the reasoning seemed obvious for both players.


I think I have a different definition of endurance though, which I'm not entirely certain if it puts me in agreement with you or not.

I don't believe any of these pianists are walking away from the "practice room" with aching fingers, and if they are shame on them. With the exception of maybe two or three competitors, of whom I would not consider Dasol Kim to be included in, their techniques are simply too good for that. I think the endurance aspect is more of a mental thing. How long can you keep your focus and concentration and keep the quality of playing from dropping? Furthermore, I think this is also a question of who has the most well formed and well prepped repertoire they they can perform reliably. Here, one can assume the older competitors have an advantage. I guess this would put me in disagreement with you, most definitely in regards to Kim as I imagine the Schubert Sonata to be just as demanding as anything else he's programed. In the case of Hsu...maybe.

I'd sooner say competitors were trying to make time to practice their concertos than having endurance issues.

Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by 17curleyj
Originally Posted by MikeN
Hmm, I kinda wonder what's going through Hamelin's head considering he was one of the major players in bring Kapustin's music to the public's attention.


I've been thinking about this too. I'm sure it must be stressful for the competitors playing Kapustin to know they are playing for the man who brought Kapustin's work to the public's attention and is known as the premier (besides Kapustin himself) performer and recorder of his music.



Actually, Steven Osborne's all Kapustin CD on the Hyperion label came out first, some years before Hamelin's Kapustin CD. And Osborne's was the one I bought.

Does Hamelin still program Kapustin? If so, it's slipped under my radar (which, admittedly, would be easy to do).

About it being stressful for a competitor to play it in front of Hamelin - I'm assuming having Hamelin there was the main reason it was chosen.


Hence I said Hamelin was one of the major players, but as you point out that's arguable. He's recorded a CD and a 3rd or so of Kapustin's music if I remember correctly. I also don't think he programs any of Kapustin's music any more...at least he hasn't in a while. Of course, I haven't heard of Hamelin programming any Rzewski or Alkan lately either. He's just seems the sort of pianist who likes to move along to playing other things that interest him.

Also, if you do a quick YouTube search on Kim, I think there's enough evidence to say that he's been playing that Kapustin Etude for a while. Long enough to say that it's unlikely he learned it with any real thought to playing it in front of Hamelin, yes?

I guess I should also mention that my initial comment was made with more of a thought of whether Hamelin thinks he's made such an impact as to be listening to Kapustin on the jury of a competition about 2 decades after association with the rather unknown works of Kapustin. That's got to be a bit of a twilight zone moment. Imagine if Favorin programmed a major Alkan work as he did last year, if I recall?

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649572 06/02/17 01:16 PM
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A clarification on the endurance thing:

Physical endurance is a part of it, yes. It's not just juggling all of that repertoire, but the energy required to perform so many times in a short time span is very draining. Even though some of the competitors make it look easy, performing is stressful, especially in this setting.

That coupled with the emotional and mental strain, being constantly followed everywhere by cameras for the documentary, waiting for the announcement, and having to practice/rehearse all day every day makes a competition such as this an absolutely hellish thing to endure. When I attended PianoTexas during the 2005 competition (we had to attend every round and every recital), one of the professors there said that many of the competitors were developing arm/hand problems from all of the strain. So, it's a big factor of this competition as it progresses and is something to consider.

Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649584 06/02/17 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Brendan
A clarification on the endurance thing:

Physical endurance is a part of it, yes. It's not just juggling all of that repertoire, but the energy required to perform so many times in a short time span is very draining. Even though some of the competitors make it look easy, performing is stressful, especially in this setting.

That coupled with the emotional and mental strain, being constantly followed everywhere by cameras for the documentary, waiting for the announcement, and having to practice/rehearse all day every day makes a competition such as this an absolutely hellish thing to endure. When I attended PianoTexas during the 2005 competition (we had to attend every round and every recital), one of the professors there said that many of the competitors were developing arm/hand problems from all of the strain. So, it's a big factor of this competition as it progresses and is something to consider.


It seems we are more or less on the same page. I'd argue that if competitors are developing hand and arm problems that there's something off with how they're approaching the instrument to begin with. You never hear about Argerich or Berman or Hamelin having injuries and I definitely think there's a reason for this. We have heard of Lang Lang getting injured which for me isn't surprising. We've also heard of Yuja Wang injuring herself, but I only recall that happening once during a season where she was performing Prok 2, and it seems to me that she's since changed the way she plays it. It seems she's found ways to mitigate the amount of impact the hands are subjected to which, coming from someone else with skinny fingers and very spindly build, is a real concern in virtuoso repertoire.

I can definitely see where there would be issues with injury though. How many pianists are really so economical and efficient as the best pianists in the world? Not many in my opinion...not even in this competition.

Last edited by MikeN; 06/02/17 01:50 PM.
Re: 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Megathread
Brendan #2649611 06/02/17 03:06 PM
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The recital times have changed and I can only watch a couple a day, which is good enough for me. If I am understanding, they are all playing each a recital they chose and a Mozart concert for the semifinals?

Hmm but I won't be able to watch the finals live! They are all in the middle of my night. frown

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