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BTW I did not know that there is also now an International Chopin competition on Period Instruments organized also by the Chopin Institute.

The first session was held in 2018 and subsequent ones to follow every 5 years. The first one was won by Ritter, Aleksandra Swigut and Naruhiko Kawaguchi. Those interested can find all the sessions on YT. Pianos include originals from Pleyel, Erard and various copies.

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It’s a bit long but let me share with you Mr. Ushida’s Twitter comments after the result. As you can imagine Japanese Twitter comments went crazy after people found out that his name was not there. I added the original just so you can try it on Google translator to confirm it’s accuracy. (The whole thing now)

Translated from Ushida’s Twitter:

I would like to thank everyone who supported us in various places for the Chopin Competition and everyone who helped us. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to in a wonderful competition with a great history and to share it with many of you.

The teachers who judge at this competition are very respected as musicians, and I am very honored to hear the performance. I sincerely support her decision.
On the other hand, I am really sorry that I could not reward everyone who had high expectations in the form of results.

This time, I couldn't grasp the sound (impact) of the hall, and ended the round without being able to determine the maximum volume (to be used to get the intended result), and the dynamics composition and tone adjustment went wrong. There was a moment when I had the illusion that my volume was not enough due to the sound of the hall, and I wound up bringing out a saturated sound that was not artistic.
Also, in order to force the volume out in a non-sounding hall, you can make the piano sound like it is playing with the effect of overtones by delaying the bass and the most important sounds a little. It seems that I unknowingly used it too much while exploring (the right sound?).
(Left and right deviation is a typical technique of the 20th century, but it is not very suitable in modern times. Of course, in the polyphonic part and the part where the melody is recitative, it is inevitable due to the difference in intonation for each voice. I think that it should be tolerated if the deviation occurs within the natural range.)

I would like to grow further in the future and devote myself to listening to it again. I look forward to sharing the music of the great composer with you again. I look forward to working with you in the future.

ショパンコンクールに向けてさまざまな場所で応援してくださった皆さま、お力添えをくださった皆さま、本当にありがとうございました。偉大な歴史を持った素晴らしいコンクールで演奏するという機会を得られたこと、そしてそれを多くの皆さまと共有できたことを心から光栄に思っております。

このコンクールで審査をしてくださっている先生方は、音楽家として心から尊敬する存在で、演奏を聴いていただけたことをとても光栄に思っております。今回の判断を心から支持しています。
一方で、ご期待を寄せてくださっていた皆さまには、結果という形で報いることができなかったことを本当に心苦しく、申し訳なく思っています。

今回はなかなかホールの音響がつかめず、最大音量を見極められないままラウンドを終えてしまい、ダイナミクスの構成や音色の調整が狂ってしまいました。ホールの音響上自分の音量が足りていないのではと錯覚してしまい、不自然な力で芸術的でない飽和した響きを引き出してしまった瞬間がありました。
また、響かないホールで無理やり音量を出すために、バスや最も重要な音を少し遅らせることで倍音の効果でピアノが鳴っているように聞こえさせることができるのですが、これをホールの音響を探るうちに無意識に多用してしまっていたようです。
(左右のズレは20世紀の典型的なテクニックではありますが現代ではあまりふさわしいとはいえません。もちろんポリフォニックな部分や旋律がレチタティーヴォ的になっている部分では声部ごとのイントネーションの違いから必然的なズレが生じるのは自然な範囲内であれば許容されるべきだとは思いますが)
今後より成長して、また皆さまに聴いていただけるよう精進したいと思います。また再び皆さまと偉大な作曲家の音楽を共有できる日を楽しみにしています。今後ともどうぞよろしくお願い申し上げます。

Last edited by FarmGirl; 10/13/21 11:45 AM.
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I should have corrected “to hear the performance” to “ have my performance heard by the judges”. I hope you understand it. I cannot edit it any more since it exceeded the time. I’m trying my best to present it as it is making sure there is no opportunity for misunderstandings. Please read it with understanding.

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^ Farm Girl: Thank you for sharing.

Back in 2015 I wasn't able to watch live-stream, but did read the thread from time to time and the issue of jury members' students did come up. Rules of the Qualifying Committee, Preliminary Round Jury, and Competition Jury are separate documents on the Competition website, but basically define "student" the same way this time:

From Section XI of the Rules of the Competition Jury:
The term ‘student’ is understood to mean a participant who
– currently is a Juror’s student, or
– was a Juror’s regular student in a school or had regular private lessons with a Juror for more than a year since the end of the 17th Competition, or
– had private lessons with a Juror after 1 December 2018, or
– stays in close private relations with a Juror.
The term ‘student’ does not apply to the case of sporadic contact between a participant and a Juror during and in connection with master classes, also online.

From Section XIII of the same:
Assessment of the participants in the Competition first, second and third stage is based on two systems: a point awarding system and a YES-NO system. In neither system can a Juror assess his/her ‘student’ and will in such case only write the letter ‘S’ on the assessment sheet.

Hopefully they will again release the jury's scorings after the final round results are announced. The Stage-3 scores from 2015 are still available: http://test12.nifc.pl/u299/iii_etap_oceny.pdf. (Thai Son Dang, for example, couldn't vote for Kate Liu, Eric Lu, or Tony Yang, by declaring a juror-student connection.)

Last edited by Turn-Table; 10/13/21 12:07 PM.

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Originally Posted by Hakki
IMO, Garcia Garcia should have been eliminated in Stage I.

The number of competitors that qualify is increased just to qualify more Polish competitors both to Stage II and Stage III. That is it.

It is sad to see such kind of political decisions being made in a top quality, reputable and traditional competition.
Except you don't know they were political decisions.

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Saw a bit of the morning session. Hao Rao improved a lot from his round 2 performance and sounds his most confident yet. The Polonaise sort of fell apart in places, but the Sonata and mazurkas were outstanding.

I absolutely cannot watch or listen to Miyu Shindo. Too many ridiculous facial expressions, unnecessary hand gestures, and jumping around on the bench. It's impossible to focus on the music. I had the same reaction with Kate Liu in 2015.

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I felt that Nehring and Pacholec improved too. For once, I really enjoyed Nehring's performance today. As for Shindo, I only listen without video during work, but I had the impression that she was lacking in power & sound. The piano often sounded brittle and forced to me.


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I listened to parts of Nehring and Rao. I really cant get into Nehring musical world. I found that his nocturne was played way too slow as to actually loosing the main theme melodic line and the whole beauty of it. Playing slowly can work out well as long as there is enough articulation ti make it meaningfull. The middle part was well played.

In the mazurka, I think he completely lost the sense of the these pieces. Again opus 56/1 was too slow and lacking character and the Poco Piu Messo part was linear with basically no articulation.

Rao played well. Though unless I missed something he did not play the opus 33/3 which was on his program. And the title on the video is wrong. When it is marked 33/3, he is playing 33/4. 33/2 is not in C major but in D major, it is 33/3 which is in C major and which was not played. But maybe I just fall asleep ......
So 33/1 and 33/2 were very good. In 33/4 i think he played well but cant get to a superior level of refinement and touch. It is good playing but does not reach top level.

Shindo does a lot of theatrical demonstrations on her bench, so I just hide the video and listen to the music only. I found she played the mazurkas extremely well, a lot of articulation and sensibility. Did not listen to the rest.

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I notice the youtube channel now has the performances in separate videos for each performer - much easier to find something now. I can't listen to everything, so this helps.

I find I am overly influenced (or distracted) by the performer's appearance. I wish the view was from a distance, as if I was sitting back in the audience somewhere, and unable to see those odd expressions and mannerisms. That is the view that the judges get.

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This was very funny. During the intermission they did a little interview with the head technicians from Yamaha Kawai and Fazioli. The host elaborated a long question about how long and exhausting the competition is so she wanted to know how the technicians manage to survive such a long competition. Kawai technician says "Oh, is for me? Eat". Then they asked the yamaha technician "Yes eat. And also drink a lot of alcohol". Hosts didn't know how to get out of that. Then the fazioli technician did a more politically correct approach, and kind of solve the situation.

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Sorita: actually got teared up during the transition from the last movement of the Sonata to the hymn arrangement to the Polonaise - despair, comfort, and then resilience! An amazing musical journey. He took a little longer to get warmed up than he did during his second round, but by the end he was unstoppable.

Sumino: I think everyone keeps expecting him to fail, slip, not be able to hold up to the stress of the competition, or to be uncomfortable with the larger forms, but here he is still rocking it out and holding up better than most. The Sonata was the best - lots of interesting ideas and incredible intensity in the last two movements. His tone got a little harsh at times (particularly in the Scherzo), but it seemed like he was saving the real "ppp" moments for when he wanted them and that made it balance out in the big picture. I really hope he passes.

Wiercinski: my first time hearing him and I wasn't as impressed as I was with some of the other candidates. The Mazurkas were lovely, but the Scherzo and Sonata were noticeably weaker than others (particularly the Sonata). Maybe his earlier rounds were stronger? The audience liked him, though.

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Originally Posted by Ubu
This was very funny. During the intermission they did a little interview with the head technicians from Yamaha Kawai and Fazioli. The host elaborated a long question about how long and exhausting the competition is so she wanted to know how the technicians manage to survive such a long competition. Kawai technician says "Oh, is for me? Eat". Then they asked the yamaha technician "Yes eat. And also drink a lot of alcohol". Hosts didn't know how to get out of that. Then the fazioli technician did a more politically correct approach, and kind of solve the situation.

whome ha


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Originally Posted by Brendan
I absolutely cannot watch or listen to Miyu Shindo. Too many ridiculous facial expressions, unnecessary hand gestures, and jumping around on the bench. It's impossible to focus on the music.

+1

Also wrong/split/missing notes, which I'm sure has something to do with all the gesticulation and wasted body movement.


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Enjoying PIOTR ALEXEWICZ's Op. 28 a lot. Nice to hear something other than the 2nd or 3rd sonata. I still think his articulation is the most transparent of them all, though he has made a couple of mistakes, the most significant of which was the small break in the RH chromatic descending 3rds passage at the apotheosis of no. 24. But I still like him to place or even possibly win.


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I felt Rao's Stage 2 performance was better, but he ended his program strong today with the Polonaise - I'm not as sure about the Sonata. Without the visuals I was able to get through Shindo's program - the way she stretched and pulled musical phrases actually made some sense in isolated moments in the Mazurkas. I really like Sorita's reading of the last Mazurka of Op. 56 (C Minor), in some ways better than Nehring's. (I believe Kate Liu won the Mazurka Prize in '15 with this same set.)

I'm still trying to finish watching the evening session, but I noticed that Krzysztof Jabłoński was absent today in both - he wasn't mentioned during the round of intros of the jurors at the beginning. I believe they could request for leave during the competition and would be marked "A" in the score sheets. I haven't been tracking them and don't mean to single him out - I like his playing very much actually.


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How different opinions can be?

I find Alexewicz boring and uninteresting till the first round. If he was not from the home country I would doubt he would pass even the first round.

I agree with most of what Brendan wrote about Sorita, Sumino and Wiercinski. I would like to see Sorita and Sumino in the final.

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Originally Posted by Hakki
How different opinions can be?

I find Alexewicz boring and uninteresting till the first round. If he was not from the home country I would doubt he would pass even the first round.

I agree with most of what Brendan wrote about Sorita, Sumino and Wiercinski. I would like to see Sorita and Sumino in the final.

I agree, it was very mannered and typical of the "beautiful, dreamy" Chopin that we heard from so many in earlier rounds. Even if some of the others today were rougher around the edges, I loved their individual takes on the music.

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Of yesterday's performers I got the most pure enjoyment out of Rao and Sumino. Rao was just fresh and alive. Sorita's Finale in the Op. 35 sonata was epic. At this point it feels like he's lapping the race. But I still have big hopes for Khozyainov, a genuinely exciting performer.

Nehring put me to sleep, almost literally. It seemed like about 80% of his program was pianissimo. Pacholec is my favorite of the Poles, I've heard them all now except Krzyzowski. I wish I could sub in Hyounglok Choi for one of these dreamy overly smooth Polish players.

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Armellini was excellent in the Opus 35, IMO one step above some of the other versions so far.

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
I listened to parts of Nehring and Rao. I really cant get into Nehring musical world. I found that his nocturne was played way too slow as to actually loosing the main theme melodic line and the whole beauty of it. Playing slowly can work out well as long as there is enough articulation ti make it meaningfull. The middle part was well played.

In the mazurka, I think he completely lost the sense of the these pieces. Again opus 56/1 was too slow and lacking character and the Poco Piu Messo part was linear with basically no articulation.

Rao played well. Though unless I missed something he did not play the opus 33/3 which was on his program. And the title on the video is wrong. When it is marked 33/3, he is playing 33/4. 33/2 is not in C major but in D major, it is 33/3 which is in C major and which was not played. But maybe I just fall asleep ......
So 33/1 and 33/2 were very good. In 33/4 i think he played well but cant get to a superior level of refinement and touch. It is good playing but does not reach top level.

Shindo does a lot of theatrical demonstrations on her bench, so I just hide the video and listen to the music only. I found she played the mazurkas extremely well, a lot of articulation and sensibility. Did not listen to the rest.

In the Polish national edition of the Mazuraks (which I think most of the competitors seem to use) 33/2 is the C major, and 33/3 is the D major. This reflects the ordering in the French (and English) first editions, which are thought to be closer to Chopin's wishes than the ordering in the German first edition (which puts the D major before the C major).

Jeff Kallberg

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