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Estonia Pianos
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Sorita or Bruce 1st price, one of them, there's no other way. Armellini level below both of them so probably 3rd price. Pacholec clearly worst of all (I have no idea what is he doing in final, second stage was ceiling for him). Kuszlik probably somewhere around 4th/5th place. Rest is mystery for me. Gevorgyan because of her lack of delicacy in 2nd movement will go home empty handed probably, 6th price at best.

I can't judge Gadijev and Garcia, they're way above my tolerance of interpretation freedom so I'm not objective even though I believe Garcia played this concert better than Gadijev. Maybe I would be more happy with Garcia performance if he'd stop singing, but this is purely my problem, not his.

Last edited by wojtanowsky; 10/20/21 03:41 PM.
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That's a wrap on the playing phase of the competition! Thanks to everyone for their comments in the past few weeks, especially those in Poland who were able to watch it live and offer feedback. These megathreads are always fun.

While we wait for the results, check out this TV Polish station that has been interviewing candidates after their performances. You can get a good sense of their personalities and how they felt about their performances:


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Bruce really lit it up in the final movement, very dancelike, very virtuoso. He should figure in the top tier. Sorita and Garcia are also top contenders. Since judges don't evaluate just the concerto stage, these three are in the mix.

Eva should win prize for youngest finalist.


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I agree on Liu and Sorita. But the edge (just my totally subjective opinion) goes to Liu. His technique is .... well... I can't say I've heard technique THAT PRECISE in years and years of listening. And obviously I found the musical side of his performances completely satisfying. Sort of a MAH, but with much more feeling.

The vibrato finger thing his does bugs me a lot, though. You CAN'T DO vibrato like that at least on a piano.

Last edited by johnlewisgrant; 10/20/21 04:04 PM.
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Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant
I agree on Liu and Sorita. But the edge (just my totally subjective opinion) goes to Liu. His technique is .... well... I can't say I've heard technique THAT PRECISE in years and years of listening. And obviously I found the musical side of his performances completely satisfying. Sort of a MAH, but with much more feeling.

The vibrato finger thing his does bugs me a lot, though. You CAN'T DO vibrato like that at least on a piano.
Yeah, I agree. You can't do the vibrato after hitting a key. But mentally it helps the player.
Bruce's technique is fab, no doubt. His solo work was mesmerizing. Hope he places high. That would be a win for FAZIOLI!

Last edited by BeeZee4; 10/20/21 04:09 PM.

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I don't think the "vibrato" in Liu's playing is only helpful mentally. It's also to physically release tension and weight from the arm into the key, so as to better prepare for the next hand position.

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Faz have to be VERY happy. He (Bruce Liu) dominated the instrument, in a good way. I'm not a BIG Faz fan, but heck he made it sound spectacular. Fantastic PPPs in the middle movement and fffs in the first and last.

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Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I don't think the "vibrato" in Liu's playing is only helpful mentally. It's also to physically release tension and weight from the arm into the key, so as to better prepare for the next hand position.

I hope you're right. But in the end it hardly matters. Re-listening now to Liu: he strikes me as altogether in a different category from the others, at the very least technically.

In fact, I don't believe I OWN a recording of the E Minor that was as technically pristine and as musically satisfying as the interpretation I just witnessed.

I'm betting he's the "winner" (hate that word) because no matter what folks think of him, he's obviously going places and the Chopin Competition out of Warsaw will want some of that cred.

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Possibly, but I'd still say that Seong-Jin Cho was overall better and a more qualified winner. Liu will get a prize but I find the others to be more interesting artists.

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Too bad for Kobayashi, though I was not that impressed with her previous round. The jury takes into account all the previous performances so the concerto is not the only deciding piece.

I found Liu excellent in the virtuosic parts, the rondo in particular where he really nailed down the brilliancy, but he missed the spirit of the romance, it was well played but basically lacked the necessary cantabile.

The end result is very open as there are a number of candidates relatively close to each other. Difference with previous sessions is that there isnt any one that is clearly ahead of others, though I have my preferences. It will be down to the jury collective biais toward one particular style.


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Too bad for Kobayashi, though I was not that impressed with her previous round. The jury takes into account all the previous performances so the concerto is not the only deciding piece.

I found Liu excellent in the virtuosic parts, the rondo in particular where he really nailed down the brilliancy, but he missed the spirit of the romance, it was well played but basically lacked the necessary cantabile.

The end result is very open as there are a number of candidates relatively close to each other. Difference with previous sessions is that there isnt any one that is clearly ahead of others, though I have my preferences. It will be down to the jury collective biais toward one particular style.

Her Chopin is extraordinarily detailed and ALWAYS satisfying.

Liu took the Romance at pace, as they say in England. Might have sacrificed contemplative aspects. Yet it worked for me. Not difficult in the narrow technical sense, but it can so easily drag if you get too “wrapped up” in the emotion.

Last edited by johnlewisgrant; 10/20/21 05:10 PM.
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Ahh I’m so sorry for Kobayashi. I understand what everyone is saying. I agree with you but cannot help so bad for her.

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The operative word in the jury rules is "should" - they should consider competitors' early stages in making the final decisions. I do wonder about the Special Awards, including the one for the Best Concerto, although the rules for voting and awarding them are very specific.


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Here's my prediction for the special prizes:

Concerto: Sorita
Mazurka: Liu
Sonata: Garcia Garcia
Polonaise: Sorita

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Does anyone here know if the three prize-winners' concerts will be live-streamed? I don't recall from 2015 if they were. Thank you...


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Cute! Iron Chef Sorita and Aimi Kobayashi are childhood friends and close neighbors.


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Iron chef? Sorita intended to look like Samurai, he said (lol)

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This ongoing freewheeling chat between the Finalists and MCs is beyond cringe...so embarrassing. Could you believe that some of the finest young musical talent anywhere in the world just spent a few minutes collectively blabbering about the art of ceiling-staring on a livestream with 50K+ viewers?

Last edited by Spaetensonaten; 10/20/21 06:21 PM.
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Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
This ongoing freewheeling chat between the Finalists and MCs is beyond cringe...so embarrassing. Could you believe that some of the finest young musical talent anywhere in the world just spent a few minutes collectively blabbering about the art of ceiling-staring on a livestream with 50K+ viewers?
I've seen some talks and finally i think the cringe factor is the italian guy, that should be the one that brings structure and cohesiveness to the talks because supposedly he is the professional journalist, but fails totally at it.

About the finalists, there's just a group of young people releasing the tension of the long competition, and having fun, nothing wrong about it. Gadjiev seems an interesting guy actually.

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Basically a time filler till the announce the winners. But some interesting stories, Armillina falling down on stage at the beginning of one of her concerts, Bruce playing Liszt with a broken leg, etc. But Gadjiev is the most interesting personality.


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