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Kapell Competition #531069
07/12/07 07:11 PM
07/12/07 07:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,371
Orange County, CA
KawaiDon Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
KawaiDon  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,371
Orange County, CA
Hello again,

The first round of the competition has completed, and from the start of 25 the list has been trimmed to 9 for the semi-finals:

Vadimas Chaimovicius (Lithuania)
Grace Eun-Hae Kim (Korea)
Kana Mimaka (Japan / USA)
Ti (Cindy) Xin (China)
Alexei Gulenco (Moldavia)
Aleyson Scopel (Brazil)
Spencer Meyer (USA)
Sofya Gulyak (Russia)
Sara Daneshpour (USA)

Sara is the local favorite, being from the Washington DC area. Kana Mimaka is the only remaining performer using the Shigeru Kawai piano - so we still have hopes for a prize winner on our instrument!

It was very interesting this morning to hear Sarah Daneshpour play the NY Steinway, then Yoko Hagino (of Japan) play it next. The piano sounded completely different with the two players! When Yoko started playing I did a double take, thinking maybe she had decided to change pianos - the sound was that different! Very interesting.


Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America
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Re: Kapell Competition #531070
07/12/07 10:00 PM
07/12/07 10:00 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,654
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
Gold Subscriber
BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,654
Victoria, BC
Quote
Originally posted by KawaiDon:
It was very interesting this morning to hear Sarah Daneshpour play the NY Steinway, then Yoko Hagino (of Japan) play it next. The piano sounded completely different with the two players! When Yoko started playing I did a double take, thinking maybe she had decided to change pianos - the sound was that different! Very interesting.
Not to intentionally hi-jack this thread, KawaiDon, but your last point was recently brought home to me.

At the Victoria Piano Summer School currently in session, I have heard two recitals - among several - one a faculty recital and the other a past student participants recital where several different performers have all played the same (New York) Steinway D during the same recital. It really is quite interesting how different performers bring out (through all the permutations and combinations of attack, touch, pedal, voicing, volume) different tonal qualities in the piano, even in similar repertoire. It really underlines the fact that different pianists can produce different tonal palettes, one from another.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Kapell Competition #531071
07/15/07 09:46 PM
07/15/07 09:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,035
Texas
Loki Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Loki  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,035
Texas
Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:
Quote
Originally posted by KawaiDon:
[b]It was very interesting this morning to hear Sarah Daneshpour play the NY Steinway, then Yoko Hagino (of Japan) play it next. The piano sounded completely different with the two players! When Yoko started playing I did a double take, thinking maybe she had decided to change pianos - the sound was that different! Very interesting.
Not to intentionally hi-jack this thread, KawaiDon, but your last point was recently brought home to me.

At the Victoria Piano Summer School currently in session, I have heard two recitals - among several - one a faculty recital and the other a past student participants recital where several different performers have all played the same (New York) Steinway D during the same recital. It really is quite interesting how different performers bring out (through all the permutations and combinations of attack, touch, pedal, voicing, volume) different tonal qualities in the piano, even in similar repertoire. It really underlines the fact that different pianists can produce different tonal palettes, one from another.

Regards, [/b]
I actually had a similar experience last year when i heard Abbey Simon and Olga Kern give concerts on the same piano.


Houston, Texas
Re: Kapell Competition #531072
07/18/07 06:38 AM
07/18/07 06:38 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,129
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
Platinum Subscriber
Rich Galassini  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,129
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Very cool observation. I have seen this as well.

Just curious, was the piano serviced or tuned at all between artists Don?


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
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Re: Kapell Competition #531073
07/22/07 05:53 PM
07/22/07 05:53 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,161
South Jersey
DameMyra Offline
2000 Post Club Member
DameMyra  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,161
South Jersey
So does anyone know who won? It's not posted on line yet.


Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA
Re: Kapell Competition #531074
07/22/07 07:59 PM
07/22/07 07:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 855
J
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member
JBiegel  Offline
500 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 855
I believe Sofia Gulyak--I knew it would happen after I heard her last January in Tromso, Norway. (Was there another post for the Kapell here where I mentioned her name???)

Re: Kapell Competition #531075
07/22/07 10:31 PM
07/22/07 10:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 151
Maryland
BassoonyPianoKevn Offline
Full Member
BassoonyPianoKevn  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 151
Maryland
Yes I think you did mention her in the other Kapell thread (for some reason there are two threads on the topic). I actually attended the concert last night and she was the strongest out of the 3. I don't know if anyone else here went to it. She played an outstanding performance of Rachmaninoff's 3rd concerto. The other two were Spencer Myer who received 3rd place playing the Rachmaninoff Paganini Rhapsody and Sara Daneshpour, who played the first Tchaikovksy concerto and received 2nd place.

Re: Kapell Competition #531076
07/23/07 12:18 AM
07/23/07 12:18 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
US
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member
sophial  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
US
One of the strengths of Steinway is its large tonal palette -- a good pianist can get a very wide range of tones and colors from it. It would be interesting to see if they could have done the same thing or had it be as noticeable and dramatic on a different concert grand.


Sophia

Re: Kapell Competition #531077
07/23/07 05:17 PM
07/23/07 05:17 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 314
S
Silent Thoughts Offline
Full Member
Silent Thoughts  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 314
I attended the finals and all of the semi-final rounds. I have to say that Sofya's Rach 3 was the weakest of her performances (despite it being quite good), while the Tchaikovsky was definitely her strongest showing of the competition.

There were lots of people who intensely disliked Sofya's playing, and the ones I've talked to do bring up good points. I didn't think her first and second movements were particularly well thought-out, but her third movement certainly conveyed a great sense of understanding (something which I find a lot of professional recordings lacking).

Re: Kapell Competition #531078
07/23/07 06:18 PM
07/23/07 06:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 855
J
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member
JBiegel  Offline
500 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 855
I only heard her play Clementi Sonata in C and La Campanella in Norway--

Re: Kapell Competition #531079
07/24/07 09:20 PM
07/24/07 09:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 717
Virginia
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member
Emanuel Ravelli  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 717
Virginia
I heard 6 of the 9 semifinalists play their solo rounds as well as the finals. Top to bottom, this year's group struck me as one of the best I've heard. All 3 of the finalists were serious pianists, and each of them produced moments of sheer beauty that you don't always hear in competitions. But Sofya Gralyuk was the clear winner to my ear. Less than one minute after she started playing the 2nd movement of the Clementi sonata in the solo semis, a friend whispered to me, "She's in a different league".

That's exactly how I felt about her too. For one thing, there was that sound -- the golden, burnished, rich tone that Russian pianists seem to produce more consistently than anyone else. At all points on the dynamic spectrum from softest to loudest, you could hear her playing in what seemed like perfect proportion to the orchestra -- never bangy, but projecting all the way to the back of the hall even at pianissimo. Then there was her incredible sense of flow and architecture. There were a few places where I thought she got carried away with her fingers (like pages 3 & 4 of the Rach. 1st movement, which were at least 20% faster than I've ever heard them, a habit I hope she breaks soon). But she played the big, chordal 1st movement cadenza that makes strong men weep, and she made it sing without dropping a note that I could hear. And at the end of the finale, that swooping conclusion had the whole house on its feet cheering for her. We were sitting close behind a large group of Sara Daneshpour's friends and family, and even they were standing up. By the time Sofya got to the stage door, everyone knew who had won -- the judges' 1/2 hour debate could only have been about who deserved second.

It's too bad we have to wait four years for the next Kapell. But I'll be there, and I hope many of you in or near the D.C. area will make it a point to join us. If this year is any indication, you won't be sorry. thumb


Phil Bjorlo
Re: Kapell Competition #531080
07/24/07 09:51 PM
07/24/07 09:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 314
S
Silent Thoughts Offline
Full Member
Silent Thoughts  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 314
Did anyone happen to catch Aleyson Scopel? During the semifinal round, I thought he and Sofya were miles above the rest. I was stunned when Aleyson didn't make it to the finals.

I thought Sofya's solo and chamber performances were MUCH better than her concerto - do you remember that Rachmaninoff Elegy? Never heard it played so well.
Her cadenza for the first movement of the concerto was indeed something to behold, but rushing always irritates me more than it should (it's something I used to do until my old teacher managed to rid me of the habit).

Re: Kapell Competition #531081
07/25/07 07:46 PM
07/25/07 07:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 717
Virginia
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member
Emanuel Ravelli  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 717
Virginia
I liked Scopel too -- if he had made the finals and played the Beethoven 4th anything like he did in the semis, I would have voted him second place if I was on the jury. His wistful Scarlatti sonata in the semis was also lovely.

I thought Sofya's performance of the Elegie was exceptional (never thought there was so much music in that piece, but she certainly found it), as was her Copland sonata movement and the Corelli variations. All I can say about the concerto is -- you and I disagree. Even with the fast spots, I was mesmerized. I wish her a long and successful career on the stage.


Phil Bjorlo

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