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Weeeeeeeeeeeeelcome baaaaaaaaaack! Yes, it's that time again - the quadrennial pianistic bloodbath known as the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (or now "The Cliburn," rather) is again upon us.

Cool! What is the purpose of this megathread?
I know, right? This thread will be your one-stop location for all news, reviews, and commentary by forum members. One discussion request: please avoid one-word comments when live-blogging the competition. I.E., if someone were to read five pages of "LOL," they'd have no idea what you're talking about, so just give it some context ("LOL - why would anyone ever play Schumann in public? What a horrible choice!") So, feel free to use the thread to chat as people are playing, but please use complete sentences.

WHERE'S THE LIVESTREAM! I WANT MY OCTAVES!!!!
http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/

What's at stake?
First and foremost, internet stardom and a Youtube channel that will hopefully garner millions of views (the 2015 Tchaikovsky channel, via Medici, stacked up over 6 million views). In addition to that, the Cliburn offers a pretty hefty amount of prize money and engagements for its winners and finalists. Read about it here.

How long do the festivities last?
The Cliburn, to put it mildly, is a marathon where the runners (pianists) are subjected to a pretty steep level of repertoire requirements spanned out over the course of over two weeks (May 25-June 10). It's really a question of endurance as the competition progresses. Read about the detailed schedule here.

Competitions are dumb! My favorite competitor was eliminated! I hate you!
Yes, some people question the validity of international music competitions and whether or not they guarantee long-term success and actually make a meaningful impact on classical music. While a prize might mean instant exposure, it's really up to the individual as to whether or not they have the people skills to maintain a healthy relationship with audiences, conductors, and promoters. Some winners do very well and go on to immortality. Others, perhaps less so. It's impossible to tell but makes for great viewing, nonetheless.

Who even decides who advances? It's too arbitrary!
This year's panel is a breath of fresh air in that it includes a number of concert artists, as opposed to pedagogues and recurring judges as seen in the late 90s and early 2000s. Some feel that this will allow for the selection of a more individual artist, as opposed a well-groomed student. The coup is that Marc-Andre Hamelin is on the panel this year in addition to writing the commissioned piece, required of all competitors in the first round. Read more about the jury here.

Enough blabber! Who's in this thing?
Lots of people! Another upside to this year's competition and, perhaps, the shuffling of the jury, is there are few (if any?) student/teacher conflicts in this edition. Several competitors have been in earlier editions of the Cliburn, and many competitors hold top prizes from other international competitions (Chopin, Cleveland, Queen Elizabeth, Sydney, etc.). You can read all about the competitors here.

Predictions and Predilections
My personal hope is that Yury Favorin makes it to the finals (I like his playing and rep choices). Based on success in other competitions, my guess is that Jurinic, Tchaidze, and Khozyainov will make it at least past the first round. Who knows. What's guaranteed, though, is that someone who you really, really, like will be eliminated at some point in the competition. Or, they might win.

Most repeated solo piece
Aside from the commissioned work, it looks like we're in for quite a bit of Liszt, particularly Don Juan and the Dante Sonata (word~~~~). Following closely are Prokofiev 7 and Mussorgsky Pictures (yikes).

In summary
Please remember that this, like so many others, is an extremely difficult competition whose stress is compounded by the livestream, non-stop video crews following the competitors everywhere, and insane rep requirements (literally several hours of memorized music). ALSO, it was reported by individual sources that some competitors from 2013 followed along with the megathread, so be nice when pointing out memory lapses, okay?
I went through the competitors repertoire lists and compiled (likely with some mistakes -- let me know if you find any) a list of the pieces competitors chose this year in spreadsheet form.

You can see the sheet here.

For comparison, here's the corresponding lists from 2013 and 2009.

A couple things I noticed:

-As usual, there's only a smattering of modern works (though every competitor will be performing Hamelin's new Toccata in the opening round), and most of them are scheduled for the later rounds (meaning we won't hear many of them).

-Among all the usual warhorses in the "most selected pieces list" we've got Beethoven's op. 110 sonata.

-Schumann's Fantasie, which was selected by 7 (!) competitors last year, is only going to appear at most once this year.

-8 years ago Brahms was the most popular quintet. This time around only 4 people chose it (same as the Franck!)
Great job, KC!

Stray observations:

-- No love for the 6th Partita. (Nor for 3 others, but I don't care about those.) grin

-- Barber Sonata "in E-flat minor"? Who knew....
(Sometimes Scriabin's 9th Sonata is listed as in "F major." Drives me halfway up the wall.)

-- The Hammerklavier, eh?

-- I don't know either why "in F# major" is ever specified for Chopin's Barcarolle. I mean, it's correct, but.... *

-- No Chopin polonaises, except the Polonaise-Fantaisie. Which of course here is specified as being in A-flat major.

-- I would always play that Clementi F# minor Sonata, if I could. smile

-- Fair amount of Haydn

-- The obligatory Liszt and Rachmaninoff


* As far as I know, the reason for listing the key of a piece -- essentially the only reason, for the minds of most -- is to distinguish it from other pieces with that title, not to brief people on what key they're about to hear. I think listing keys for uniquely titled pieces of a composer is an unthinking mechanical thing, based on having lost sight of the purpose.
There's a pianist from my town, Kenny Broberg, who will be participating.
Originally Posted by kcostell
I went through the competitors repertoire lists and compiled (likely with some mistakes -- let me know if you find any) a list of the pieces competitors chose this year in spreadsheet form.

You can see the sheet here.


Thanks for doing this - I love looking over the repertoire selections.

Sam
Originally Posted by Brendan
The Cliburn, to put it mildly, is a marathon where the runners (pianists) are subjected to a pretty steep level of repertoire requirements spanned out over the course of over two weeks (May 25-June 10). It's really a question of endurance as the competition progresses.


I've never thought of it in that way before, but it must be difficult to sustain concentration throughout. Personally speaking (and I am by no means even close to the level of these people) I find it is draining to give just one performance in stressful situations. I'm pretty much useless for the rest of the performance day and the next day.
Just got an email that Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe will be hosting medici.tv's coverage of the Cliburn.

http://www.andersonroe.com

They will have to live up to the coverage provided by Eric and Irina (at the last Tchaikovsky), of course. grin
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Just got an email that Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe will be hosting medici.tv's coverage of the Cliburn.

http://www.andersonroe.com

They will have to live up to the coverage provided by Eric and Irina (at the last Tchaikovsky), of course. grin


Greg and Liz hosted the Cliburn Jr. in 2015, and they blew Eric out of the water for sure. They are extremely knowledgeable (surprise surprise) and terribly entertaining. The Cliburn foundation is working hard to make this event accessible, not just to hard-core music lovers. It's a competition after all, a spectator sport of some sort, which is not at all a bad thing, as it creates a buzz, interest, and excitement about the art we all love so much.
Hmm, this may very well be one of the most interesting piano competitions to take play in my (admittedly) short life.
Honestly, why cant the competition get its own subforum? There is going to be so much activity, it's really really hard to digest in a single thread.

This makes me sad.
Won't have as much time to follow the competition as in the past, but putting in an early vouch for EunAe Lee - longtime friend and amazing pianist with a heart of gold!
Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
Honestly, why cant the competition get its own subforum? There is going to be so much activity, it's really really hard to digest in a single thread.

This makes me sad.

Having a whole subforum full of threads on different subtopics instead of one single thread about the competition would be even harder to manage.
Not to mention that the megathreads in the past have actually been pretty fun. The most recent ones for Tchaik and Chopin had some great content and predictions.

We're only eight days out, so get ready!
Looks like Medici will be hosting the webcast:

http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/
Originally Posted by Brendan
Looks like Medici will be hosting the webcast:

http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/


Competitions are really great to get exposed to new pieces, do you happen to know the name of the concerto in this vid?
That's the 3rd movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor.
For the second time running someone's withdrawn right before the competition (Mehdi Ghazi). And for the second time running, Nikita Abrosimov's been called in as their last minute replacement.
So, Giordano retires, and they finally manage somehow to pry Darth Veda and the rest of the usual suspects off the jury.

I noticed only one solitary competitor who is currently a student at Julliard (working with Lowenthal). My memory may be failing (and I'm not much of a groupie of this stuff at any rate), but it seems like I remember that there was usually a larger contingent from Juilliard than just one, in past competitions.

By the way, there's a Giordano tribute concert on YouTube. I'm listening to the opening six-hand Rossini-Czerny piece right now - it's great fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUjfb-6aAnc
Originally Posted by kcostell
For the second time running someone's withdrawn right before the competition (Mehdi Ghazi). And for the second time running, Nikita Abrosimov's been called in as their last minute replacement.


Interesting. He made it through to the semis last time and is playing some of the same rep (Petrushka, Corelli). His teacher (Toradze) is on the panel.


Originally Posted by wr
So, Giordano retires, and they finally manage somehow to pry Darth Veda and the rest of the usual suspects off the jury.

I noticed only one solitary competitor who is currently a student at Julliard (working with Lowenthal). My memory may be failing (and I'm not much of a groupie of this stuff at any rate), but it seems like I remember that there was usually a larger contingent from Juilliard than just one, in past competitions.


There are a few former VK students this time, including few who I thought would be finished with competitions by now. The constantly-recurring judges and selection of students really was blatant in the last few cycles of this competition, so it's refreshing to see that most of these competitors have a different background.
The performance schedule is up:

https://www.cliburn.org/calendar/

Hope everyone is ready for 6-9 recitals a day!
I never do have the patience to watch so many recitals. cry
Originally Posted by Brendan
The performance schedule is up:

https://www.cliburn.org/calendar/

Hope everyone is ready for 6-9 recitals a day!


But, no batting order, yet.

I take it they haven't had the cocktail party (or is it a Bar-B-Que?) with drawing numbers out of the fish bowl?
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi

But, no batting order, yet.

I take it they haven't had the cocktail party (or is it a Bar-B-Que?) with drawing numbers out of the fish bowl?


The Japanese Sendai Competition has a nice way to do this. All participants are invited to the party and pick a souvenir. One of the souvenir contains a special token and the person getting it will be the first to start, the rest follows by alphabetical order.
Decisions, decisions ! Which piano to select? Which position in the draw to choose?
Anxiety fills the air
Other than Steinway and Yamaha, what other pianos are there to choose from?

Rich
All 3 are Steinway. 2 Hamburg and 1 NY
2:30–3:15 p.m.   Julia Kociuban
3:20–4:05 p.m.   Madoka Fukami
4:25–5:10 p.m.   Su Yeon Kim
I just read an interesting blog post by Sean Chen going over how to choose repertoire for a competition. His next blog will be about Hamelin's composition for this competition.

Sean Chen blog
In order to cleanse the aural palette for two weeks of Liszt:

https://youtu.be/8sKX3tWaOew

grin

(Yes, yes, the Cliburn is in Fort Worth, but that's part of the Dallas Metroplex--American cities clump together around shared same traffic jams.)
We're live!
How I wish I could play Prokofiev 7 like Kociuban! Anyone hear her earlier stuff?
It got better as it went - some unfortunate stumbles at the opening of the Beethoven. She did great on the Hamelin, though.
Kociuban, 1st Round: Very strong, worthy start to competition. She had an interesting combination of finesse and savagery in the Prokofiev 7th. I thought the comissioned Hamelin piece went well. Nice to hear Beethoven Op. 27, No. 1, which was a great opener.

The "black light theatre" camera drapes are creepy. ha
Originally Posted by Brendan
It got better as it went - some unfortunate stumbles at the opening of the Beethoven. She did great on the Hamelin, though.


Picky, picky. (But, I did hear a few flubs and dropped notes in the 1st mvt. 😀 Didn't really detract.)
frown The beast that is Ondine seems to be causing some major tension for Madoka Fukami. Her left hand is locking up on her in some places. Seems she's recovering though.
I agree with Greg that the NY Steinway suited Fukami's Chopin.
There were ups and downs to both, but I overall preferred Fukami. The shape of her program was more interesting and she seemed more relaxed. The Hamelin sounded like a completely different piece, more in the Loriod/Aimard approach to contemporary music.
What does it mean that "Only complete works will be accepted?" Madoka Fukami only played Ondine from Gaspard?
What do people think of Hamelin's composition? I only heard the last 3-4 minutes of one of the performances but I did not like it much compared to many of his other works. OTOH I certainly greatly respect/admire Hamelin as a pianist and as a composer so I will give it a few more tries.
I think that refers more to complete sonatas, Schumann Kreisleriana, etc.
Originally Posted by Ridicolosamente
What does it mean that "Only complete works will be accepted?" Madoka Fukami only played Ondine from Gaspard?


I also think that's rather unclear.

On a different note, it's nice to hear something so novel as the Liebesfreud. Sometimes I wish pianists would use pieces like these more to give the mind a break. Programing it in between Beethoven and Scriabin at this point is a godsend for me.

Edit: Woops, guess I missed the Scriabin. Still a nice change of pace. grin
Kim's playing is very colorful. Stand out, so far?
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What do people think of Hamelin's composition? I only heard the last 3-4 minutes of one of the performances but I did not like it much compared to many of his other works. OTOH I certainly greatly respect/admire Hamelin as a pianist and as a composer so I will give it a few more tries.

I won't be listening to it again. Wasn't a fan of the Kreisler transcription either. Way too much going on.
She was probably the most consistent and definitely plays in the Yeol Eum Son vein of "make everything beautiful." I thought this worked in the Scriabin, but the Hamelin sounded like Chopin and the Beethoven suffered rhythmically because of all of the rubato and tempo changes. Bonus points for doing Beethoven's pedal markings and the octave glissandi, though.
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What do people think of Hamelin's composition? I only heard the last 3-4 minutes of one of the performances but I did not like it much compared to many of his other works. OTOH I certainly greatly respect/admire Hamelin as a pianist and as a composer so I will give it a few more tries.

I won't be listening to it again. Wasn't a fan of the Kreisler transcription either. Way too much going on.


Lol, sometimes I forget that these sorts of things are...a bit too much for some.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What do people think of Hamelin's composition? I only heard the last 3-4 minutes of one of the performances but I did not like it much compared to many of his other works. OTOH I certainly greatly respect/admire Hamelin as a pianist and as a composer so I will give it a few more tries.

I won't be listening to it again. Wasn't a fan of the Kreisler transcription either. Way too much going on.


Lol, sometimes I forget that these sorts of things are...a bit too much for some.

What does that mean?
The general excess of this sort of thing. The sheer amount of filigree and the general shallowness can turn people off. I have a friend like this. Interestingly, he has an incredible connection to Beethoven, Brahms and Bach who's music I enjoy, but I'm not drawn to in such a fashion.
Originally Posted by MikeN
The general excess of this sort of thing. The sheer amount of filigree and the general shallowness can turn people off. I have a friend like this. Interestingly, he has an incredible connection to Beethoven, Brahms and Bach who's music I enjoy, but I'm not drawn to in such a fashion.

I've got nothing wrong with that sort of thing as long as it means something. The Kreisler was especially annoying because it's just so far from the "gemütlich" character of the piece. Similarly, I hate arrangements of Chopin etudes.
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by MikeN
The general excess of this sort of thing. The sheer amount of filigree and the general shallowness can turn people off. I have a friend like this. Interestingly, he has an incredible connection to Beethoven, Brahms and Bach who's music I enjoy, but I'm not drawn to in such a fashion.

I've got nothing wrong with that sort of thing as long as it means something. The Kreisler was especially annoying because it's just so far from the "gemütlich" character of the piece. Similarly, I hate arrangements of Chopin etudes.


Ahh, do there's a thin line. So if a transcription is somewhat in or an expansion of the general character of a piece, it's fine. If it starts to go off on it's own direction such that it's an entirely different entity that just uses the quoted material as a framework, then it's not for you?

Am I understanding?
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by MikeN
The general excess of this sort of thing. The sheer amount of filigree and the general shallowness can turn people off. I have a friend like this. Interestingly, he has an incredible connection to Beethoven, Brahms and Bach who's music I enjoy, but I'm not drawn to in such a fashion.

I've got nothing wrong with that sort of thing as long as it means something. The Kreisler was especially annoying because it's just so far from the "gemütlich" character of the piece. Similarly, I hate arrangements of Chopin etudes.


Ahh, do there's a thin line. So if a transcription is somewhat in or an expansion of the general character of a piece, it's fine. If it starts to go off on it's own direction such that it's an entirely different entity that just uses the quoted material as a framework, then it's not for you?

Am I understanding?

More specifically, overstating something simple. Godowsky's "The Swan" by Saint-Saens is great example of a transcription done in good taste. It's marvelous.

PM me if you want to talk more. I don't want to throw the thread off.
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by MikeN
The general excess of this sort of thing. The sheer amount of filigree and the general shallowness can turn people off. I have a friend like this. Interestingly, he has an incredible connection to Beethoven, Brahms and Bach who's music I enjoy, but I'm not drawn to in such a fashion.

I've got nothing wrong with that sort of thing as long as it means something. The Kreisler was especially annoying because it's just so far from the "gemütlich" character of the piece. Similarly, I hate arrangements of Chopin etudes.


Ahh, do there's a thin line. So if a transcription is somewhat in or an expansion of the general character of a piece, it's fine. If it starts to go off on it's own direction such that it's an entirely different entity that just uses the quoted material as a framework, then it's not for you?

Am I understanding?

More specifically, overstating something simple. Godowsky's "The Swan" by Saint-Saens is great example of a transcription done in good taste. It's marvelous.

PM me if you want to talk more. I don't want to throw the thread off.


Of course. I also agree this is a good place to end this discussion for now.

Considering the prevalence of such music in the piano repertoire and, on a more personal note, the fact that I happen to play quite a bit of these "things", I can't resist grabbing a quick opinion on the matter.

And so it continues...
This Italian kid is playing one heck of a Brahms variation.
Yeah, he's killing it. It's definitely getting better and better as it goes. The Clementi was great, too.
I hopped in around the middle of the variations. I want to hear more from this guy. Don't think I want to hear much more from these commentators though.
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle

(That's a compliment, Leonardo P.)


First Bach of the competition!
Originally Posted by Brendan
First Bach of the competition!


For me, Bercu's Bach is too flippant, but maybe I just have indigestion. sick
This piece of Hamelin's is not exactly to my taste.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Brendan
First Bach of the competition!


For me, Bercu's Bach is too flippant, but maybe I just have indigestion. sick


Maybe a little over-articulated? She has a great sense of style and momentum, but I thought the lyrical moments could have been more lyrical. Same thing with the Prokofiev.
Originally Posted by Brendan
She was probably the most consistent and definitely plays in the Yeol Eum Son vein of "make everything beautiful." I thought this worked in the Scriabin, but the Hamelin sounded like Chopin


I missed the first two pianists, so Kim was my first time hearing the Hamelin. I was surprised at how similar it sounded in her hands to the Scriabin immediately before it.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Brendan
First Bach of the competition!


For me, Bercu's Bach is too flippant, but maybe I just have indigestion. sick


Maybe a little over-articulated? She has a great sense of style and momentum, but I thought the lyrical moments could have been more lyrical. Same thing with the Prokofiev.


Yes, she moves the keys kinda fast much of the time--over articulated or attacked (i. e. plays louder)? Maybe this sounds good in the hall.

But, I think she might advance.
The Prokofiev had me in tears.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Brendan
First Bach of the competition!


For me, Bercu's Bach is too flippant, but maybe I just have indigestion. sick


Maybe a little over-articulated? She has a great sense of style and momentum, but I thought the lyrical moments could have been more lyrical. Same thing with the Prokofiev.


Yes, she moves the keys kinda fast much of the time--over articulated or attacked (i. e. plays louder)? Maybe this sounds good in the hall.

But, I think she might advance.

Bercu is a very interesting performer. Music aside, just the way her hands move a little more than they need to at times mesmerized me. And her demeanor reminded me of Mariangela Vacatello, who ended up winning the audience award back in 2009.
Shmukler: heard only the Ravel. How was the Haydn?

He seems top tier.
The clear picks today for me are Pierdomenico and Shmukler. Everyone else had some good moments, but these two had both the hardest programs and the best performances.

In the first session, I liked Fukami the best (particularly the Beethoven, which had the best sense of style of the three Beethoven performances). I think Bercu made a mistake with such a weighty Bach offering in the first elimination round - it might have been a better choice for round two, but you never know.

I'll miss most of the performances tomorrow and Saturday, so please post reviews!
I have a preference for Piedromenico, but I did not get to hear Fukami (how would you pronounce that? Felt like I had to go to confession after the first time I said it to myself. Could be worse. Could have been Fukau, which is what she probably would say to me.)sorry cool
Impressive start!
Listened to the end of Pierdomenico through Smukler, and am now listening to the beginning three.
Out of all I heard, despite Kociuban's flaws, I like her best, though I don't imagine she'll advance (her memory lapses made me so sad for her frown (I always want everyone to play their best!!), though hopefully they'll recognize how quickly she recovered). I found her treatment of sounds to be exquisite. I especially liked her Hamelin, which I thought was executed the best of those I've heard (I have yet to hear Fukami's and Kim's). I found her Prok 7 more traditional than Bercu's, which can make Prok 7 boring to listen to, but I thought Kociuban had the right combination of punch and lyricism.

I only heard half of Pierdomenico's Brahms, but it was impressive! Very controlled and secure, and had a great range of colors.

While listening to Bercu, I was mostly annoyed with the micing--did anyone else think something sounded off? I liked her Hamelin and Prokofiev better than her Bach, which I didn't love THAT much until the Sarabande. But, I found her presence pleasing and her sound charming overall.

Contrary to the live comments I read, and some above, I didn't like Smukler much. I found his Hamelin offputting--very loud and forceful. Of course, I've never seen this piece on paper, but after hearing Bercu and Kociuban's takes, and how they searched long and hard for the chant amidst all the chromaticism, I didn't think Smukler did as good of a job. Overall, I found his touch a tad too harsh and disjointed for my taste, especially in the Haydn--a bit cold, I suppose. But I did like his Bach/Siloti and le Gibet more than his other playing--I guess I appreciated his control of the lower end of the dynamic scale and the nice colors he got in subdued passages.

Just my two cents. Very glad to be able to hear any of these magnificent players!!
I'm listening to Kim now. She seemed well in control of the Hamelin, and I like her Waldstein so far.
Though I didn't listen to everyone's full program, if I had to choose I'd go for Kociuban who I though had the best technique and Pierdomenico who I though was the most interesting musician.

Of course, don't ask me who I think will continue.
So much music. So little time.
Anyone else experiencing a fair amount of buffering? Any suggestions for improving this?
I went to the cliburn website and I can watch the live stream, but where do I find the videos of rounds from yesterday? I missed a few. I'm on my mobile device if that makes a difference.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Anyone else experiencing a fair amount of buffering? Any suggestions for improving this?


I'm having no issues, though I experience a fair amount yesterday. So much so, that I left my home and went to school to use their connection.

My best advice is to refresh and try to keep you connection as open as possible as far as bandwidth. The stream really is a bit of a hog.

The rounds from yesterday are posted at the bottom of the page under the "Latest Replays" banner.
Sorry for the double post, but I couldn't resist.

Kim's doing some amazing playing right now. I think he's actually the first competitor who actual seemed to be able to really penetrate the thicket of notes that Hamelin wrote.
Since they can choose mostly any piece (?), that choice is one big part of my preference.

I've heard some live, some replay and the quality of the sound is good in my computer, pianoloverus. Right now listening here: http://cliburn2017.medici.tv
Bravo!!!

Some miscalculated jumps in Kim's Scarbo, but I don't care. I wanna hear more. 3hearts
Three questions:

Why are all stage wings so dreary? Safety tape and conduit.

How long have they had to learn the Hamelin piece?

Why does everybody think swimmy rubato is so "emotive?"

grin

I really hate to start sifting, but since this IS a competition:

Standouts in the first 9: Pierdomenico, Kim, Kociuban (I have sympathy for anybody who goes first, and she does have unique tone).
im also interested in how long have they had to learn the Hamelin piece, its insanely difficult.
Originally Posted by Fazioli73
im also interested in how long have they had to learn the Hamelin piece, its insanely difficult.

At least for the first few decades, they got the score 1 month in advance. As far as I know it has remained this way.
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Fazioli73
im also interested in how long have they had to learn the Hamelin piece, its insanely difficult.

At least for the first few decades, they got the score 1 month in advance. As far as I know it has remained this way.


What about the last minute pianists? i recall reading that a pianist was recently called to replace someone.
wow fantastic performance of the Hamelin toccata from Bartlett. I heard him play this Schubert for Schiff in a masterclass recently. I think even Schiff was impressed for once.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Three questions:

Why are all stage wings so dreary? Safety tape and conduit.

How long have they had to learn the Hamelin piece?

Why does everybody think swimmy rubato is so "emotive?"

grin

I really hate to start sifting, but since this IS a competition:

Standouts in the first 9: Pierdomenico, Kim, Kociuban (I have sympathy for anybody who goes first, and she does have unique tone).


I'm with you...on the standouts and the rubato. (If it's not doing anything, why is it there?)

I'm just now tuning into Bartlett. I can't watch. Too much moving for me.
Wonderful recital from Bartlett. Must be a contender surely.
Originally Posted by timmyab
Wonderful recital from Bartlett. Must be a contender surely.


Good pianist. Not my cup of tea. whistle
Just remembered this old Anderson and Roe video.

I hope my comments are not this inane. 😀

Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Just remembered this old Anderson and Roe video.

I hope my comments are not this inane. 😀





I've heard the original ... ha
I'm getting to like the Hamelin Toccata more. I could not "follow" it the first time I heard it.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I'm getting to like the Hamelin Toccata more. I could not "follow" it the first time I heard it.


I think the handling of transitions and general control of dense textures (a feature in a lot of Hamelin) really are essential to making the piece work.

In this way, I think it's an excellent competition piece. You can almost immediately tell who's sensitive to these things.

I'm also quite relieved to hear Hamelin didn't write any large stretches. Though I can reach a tenth, I find some of his Etudes a little ridiculous when he asks you to go from large interval to large interval at speed.
Late Beethoven always separates the goods from the greats. I'm afraid Hsu's op 110 is not doing it for me. The thirst movement has to wrench your gut with pain. His is just too pretty IMO.
Hsu has chops that's for sure. He crushed the Hamelin.
I agree, but does it seem like the Liszt might be giving him a bit more trouble than one would like in a competition, or am I underestimating what's acceptable in this piece?
Not for me. This kid has tons of "technique". He can play anything I'm sure, but his Beethoven did not cut it for me. It usually comes down to the Beethoven in these big competitions.
Good, then it's just me setting the mistake threshold too low.

I don't think the Beethoven would necessarily be such a strong deciding factor. It was non offensive and competent which I think is acceptable in one so young. It's impossible to please almost anyone when it comes to Beethoven.
Big finish for Daniel. I think I've seen him play a few years ago at Curtis. He was big news back then. A lot is expected of him.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Good, then it's just me setting the mistake threshold too low.

I don't think the Beethoven would necessarily be such a strong deciding factor. It was non offensive and competent which I think is acceptable in one so young. It's impossible to please almost anyone when it comes to Beethoven.


Yes, it's an age thing. Late Beethoven requires a few years under your belt. He played most of it we'll except I thought the last movement was flat. Just too pretty. Not enough old man Beethoven with all his problems.
One comment on the Cliburn page said he is the next Sean Chen. I thought Sean should have won that year, but Sean is just a plain genius who can do a million things, not just music. Sometimes God smiles on some a little more than others.
Tchaikovsky's piano music is so under appreciated and not played offen enough. Beautiful stuff.
Originally Posted by Fazioli73
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Fazioli73
im also interested in how long have they had to learn the Hamelin piece, its insanely difficult.

At least for the first few decades, they got the score 1 month in advance. As far as I know it has remained this way.


What about the last minute pianists? i recall reading that a pianist was recently called to replace someone.

Good question!

("Good question" means "I don't know the answer." grin
And I hadn't ever thought of it.)

My guess is.....
If their practices in the amateur competition are any guide, they have a list of "alternates," who get notified in advance that they might be admitted. I'd guess that the alternates receive the commissioned piece a month in advance too.
Interesting, Sun was the only one that played on the American Steinway. He sounded great.
Sun: Rivoting. Absolutely.

Originally Posted by Ralph
Interesting, Sun was the only one that played on the American Steinway. He sounded great.


Fukami used the American Steinway, too. The low strings on Hamburgs always sound sort of dead to me compared to the American pie-anners. laugh
I missed her performance and I agree with your opinion about the American Steinway.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Sun: Rivoting. Absolutely.

Originally Posted by Ralph
Interesting, Sun was the only one that played on the American Steinway. He sounded great.


Fukami used the American Steinway, too. The low strings on Hamburgs always sound sort of dead to me compared to the American pie-anners. laugh

New York Steinways project tone more powerfully across the whole range because of the rock maple case. The reason you hear it more in the lower registers is because that is where harder wood creates the biggest palpable difference. It's strange, I like listening to NY Steinways more, but I prefer playing Hamburgs. Go figure.
So who's winning?
Skimmed what I could yesterday after a long day of travel:

The ones that stood out to me were Teo and Favorin. It was great to hear their Liszt selections live, and both of them killed the Hamelin. Favorin has really improved since last time.

The overall impression I had from most of the others was again hit or miss, relating to either rep or performance. Bartlett did great on the Hamelin, but the Bach was over-articulated for my taste (same as Bercu). Grewe was very sensitive but careful. Sun - wow. Even for Prokofiev, that was incredibly harsh. It felt like he played the last movement with a frying pan. The rest of his program was in a similar vein - loud and brash from start to finish, curiously even in the Chopin.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Grewe was very sensitive but careful. Sun - wow. Even for Prokofiev, that was incredibly harsh. It felt like he played the last movement with a frying pan. The rest of his program was in a similar vein - loud and brash from start to finish, curiously even in the Chopin.


I agree on Grewe. Sun, I had a better impression--maybe my ears are numb from all the listening. crazy
Carroccia: Too "velvet paws" in the Chopin? Fuzzy, indistinct musical ideas?

Khozyainov: Very, very precise, "clean." One hears every note and intention. Sort of George Szell-like: "no chocolate on asparagus" kind of guy. (Even for the Chopin and Liszt.)


BTW, I woke up this morning with the Hamelin playing in my head. cry My version was pretty good. ha
Khozyainov just killed it with his Dante Sonata. I'd pay $$$ to go hear him play!
I haven't watched everyone but all the pianists I saw seemed to have no technical difficulty with even the most the virtuoso pieces in their programs, i.e. they all had A+ technique. This is why I feel, I realize contrary to quite a few others, that musicianship/charisma/artistry and not technique determines the winners of the biggest competitions. What do you think about this issue?
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I haven't watched everyone but all the pianists I saw seemed to have no technical difficulty with even the most the virtuoso pieces in their programs, i.e. they all had A+ technique. This is why I feel, I realize contrary to quite a few others, that musicianship/charisma/artistry and not technique determines the winners of the biggest competitions. What do you think about this issue?


I actually disagree with this. As is generally the case, I saw quite a range as far as technique. Some incredible, some very good, and some just ok.

In particular, I thought the level of mechanical control was vastly higher on day two as opposed to day one.
We can also think that being very musical is the highest level of technique. Or that they need to absolutely control technique to be musical.

On the other hand, (for my taste) it is very difficult to be musical with some pieces!
Originally Posted by Albunea
We can also think that being very musical is the highest level of technique. Or that they need to absolutely control technique to be musical.

On the other hand, (for my taste) it is very difficult to be musical with some pieces!


We could, but that's a vast over simplification. Many pianist play very well despite their flaws...even at this level.
Or I should have said that they need to absolutely control the technique of that particular piece to make it musical...those pieces are so difficult! But one can be musical with different repertoire and a more simple technique because the pieces are easier.


Edit: When I made my first comment about this I was thinking of the winner of last Chopin's competition. I found him very musical, but then his technique looked just impeccable.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I haven't watched everyone but all the pianists I saw seemed to have no technical difficulty with even the most the virtuoso pieces in their programs, i.e. they all had A+ technique. This is why I feel, I realize contrary to quite a few others, that musicianship/charisma/artistry and not technique determines the winners of the biggest competitions. What do you think about this issue?


I was thinking the same thing but I have missed many performances so I didn't feel I could really make such a general assessment. I do however feel that of the performers I have seen, the overall quality of their keyboard facilities is far above average even for this competition. The technical demands of many of these piecies just doesn't seem to be much of an issue anymore.
Sun A-Park played some very nice Schumman that was even emotive at times. smile
I agree. Very well played Schumman. I'm waiting for somebody to vomit all over themselves, but it just isn't going to happen. These contestants are just to well prepared and very comfortable at the keyboard. No, judging is going to be totally with their musicality and style which is what it should be. Some of the players have room to grow in this area. But the technical aptitude of these players is very impressive.
It's late so I have the volume down, but can say that Luigi Carroccia has my favorite repertoire as a whole (I haven't heard them all). And could it be that his Hamelin is more interesting???

I remember I liked Favorin, but probably skipped some pieces when they started noisy. laugh
Originally Posted by Albunea
Or I should have said that they need to absolutely control the technique of that particular piece to make it musical...those pieces are so difficult! But one can be musical with different repertoire and a more simple technique because the pieces are easier.


Edit: When I made my first comment about this I was thinking of the winner of last Chopin's competition. I found him very musical, but then his technique looked just impeccable.


Actually, you've inadvertently hit the nail on the head. A fantastic pianist needs absolute control of the techniques involved in whatever they're playing to freely make music. If they don't have absolute control, they either interpret/conceptualize around and/or they make sacrifices. So while everyone is in this competition is well prepared, the pianists who generally have the edge are the ones with better technique...or their conceptions are so amazing that it doesn't matter their limitations.

Cho's a great example though of a pianist with a technique who puts him a cut above the rest. It certainly showed in the Chopin Competition. I would even place him alongside the upper tier of famous pianist in that regard...my two cents. wink
Cheung's was probably my favorite Hamelin of the ones I've heard so far (only about half the pianists). Not sure how much of it was her interpretation (emphasizing the theme more as it appeared) or just more familiarity with the piece, but it's starting to make more sense to me now as a piece of music.
It fit her style very well. I thought it was the best thing she played.
Is it just me or are there some buzzy notes in the midrange of the Cliburn Hamburg? Started to notice something from time to time during EunAe Lee's recital, starting from the 3rd movement of the Chopin.
I think the piano isn't responding well to the rather percussive playing style of the last two pianist.

I really wish they wouldn't. A piano really can be played so loud before the sound becomes harsh and then the sound simply doesn't project as well.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the commissioned work I don't think it can really be avoided.

At the end of the evening session I don't think there were any real standouts to me, though I thought that EunAe Lee had some really lovely moments in her Debussy and Chopin. And in general, I'm glad to find that from what I've caught so far there hasn't been anyone who seems like a filler competitor.

I'm pretty far behind, missed a bunch of the recitals which I plan to catch on the replays but presently my favorites are Leonardo Pierdomenico and Dasol Kim.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the commissioned work I don't think it can really be avoided.


But it can to quite a large degree. Unclech/uncurl the fingers, keep your hands on the keys as much as possible, and then press forward and down varying the speed according to the desired dynamic. Problem solved!...Okay, I know. I need to relax, but I just hate tight fingered percussive playing. cry

I also only caught this evening's competitors today , but I'm basically on the same page.

I find the area which disappoints me the most is in the slow movements especially those requiring a true singing tone from the right hand. For example I was disappointed with EunAe Lee's Chopin sonata slow movement. I feel her left hand was overall played too loadly resulting in a poor balance between to two hands. She's just one example. In general I've found a lack in ability of the contestants to play softly while bringing out the important musical line and phrase. I am nit picking but all other aspects of piano technique are pretty well covered, but are we loosing the art of cantabile playing for bravura in its place? I hope not but I will say the caliber of playing this competition in well above those I have heard in the past. I would Like to hear more Chopin nocturnes.
Well, unfortunately I think Lee was plagued by a general inability to play soft and light due to her technique. I certainly think she was doing the best she could, but you can't beat a bad approach.

I think we've heard some rather nice the soft playing though. The first 3 Beethoven Op.110 played on Friday and Saturday were handled rather well in that regard, I think.

Overall, I have to say that I'm rather Liszted out though. Pianists really seem to be trying to show off there virtuoso chops early in the game.
Tony is about to play! smile

I'll be watching lots of it today since the last is not very late. I guess the voting will be too late for me though. They'll be deciding who are the 20 pianists passing to the next round.


Edit: He has started with some Kung Fu. laugh
Caught up again after missing most of the recitals yesterday. Looking forward to hearing the final six today. Some thoughts:

There seems to be a pretty big disparity between the contestants. We're either getting well-trained conservatory types, or people who already have careers and seem to be more interesting musicians. Of those that I heard, Broberg struck me the most, particularly his Bach. Carroccia was also great and had a wonderful cantabile sound. I was wondering why Belyavskiy didn't do a cadenza in the Liszt, but it didn't detract from the performance.



Sunoo just played a beautiful Liszt/Schubert Litanei. Great maturity in his playing. Very thoughtful and extremely beautiful with a signing belcanto type of sound. Right now he's at the top of my list.
Great control of the Rach sonata too. Just gorgeous sound which has been lacking in some contestants. I think he has the best sound that I've heard so far.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Sunoo just played a beautiful Liszt/Schubert Litanei. Great maturity in his plating. Very thoughtful and extremely beautiful with a signing belcanto type of sound. Right now he's at the top of my list.
Great control of the Rach sonata too. Just gorgeous sound which has been lacking in some contestants. I think he has the best sound that I've heard so far.


I'd put him about even with Kim. Just a different personality. South Korea is bringing it's A game this year. Hats off! thumb
Someone just said in the CliburnTV channel: "Indeed Daniel. I am so moved by his playing that at this moment I would say he would be the winner."

I agree!!! yippie

Is he professional or that higher category you were talking of, Brendan? He sure looked like a great pianist to me. I don't think I had ever heard that Rachmaninov and have loved it. smile

Edit: His info was missing in the video. Now I can see he is 28 (very young but among the most mature here) and "Mr. Sunwoo won first prize at the 2015 International German Piano Award in Frankfurt, the 2014 Vendome Prize held at the Verbier Festival, the 2013 Sendai International Music Competition, and the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Competition".
http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/artist/yekwon-sunwoo
Originally Posted by Albunea
Someone just said in the CliburnTV channel: "Indeed Daniel. I am so moved by his playing that at this moment I would say he would be the winner."

I agree!!! yippie

Is he professional or that higher category you were talking of, Brendan? He sure looked like a great pianist to me. I don't think I had ever heard that Rachmaninov and have loved it. smile

Edit: His info was missing in the video. Now I can see he is 28 (very young but among the most mature here) and "Mr. Sunwoo won first prize at the 2015 International German Piano Award in Frankfurt, the 2014 Vendome Prize held at the Verbier Festival, the 2013 Sendai International Music Competition, and the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Competition".
http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/artist/yekwon-sunwoo


It's interesting that he didn't advance in 2013. I think it was definitely programming.
Originally Posted by MikeN


It's interesting that he didn't advance in 2013. I think it was definitely programming.



Ah that's nice. He must have improved. smile

He doesn't have a wikipedia entry, which must mean those competitions he won are not as famous.


Han Chen has studied at Julliard, and Sunwoo too. I went to check because I started to wonder if all have studied in the same place. laugh No, they have studied in different places, many in their home countries.
With 20 advancing, it's not so much who's in as who took themselves out. But, speculating on that is rather negative. cry

I don't think there have been any complete train wrecks in these recitals, have there been?

I rather enjoyed Han Chen's complete program. He made me like the Hamelin.
They are all really good. I know I'm personally influenced by their pieces (if I like it more or less), and also the mood. Like, for example, I don't know if I will like any of the remaining 3 pianists very much, because I am starting to be tired. laugh
I thought that Sunwoo was the best this morning and overall was in he most control of his program. Maybe the Haydn was a little low energy, but the rest of it was great.

Yang hit his stride in the Prokofiev, as Kociuban did (although he also had a rough start with his Beethoven). Chen was solid, but didn't really do much for me. Maybe it was the rep - I've never been particularly fond of those two Rach Etudes. The Carter was solid but could have used more shape. In any case, they all had their strengths.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
With 20 advancing, it's not so much who's in as who took themselves out. But, speculating on that is rather negative.


I was actually thinking the same thing! With such a relatively small cut, it is indeed easier to speculate on who might not advance. Of the ones I've heard, I might guess Kociuban, Fukami, Bercu, Grewe, Bartlett, Park, Lee, and Yang so far.
I've just read this: "2. The jury will not advance more than 20 pianists to the Quarterfinal Round, more than 12 to the Semifinal Round, or more than 6 to the Final Round."

That means the jury may decide to advance less than 20 (to have it a bit easier in the next round). Or do they usually advance 20 in this round?

Edit: I've remembered the presenters said 20 will advance, so that must be the normal thing to do, logically.
Weird watching the late Jose Feghali. I remember seeing him in the Bolet masterclass when I was young. I was sad to read about his tragic death.
Originally Posted by Albunea
I've just read this: "2. The jury will not advance more than 20 pianists to the Quarterfinal Round, more than 12 to the Semifinal Round, or more than 6 to the Final Round."

That means the jury may decide to advance less than 20 (to have it a bit easier in the next round). Or do they usually advance 20 in this round?

Edit: I've remembered the presenters said 20 will advance, so that must be the normal thing to do, logically.


Interesting question. On the schedule page, it says "three of the 20 quarterfinalists perform..." but only lists six concerts (18 pianists):

https://www.cliburn.org/2017-cliburn-competition/2017-competition-schedule-buy-tickets/

So, it's either a typo or copy/paste error (meaning 20 pianists with an uneven distribution in some concerts) or they're planning for fewer quarterfinalists. We'll see shortly. laugh
They're going to run it like the last couple seasons of American Idol:

20 "potential quarterfinalists" are named, all of whom must sit in the front row of the concert hall for each set of performances. Three times during each session they announce one of the actual quarterfinalists, at which point they must immediately go on stage and perform their recital program cold. At the end of the sixth session, two people are left in the audience, at which point they get to know they're not actually quarterfinalists after all.


The stress did about what you would expect it to do to the performance quality on Idol.
*sigh* Though a sensitive musician and a fine pianist in his own right, I don't think Honggi Kim is in the same league as his countrymen. He seems to have some issues with a lack of true legato touch. frown

Still plays with a nice tone though.
In the real schedule (I never visit that page you linked) 20 concerts are planned for the Quarterly round: http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/performances/ (Days 29, 30 and 31).
Originally Posted by MikeN
*sigh* Though a sensitive musician and a fine pianist in his own right, I don't think Honggi Kim is in the same league as his countrymen. He seems to have some issues with a lack of true legato touch. frown

Still plays with a nice tone though.


For me, he's far and away the best of the Korean competitors (aside from perhaps Dasol Kim). The Chopin was absolutely lovely and very charming, too. It's great to hear a different brand of virtuosity from what his compatriots took. I think this is the best Gaspard of the bunch so far, too (maybe the overall best?). He has a lot of personality and is showing it wonderfully.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by MikeN
*sigh* Though a sensitive musician and a fine pianist in his own right, I don't think Honggi Kim is in the same league as his countrymen. He seems to have some issues with a lack of true legato touch. frown

Still plays with a nice tone though.


For me, he's far and away the best of the Korean competitors (aside from perhaps Dasol Kim). The Chopin was absolutely lovely and very charming, too. It's great to hear a different brand of virtuosity from what his compatriots took. I think this is the best Gaspard of the bunch so far, too (maybe the overall best?). He has a lot of personality and is showing it wonderfully.


Your right he's very engaging. The thing though is that I don't he's capable of the virtuosity of his compatriots. In his case, it may not matter though. Well see. I think the Liszt will tell us. Liszt has a way of punishing you if your at all limited.

Edit: Not the same freak level technique so we'll probably never get a "pianist unleashed" moment, but it doesn't matter in the slightest.
That Liszt was on a different level...absolutely fantastic!
And he looked like the weakest of the 3 remaining...He will pass to the next round for sure.
My top four to this point are Yury Favorin and Yekwon Sunwoo, who are Artists with a capital A, I would listen intently to anything they want to play. Followed very closely by Dasol Kim and Nikolay Khozyainov. Maybe throw Georgy Tchaidze in there too.

I love the way Favorin plays whatever he wants, regardless of anything. He doesn't care what audiences might want to hear, or jurors (who knows, maybe they do want to hear these rarely played pieces). In 2013 he had programmed Wagner-Liszt Overture from Tannhauser, Boucourechliev Orion 3, Messaien Le Courlis cendre, and Alkan Symphony for piano solo, op. 39, nos. 407 (I think but I can't remember, he may have gotten eliminated before he could play the latter two). I'd like to hear his Hammerklavier.

Bear in mind that in 2013, each contestant got to play 2 recitals before the first elimination. Now they only play one. This year 12 semifinalists will play Mozart concertos, last year the Mozart concertos were in the final round so only six played them. And the quintet has been moved to the final round out of the semifinal, so we only hear 6 rather than 12 quintets.

Also bear in mind that the jury is almost completely different this year from 2013.
In the week before the competition, I checked out every competitor to get a first impression. Rachel Kudo's been in the last two editions of the International Chopin. I was struck by how good a pianist she was, but also frustrated that her rather standard readings probably made her a little unmemorable to the judges.

All I can say is forget the Chopin competition. This is good playing. Hope she stays around as long as possible.
She has definitely improved since her last Cliburn appearance. I'm still not 100% convinced of the wisdom of such a substantial Bach offering in the first round, but she's playing it beautifully and with assurance so far.
Before this initial round ends and before jury deliberations, they should bring out Hamelin to play the Toccata....
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Before this initial round ends and before jury deliberations, they should bring out Hamelin to play the Toccata....


Well, that would be fun. Somehow I imagine he'd be able to make it as understandable as hot cross buns. Such is Hamelin's gift.
I really think there is a difference between the younger competitors vs the "older" players from 28 yrs old to 30 yrs old. I hear a big difference in sensitivity and style after the 25 year old point. I think it will be one of the more experienced players that win. Just a hunch.

So does anyone think it's a big risk playing Bach with Schiff as a juror? Rachal Kudo just finished the French Overture and she used the pedal cry mad cursing The horror!!!
Originally Posted by Ralph
I really think there is a difference between the younger competitors vs the "older" players from 28 yrs old to 30 yrs old. I hear a big difference in sensitivity and style after the 25 year old point. I think it will be one of the more experienced players that win. Just a hunch.

So does anyone think it's a big risk playing Bach with Schiff as a juror? Rachal Kudo just finished the French Overture and she used the pedal cry mad cursing The horror!!!


I also think there's definitely something to this. When a friend and I ushered at the Cleveland International last year, we certainly we're surprised but also understanding of the lack of young competitors in the finals...Of course, we were both rootin for Colafelice being the only guy close to our age and all. ha

I'm sure the Bach was a risk, but she seemed to really connect with it. I really hope she advances. She's such an amazing colorist. We don't have enough of those now a days.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Before this initial round ends and before jury deliberations, they should bring out Hamelin to play the Toccata....


That would actually be pretty hilarious, haha.
Originally Posted by Brendan


Yang hit his stride in the Prokofiev, as Kociuban did (although he also had a rough start with his Beethoven). .


I find that to be one of the hardest things about the 109, getting it started the right way. The music just comes out of no where.
Not to mention that th figuatioms are extremely awkward in every movement.
Seong-Jin Cho just posted on the Medici livestream (is it the real Seong-Jin Cho?) "Yike Tony Yang, despite being the youngest competitor, showed much passion and technical mastery in this competition :)"

Yang finished 5th in the Chopin Competition that Cho won.

But then again someone was posting pretending to be one of the competitors' mothers, and I don't think it was his real mother. She kept telling him to go get some Texas brisket and bring it home with him.
I wouldn't trust a word if it wasn't being somehow run through the competition.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not to mention that th figuatioms are extremely awkward in every movement.


Late Beethoven and awkward go hand in hand. Overall a very tough sonata.

No thoughts about Andres Schiff and programming Bach? Anyone....Bueller......Bueller....?
I thought Anderson and Roe were married, until yesterday I found out he's gay.

Does she know her top is transparent? She must know. At any rate she's extremely pretty but he's driving me nuts. Wish he would learn how to pronounce "L'homme arme"!
Originally Posted by Ralph
Beethoven and awkward go hand in hand.
thumb

Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I thought Anderson and Roe were married, until yesterday I found out he's gay.

Does she know her top is transparent? She must know. At any rate she's extremely pretty but he's driving me nuts. Wish he would learn how to pronounce "L'homme arme"!


Hey, be kind to us young people...especially those of us who commonly mispronounce words in foreign languages and our own. (GUILTY!)

Seems like your Gaydar is out of wack. Might want to get that checked. grin

Hmm, Hamelin says he was trying to give enough directions to avoid eccentricity. whistle
Originally Posted by Ralph
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not to mention that th figuatioms are extremely awkward in every movement.


Late Beethoven and awkward go hand in hand. Overall a very tough sonata.

No thoughts about Andres Schiff and programming Bach? Anyone....Bueller......Bueller....?


Schiff isn't on this jury - are you thinking of someone else?
Time for me to go to church. Won't hear Jurinic. Post your thoughts. I need to know.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not to mention that th figuatioms are extremely awkward in every movement.


Late Beethoven and awkward go hand in hand. Overall a very tough sonata.

No thoughts about Andres Schiff and programming Bach? Anyone....Bueller......Bueller....?


Schiff isn't on this jury - are you thinking of someone else?



Really? I would have sworn he was on the jury. Where did I get that from? I've been having too many scary moments like this. Time to up the ginkgo. sleep
Originally Posted by MikeN
Hmm, Hamelin says he was trying to give enough directions to avoid eccentricity. whistle


Yes, that was very interesting. There are not a thousand valid interpretations of his piece.

Thank goodness Hamelin's piece is so much more listenable than "Birichino," written by Theofanidis for the 2013 competition. Wow was that piece awful.
It's got to be almost as hard going last in the competition as going first.

I'm always eager to hear a Widmung.
I'd be fine listening to the Hamelin again in the next round...kind of want to learn it, actually.

Jurinic just started. He could use a little more energy, and the arpeggios that tripped up Kociuban also got him. Moral: play Haydn!
Hmm, seems Op.27 No.1 is smirking at another pianist as it attempts to swallow them in it's tricky passage work and illusions of simplicity. crazy

I really do wonder if programing an early Beethoven Sonata isn't slightly synonymous with having a death wish. I feel like your asked all the virtuosity required in Mozart, Haydn, Clementi and the like with the added awkwardness and demands of bringing across a large scale structure that we find almost exclusively in Beethoven.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick


But then again someone was posting pretending to be one of the competitors' mothers, and I don't think it was his real mother. She kept telling him to go get some Texas brisket and bring it home with him.


I saw that, haha. The same thing happened on the first day with Shmukler - someone was posting as "Ilya's Dad" asking if he could bring steaks back to Russia.

On the other hand, it seems that the comments section of the webcast is whitewashed with only praise, so I find it kind of funny when these sort of things sneak in.
Hmm, I find the Liszt transcription of Widmung to be a rather interesting notion. One can play it more or less as an expansion of Schumann's original or take a far more pianistic approach. I prefer the former, but I feel both are equally valid.
Nice Widmung. He didn't want any applause afterwards....right into the next Liszt on the list.
What was up with that gesture from Jurinic at the end of the Schumann?!?!?? He totally shushed the audience. Maybe he's frustrated with how it's going?
Originally Posted by Brendan
What was up with that gesture from Jurinic at the end of the Schumann?!?!?? He totally shushed the audience. Maybe he's frustrated with how it's going?


I don't think that's the case. I think he really sees the Liszt pieces as a set, so he declined the applause. I've done this myself, and I have a lot of respect for it.

I was actually quite disturbed when Bartlett didn't decline the applause after the 3rd movement of the Barber.

Jurinic's programming in general seems very well considered. One may see it as a mishmash, but I think real consideration probably went into trying to make a satisfying whole.
Originally Posted by MikeN
I was actually quite disturbed when Bartlett didn't decline the applause after the 3rd movement of the Barber.


That doesn't bother me....it's a personal preference on the part of the performer and I think many performers just see it as a gracious acknowledgment of the audience's enthusiasm. I've seen quite a few performers acknowledge applause between concerto movements with a smile and head nod, including Stephen Hough in the Dvorak concerto. No one is more gracious onstage than Hough.
Can there be a Stage Dad or is the job only open to Moms?
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
With 20 advancing, it's not so much who's in as who took themselves out. But, speculating on that is rather negative.


I was actually thinking the same thing! With such a relatively small cut, it is indeed easier to speculate on who might not advance. Of the ones I've heard, I might guess Kociuban, Fukami, Bercu, Grewe, Bartlett, Park, Lee, and Yang so far.


To this, I'll add Kudo and Jurinic. Kudo had a beautiful recital that seemed very relaxed and controlled, but perhaps a little too relaxed for the Barber and Hamelin. Jurinic's performance honestly surprised me - I thought that he would be a shoe-in all the way through the semis given his success elsewhere, but it seemed that he had an off-day (and the rep choices maybe didn't hold up against what some of the other competitors were offering).

In any case, we'll find out soon.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by MikeN
I was actually quite disturbed when Bartlett didn't decline the applause after the 3rd movement of the Barber.


That's doesn't bother me....it's a personal preference on the part of the performer and I think many performers just see it as a gracious acknowledgment of the audience's enthusiasm. I've seen quite a few performers acknowledge applause between concerto movements with a smile and head nod, including Stephen Hough in the Dvorak concerto. No one is more gracious onstage than Hough.


I definitely agree that it's a matter of taste. I liken it though to cooking a meal and someone trying to eat one of the components when you really wanted them to enjoy them together...like a cake without icing or Barbecued meat without the sauce. I guess some may see this as a little selfish, but I really do believe it's done with the best intentions.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
With 20 advancing, it's not so much who's in as who took themselves out. But, speculating on that is rather negative.


I was actually thinking the same thing! With such a relatively small cut, it is indeed easier to speculate on who might not advance. Of the ones I've heard, I might guess Kociuban, Fukami, Bercu, Grewe, Bartlett, Park, Lee, and Yang so far.


To this, I'll add Kudo and Jurinic. Kudo had a beautiful recital that seemed very relaxed and controlled, but perhaps a little too relaxed for the Barber and Hamelin. Jurinic's performance honestly surprised me - I thought that he would be a shoe-in all the way through the semis given his success elsewhere, but it seemed that he had an off-day (and the rep choices maybe didn't hold up against what some of the other competitors were offering).

In any case, we'll find out soon.


Yea, I agree. Kudo's Barber Fugue never quite reached a cumulative point for me, and Jurinic's rep though thoughtfully chosen might very well be his undoing.

I actually find this rather depressing though. He we really have two good pianist who might get the ax because of things that are, for me, rather minute. frown
Originally Posted by kcostell
They're going to run it like the last couple seasons of American Idol:

20 "potential quarterfinalists" are named, all of whom must sit in the front row of the concert hall for each set of performances. Three times during each session they announce one of the actual quarterfinalists, at which point they must immediately go on stage and perform their recital program cold. At the end of the sixth session, two people are left in the audience, at which point they get to know they're not actually quarterfinalists after all.


The stress did about what you would expect it to do to the performance quality on Idol.

Are you kidding me?
Has the jury started fighting, yet.

Leonard Slatkin knocking heads together to force his point of view? ha
Anyone remember Fei-Fei Dong?
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Has the jury started fighting, yet.

Leonard Slatkin knocking heads together to force his point of view? ha


To be a fly on the wall. I really do believe great musicians/music people are forever children at heart...and they fight as such. ha
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Has the jury started fighting, yet.

Leonard Slatkin knocking heads together to force his point of view? ha


At the amateur Cliburn last year, they explained how this works. They said the jury doesn't actually discuss anything. Each jurist ranks the competitors and it's fed into a computer and then it spits out the list of the rankings. They don't want any dominant personality on the jury to sway the others. The judges don't know the results until we do and sometimes they are surprised. From what I understood, this is how it works for the real Cliburn, too. (Those who were in Fort Worth last year and heard this as well, please correct me if I'm wrong!)
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Has the jury started fighting, yet.

Leonard Slatkin knocking heads together to force his point of view? ha


At the amateur Cliburn last year, they explained how this works. They said the jury doesn't actually discuss anything. Each jurist ranks the competitors and it's fed into a computer and then it spits out the list of the rankings. They don't want any dominant personality on the jury to sway the others. The judges don't know the results until we do and sometimes they are surprised. From what I understood, this is how it works for the real Cliburn, too. (Those who were in Fort Worth last year and heard this as well, please correct me if I'm wrong!)

Is this method just used for the earlier selections such as the quarterfinal, or is it also employed for the higher-stakes finalist vote later in the competition?
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Anyone remember Fei-Fei Dong?


Now don't stir up trouble....
Does anyone remember the contestant from 2013 who was wearing a new suit and hadn't removed the label from the outside of the wrist? We laughed about that for a good while.
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Has the jury started fighting, yet.

Leonard Slatkin knocking heads together to force his point of view? ha


At the amateur Cliburn last year, they explained how this works. They said the jury doesn't actually discuss anything. Each jurist ranks the competitors and it's fed into a computer and then it spits out the list of the rankings. They don't want any dominant personality on the jury to sway the others. The judges don't know the results until we do and sometimes they are surprised. From what I understood, this is how it works for the real Cliburn, too. (Those who were in Fort Worth last year and heard this as well, please correct me if I'm wrong!)

Is this method just used for the earlier selections such as the quarterfinal, or is it also employed for the higher-stakes finalist vote later in the competition?


I think they just vote all the way through. No discussion. My husband agrees that this is what he remembers, also.
Edited to add: Again, fuzzy8balls, SiFi, Ken, Dr. S - if you were there and heard this too, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Are you kidding me?


About the Cliburn, yes. But Idol actually did do this.
Originally Posted by kcostell
Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Are you kidding me?


About the Cliburn, yes. But Idol actually did do this.

That doesn't at all surprise me, and I wouldn't entirely put it past the Cliburn either, which is why I was unsure whether you were joking.
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by kcostell
Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Are you kidding me?


About the Cliburn, yes. But Idol actually did do this.

That doesn't at all surprise me, and I wouldn't entirely put it past the Cliburn either, which is why I was unsure whether you were joking.


Yikes! eek
Full jury rules are at https://www.cliburn.org/2017-cliburn-competition/jury-handbook/ .

The jurors aren't allowed to discuss any aspect of the performances with each other.
Let's hope there are no mistakes in the announcement here like at the Oscars !
I don't know if I'm disturbed that Anderson & Roe just compared all the repertoire in the competition to food or encouraged...Maybe a little of both?
I was being facetious, but I do remember a Cliburn documentary, years ago, where some of the jurors groused (in a private conference room) about the results of one of the rounds after the tally.

In small-time competitions, I always hated being judged by a married couple--the dominate one (who never liked me) would sway to submissive one (who initially did). laugh
Originally Posted by MikeN
I don't know if I'm disturbed that Anderson & Roe just compared all the repertoire in the competition to food or encouraged...Maybe a little of both?


Yeah that was weird but I have to admit the Hamelin Toccata was a lot like a pickle! An artisanal pickle, obviously, not something out of a jar.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by MikeN
I don't know if I'm disturbed that Anderson & Roe just compared all the repertoire in the competition to food or encouraged...Maybe a little of both?


Yeah that was weird but I have to admit the Hamelin Toccata was a lot like a pickle! An artisanal pickle, obviously, not something out of a jar.


Definitely the most accurate simile. grin
Totally agree with Elizabeth Joy Roe, I want to hear the Czerny and the Thomas Ades too.
Hmm, I'd really like to hear Carrocia play the Chopin Barcarole even though some of his idiosyncrasies frustrated me.
Here we go, etc.
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Anyone remember Fei-Fei Dong?



Shhhhhhh.....she who shall not be mentioned (swsnbm)
I'm so nervous and it's only the dang Quarterfinals! Maybe this intensity of presentation should be reserved for the semifinals and later.
VERY surprised Khozyainov didn't make it
7/10 here, but I was honestly surprised about Yang and Jurinic making it through (perhaps Kudo less so). I thought there were enough consistency issues in those two recitals to knock them out, but whatevs.
Yeah some surprises there. There always are surprises so we should not be surprised, yet we are.
Originally Posted by Brendan
7/10 here, but I was honestly surprised about Yang and Jurinic making it through (perhaps Kudo less so). I thought there were enough consistency issues in those two recitals to knock them out, but whatevs.


I think Yang totally deserved it. His Toccata and Prok 7 shows mastery beyond what you'd expect of the youngest competitor (18) among seasoned veterans.
Originally Posted by Brendan
7/10 here, but I was honestly surprised about Yang and Jurinic making it through (perhaps Kudo less so). I thought there were enough consistency issues in those two recitals to knock them out, but whatevs.


Did I hear someone say Betty Sue Bach was paid $1,500? whistle

I don't get the no love for Khozyainov, but most of my other favs are there.
Did everybody who played today make it through?
Originally Posted by Ralph
Did everybody who played today make it through?


Yes, and that doesn't surprise me.
Me neither, but I haven't heard all the players. However I thought the playing today was very good. Would not be surprised if the winner is in this group. Maybe Sunwoo?
3 competitors played Prokofiev's 7th sonata in the preliminary round in 2005. All 3 were eliminated,

Nobody played the sonata in the 2009 preliminary round.

2 competitors played the sonata in the preliminary round in 2013. Both were eliminated.

4 competitors played the sonata in the preliminary round this year. Two of them made it through!

Congratulations to Tony Yang and Yutong Sun on breaking the Prokofiev curse!


Regarding Prokofiev sonatas: As far as I recall from last year's Sydney Competition, there were some 6 pianists that had chosen the Prokofiev 6th sonata, and if I'm not mistaken, pretty much everyone got to play it as well (several that had programmed it for the semis passed, etc). Not that it isn't a work with merits, but I'm quite happy I was not forced to listen through all of those performances...
Originally Posted by Ralph
Me neither, but I haven't heard all the players. However I thought the playing today was very good. Would not be surprised if the winner is in this group. Maybe Sunwoo?


I was quite looking forward to today's competitors. I though highly of all of them going in, and I now think more highly of them.

I could very well see Sunwoo going far. His repertoire selections certainly set him up rather well.

Originally Posted by fnork
Regarding Prokofiev sonatas: As far as I recall from last year's Sydney Competition, there were some 6 pianists that had chosen the Prokofiev 6th sonata, and if I'm not mistaken, pretty much everyone got to play it as well (several that had programmed it for the semis passed, etc). Not that it isn't a work with merits, but I'm quite happy I was not forced to listen through all of those performances...


I was telling a friend yesterday that if we banned about 5-10 works from this competition then maybe half the competitors or more would have to revamp their programs.
Get ready to hear two Liszt sonatas and two sets of Chopin preludes over the next two days. One more Prok 7, one Gaspard, one Petrouchka, one Pictures at an Exhibition.

Wait, I think we are going to go an entire competition without hearing a Mozart sonata. Is it possible?? Only if Rachel Kudo makes it to the Semifinals will we hear one.
I wonder if the new repertoire requirements had an effect on this. Everyone already has to play a Mozart concerto, so maybe they're more likely to choose someone else for their recital?
Originally Posted by MikeN
I was telling a friend yesterday that if we banned about 5-10 works from this competition then maybe half the competitors or more would have to revamp their programs.


Well, if there's any reason I couldn't be bothered to follow this competition fully, it is precisely because of the general lack of curiosity when it comes to repertoire choices. A few competitors do stick out, and I certainly understand how difficult it is to keep in mind so many hours of music as it is, but it's a shame that there's so much great music out there that just isn't being heard at all in this competition. It is of course perfectly possible, or likely, that there were interesting pianists that weren't selected in the screening audition process.


One competition that works very differently from most others I have seen is Geza Anda. Here, all competitors are expected to prepare works from a selected list - various choices are given, where you have to select one Haydn sonata, one Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert (either sonata or impromptus), one major work by Brahms and Schumann, three Chopin Etudes together with a larger work (either the 2nd or 3rd sonatas, or all preludes, or a ballade and a scherzo, OR Liszt five transcendental etudes), a range of options by Ravel and Debussy, and either some options of Bartok works OR a modern piece written in the last 50-60 years or so. That's just the first part! The following round would be to play a Mozart concerto (20, 21, 23 or 24) and then a finals where you have to prepare Beethoven 3, 4 or 5, and another concerto.

The way it works, then, is that there's an audition just prior to the real competition, where the jury might ask you to play pretty much ANYTHING out of that repertoire. You have no idea what they will ask for - could be a solo passage somewhere in one of the concertos, a random Chopin study, or something different. Once the decision is made on who passes to the actual competition, the jury picks and chose what they want to hear from your repertoire, and put together a 55-60 min recital program. You can be sure that they will select something else than what they asked you to play in the screening audition.


Now, this competition might have a mixed reputation when it comes to producing successful winners, but that's a different story. While I don't think that this is a path that every competition should follow, I rather find this system fair in the way that one cannot spend years polishing a flawless and ideal competition program without being able to play much apart from that competition program.
Mozart will separate the losers from the winner. That's just the right repertoire to see who has the best musical ear, concept and control. It's too easy for kids to play, but too hard for adults.

I was afraid we were going to hear a weeks worth of Pictures and Petrouchka. Gaspard is a close third and now I'm adding Prok 7 as the 4th piece I could do without for awhile.
I still love Gaspard, though I might be guilty of bringing it to competitions too often. Then again, there are very few pieces I program repeatedly in that way, so, perhaps I could be excused for that.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Before this initial round ends and before jury deliberations, they should bring out Hamelin to play the Toccata....

Oh -- you think maybe he can play it? grin

Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
.....Thank goodness Hamelin's piece is so much more listenable than "Birichino," written by Theofanidis for the 2013 competition. Wow was that piece awful.

I much disagree.
I liked it a lot.

Originally Posted by MikeN
Hmm, seems Op.27 No.1 is smirking at another pianist as it attempts to swallow them in it's tricky passage work and illusions of simplicity. crazy

To help me articulate the theme of the last movement, I invented these lyrics to sing to it:
(try it, it works perfectly) ha

To grow, you have to eat!
Vitamins are also good and so is exercise.
So go and move your feet.
Don't forget your abdomen and tighten up your thighs.


I haven't worked on lyrics for the other movements yet.

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Anyone remember Fei-Fei Dong?

I liked her too.

Originally Posted by Ralph
Mozart will separate the losers from the winner. That's just the right repertoire to see who has the best musical ear, concept and control. It's too easy for kids to play, but too hard for adults.

Many people think we're just being pseudo-sophisticated or something like that when we talk about how hard Mozart is.

I love this thing that Jacques Marquis said (earlier this month, quotes in a newspaper article):

"Mozart is kind of like playing nude on the stage. You cannot hide stuff. Mozart too slow is boring. Mozart too fast is not Mozart. If the line is nice, the line is nice. If it’s not, everybody knows. Mozart is not played that much in competitions because it’s very hard. We’re in hard life here."

=====================

Many thanks to you all who are listening to the performances and posting about them. I haven't been able to be listening myself yet, and I'm enjoying your commentaries and appreciating how they're bringing me into the action.
Thank you!!!! smile
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Get ready to hear two Liszt sonatas and two sets of Chopin preludes over the next two days. One more Prok 7, one Gaspard, one Petrouchka, one Pictures at an Exhibition.

Wait, I think we are going to go an entire competition without hearing a Mozart sonata. Is it possible?? Only if Rachel Kudo makes it to the Semifinals will we hear one.


This was the first thing that came to mind when I read this: https://youtu.be/f00VEflQ5VQ?t=37m6s
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I think we are going to go an entire competition without hearing a Mozart sonata. Is it possible?? Only if Rachel Kudo makes it to the Semifinals will we hear one.

Not such a bad thing. Mozart's sonatas, for reasons I have never been able to grasp, collectively comprise some of his least successful music. frown
I'm still working through the performances I missed, and the Hamelin's holding up pretty well for me even after the 20th time or so through it.

4 years ago, with Birichino, it felt like a game of who gave the "right" performance (decoding the title and figuring out to bring out the humor). This time around, it feels like there's more latitude for interpretation, with pianists giving excellent performances that are very different from each other. Depending on who's been playing it and what aspect they chose to emphasize, I've heard echoes of everything from Scarbo to Scriabin to Gershwin. It's nice when a piece is that versatile.
Wake up! It's back! laugh Su Yeon Kim just started playing.


They've had about two months to prepare the Hamelin. I've found this:
Quote
4. The commissioned work will be sent to pianists no later than March 25, 2017.

http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/page/rounds-and-repertoire

Originally Posted by kcostell
I'm still working through the performances I missed, and the Hamelin's holding up pretty well for me even after the 20th time or so through it.

4 years ago, with Birichino, it felt like a game of who gave the "right" performance (decoding the title and figuring out to bring out the humor). This time around, it feels like there's more latitude for interpretation, with pianists giving excellent performances that are very different from each other. Depending on who's been playing it and what aspect they chose to emphasize, I've heard echoes of everything from Scarbo to Scriabin to Gershwin. It's nice when a piece is that versatile.


I kind of agree, although did you see the video where Hamelin talked about the piece? He said there are really not many possible interpretations of it, and it should be fairly clear from the score which (fairly narrow) range of interpretations he was aiming at. The contestants get the score without dynamic markings, right? I remember a photo from the 2013 competition where they have just received the actual Birichino score and are looking at it intently to see if they guessed right about this and that.

Anyway the Hamelin Toccata has proved to be a formidable earworm. The opening bars have lodged in my brain and will not leave. Unfortunate since the opening bars are the segment I like least, I kind of like it overall.
If Mozart is as difficult as most seem to say. wouldn't it be good strategy to include it in a solo recital IF the pianist thought they could pull it off successfully? Perhaps not in the Cliburn because of the required Mozart Concerto later in the competition, but at least in other competitions that didn't have a Mozart requirement? Or maybe even in the Cliburn in order to increase one's chances of advancing to the semifinals? After all, wouldn't it say a lot to the judges to pull off a piece that many are afraid to play? I think many/some of the pianists at this level would have the technical and musical skill to play Mozart well.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If Mozart is as difficult as most seem to say. wouldn't it be good strategy to include it in a solo recital IF the pianist thought they could pull it off successfully? Perhaps not in the Cliburn because of the required Mozart Concerto later in the competition, but at least in other competitions that didn't have a Mozart requirement? Or maybe even in the Cliburn in order to increase one's chances of advancing to the semifinals? After all, wouldn't it say a lot to the judges to pull off a piece that many are afraid to play? I think many/some of the pianists at this level would have the technical and musical skill to play Mozart well.


The thing is that while Mozart is difficult to work out musically, it is not acrobatically or acoustically impressive. The trend these days is to pick something that is lush, replete with sweeping gestures and plenty of opportunities to show off octaves, arpeggios, chords and chromatic scales at blazing dynamics and speed. That's why Prok 7, Rach 2, Liszt Sonata etc. are so popular among competitors. There is so much emphasis on volume and speed in conservatory training these days.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If Mozart is as difficult as most seem to say. wouldn't it be good strategy to include it in a solo recital IF the pianist thought they could pull it off successfully? Perhaps not in the Cliburn because of the required Mozart Concerto later in the competition, but at least in other competitions that didn't have a Mozart requirement? Or maybe even in the Cliburn in order to increase one's chances of advancing to the semifinals? After all, wouldn't it say a lot to the judges to pull off a piece that many are afraid to play? I think many/some of the pianists at this level would have the technical and musical skill to play Mozart well.


On some level I agree, but then there's the thought that even in this competition there's enough of a difference between a very good pianist and a fantastic pianist. Why not just stick to something your comfortable with and that isn't as daunting to pull off while simultaneously being glad that you're already made it quite far before exposing your playing in such a transparent way?

I guess we could use Bercu's and Kudo's Bach as an example of such a risk that in one case highlighted a pianist strengths, but then in the other case exposed weaknesses.
Seems like the "classical" slot on the program is being filled with mostly Haydn, or sometimes two Scarlatti sonatas, rather than Mozart. This was mostly true in 2013 too. I guess the question is why?
Ahh, a classmate played the Vallee d'Obermann a couple semesters ago. First time I heard it, and I've loved it ever since.
I like how the NY Steinway is getting almost no love. To me it is muddy across all registers and unable to project a singing line with clarity. Especially for Romantic repertoire like Kim's Schumann/Liszt, I can't imagine how lackluster it would sound on the NY.
In 2013, 8 Haydn sonatas were programmed and played by 10 contestants.

11 Scarlatti sonatas were programmed, mostly in pairs. They were more likely to be programmed in the semifinals rather than the opening two rounds.

3 Mozart sonatas were programmed, plus Mozart Fantasia, Mozart Rondo, and two different sets of Mozart variations.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If Mozart is as difficult as most seem to say. wouldn't it be good strategy to include it in a solo recital IF the pianist thought they could pull it off successfully? Perhaps not in the Cliburn because of the required Mozart Concerto later in the competition, but at least in other competitions that didn't have a Mozart requirement? Or maybe even in the Cliburn in order to increase one's chances of advancing to the semifinals? After all, wouldn't it say a lot to the judges to pull off a piece that many are afraid to play? I think many/some of the pianists at this level would have the technical and musical skill to play Mozart well.


The thing is that while Mozart is difficult to work out musically, it is not acrobatically or acoustically impressive. The trend these days is to pick something that is lush, replete with sweeping gestures and plenty of opportunities to show off octaves, arpeggios, chords and chromatic scales at blazing dynamics and speed. That's why Prok 7, Rach 2, Liszt Sonata etc. are so popular among competitors. There is so much emphasis on volume and speed in conservatory training these days.
One could include both though. Just replace, for example, one of the Haydn Sonatas by a Mozart Sonata.
What if all the finalists are South Korean? laugh We need this girl in the finals. There are too few girls and this recital of hers is being very enjoyable. smile

Something cute I've found out: Carroccia will play some Czerny. Hurrah!
Originally Posted by MikeN
Ahh, a classmate played the Vallee d'Obermann a couple semesters ago. First time I heard it, and I've loved it ever since.
I heard it played by Horowitz at Carnegie live many moons ago.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If Mozart is as difficult as most seem to say. wouldn't it be good strategy to include it in a solo recital IF the pianist thought they could pull it off successfully? Perhaps not in the Cliburn because of the required Mozart Concerto later in the competition, but at least in other competitions that didn't have a Mozart requirement? Or maybe even in the Cliburn in order to increase one's chances of advancing to the semifinals? After all, wouldn't it say a lot to the judges to pull off a piece that many are afraid to play? I think many/some of the pianists at this level would have the technical and musical skill to play Mozart well.


The thing is that while Mozart is difficult to work out musically, it is not acrobatically or acoustically impressive. The trend these days is to pick something that is lush, replete with sweeping gestures and plenty of opportunities to show off octaves, arpeggios, chords and chromatic scales at blazing dynamics and speed. That's why Prok 7, Rach 2, Liszt Sonata etc. are so popular among competitors. There is so much emphasis on volume and speed in conservatory training these days.
One could include both though. Just replace, for example, one of the Haydn Sonatas by a Mozart Sonata.


There are many more dramatic flourishes and rhetorical gestures in Haydn's piano music than in Mozart's. Any opportunity to shock and awe!
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I like how the NY Steinway is getting almost no love. To me it is muddy across all registers and unable to project a singing line with clarity. Especially for Romantic repertoire like Kim's Schumann/Liszt, I can't imagine how lackluster it would sound on the NY.
Although I also prefer the Hamburg Steinway's sound, maybe this choice is a result of relatively few American pianists in the competition? My guess is that non American pianists would be much more familiar with and used to the Hamburg Steinway. I think it gets a little embarrassing that they announce each time that Pianist X will play the Hamburg Steinway "sent from Steinway in New York".
I want to know if the jurors look ahead at the competitor's future programs and whether they do, or don't want to hear a particular piece played by that competitor influences their decision.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
Ahh, a classmate played the Vallee d'Obermann a couple semesters ago. First time I heard it, and I've loved it ever since.
I heard it played by Horowitz at Carnegie live many moons ago.


I'm sure it was thrilling. I certainly wish I could've gotten such a chance.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I like how the NY Steinway is getting almost no love. To me it is muddy across all registers and unable to project a singing line with clarity. Especially for Romantic repertoire like Kim's Schumann/Liszt, I can't imagine how lackluster it would sound on the NY.
Although I also prefer the Hamburg Steinway's sound, maybe this choice is a result of relatively few American pianists in the competition? My guess is that non American pianists would be much more familiar with and used to the Hamburg Steinway. I think it gets a little embarrassing that they announce each time that Pianist X will play the Hamburg Steinway "sent from Steinway in New York".



Good point. It doesn't help that there are no Central or South American pianists in this edition either. They should be as familiar to NY Steinways as North American pianists as that's what Steinway also supplies those regions with.
They have started strong, because Pierdomenico is doing fantastic too. And I love it that they look comfortable and focused.

I can see the pieces in this round will be more to my taste in general. Maybe that's why there were so many banging pieces in the previous round? They are keeping a different style for the next.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I like how the NY Steinway is getting almost no love. To me it is muddy across all registers and unable to project a singing line with clarity. Especially for Romantic repertoire like Kim's Schumann/Liszt, I can't imagine how lackluster it would sound on the NY.
Although I also prefer the Hamburg Steinway's sound, maybe this choice is a result of relatively few American pianists in the competition? My guess is that non American pianists would be much more familiar with and used to the Hamburg Steinway. I think it gets a little embarrassing that they announce each time that Pianist X will play the Hamburg Steinway "sent from Steinway in New York".



Good point. It doesn't help that there are no Central or South American pianists in this edition either. They should be as familiar to NY Steinways as North American pianists as that's what Steinway also supplies those regions with.


This! The pianos really are different enough that it would be very unwise to play on the Hamburg if your use to the New York or vise versa. Then again these pianists have possibly been around enough to have played and performed on both...
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I like how the NY Steinway is getting almost no love. To me it is muddy across all registers and unable to project a singing line with clarity. Especially for Romantic repertoire like Kim's Schumann/Liszt, I can't imagine how lackluster it would sound on the NY.
Although I also prefer the Hamburg Steinway's sound, maybe this choice is a result of relatively few American pianists in the competition? My guess is that non American pianists would be much more familiar with and used to the Hamburg Steinway. I think it gets a little embarrassing that they announce each time that Pianist X will play the Hamburg Steinway "sent from Steinway in New York".



Good point. It doesn't help that there are no Central or South American pianists in this edition either. They should be as familiar to NY Steinways as North American pianists as that's what Steinway also supplies those regions with.


This! The pianos really are different enough that it would be very unwise to play on the Hamburg if your use to the New York or vise versa. Then again these pianists have possibly been around enough to have played and performed on both...



But then, we'll also have to ask why so many competitors at Sydney 2016 and Arthur Rubinstein 2017 chose Fazioli? I can't imagine that so many would be familiar with it, as it is still a very much a boutique brand that is extraordinarily expensive, even when compared to Steinway, such that most music schools and conservatoires simply wouldn't be able to have one for students to practice and perform on. Maybe the sample they test drove during the selection process was so outstanding that they were willing to take their chances on a relatively unknown quantity?
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I like how the NY Steinway is getting almost no love. To me it is muddy across all registers and unable to project a singing line with clarity. Especially for Romantic repertoire like Kim's Schumann/Liszt, I can't imagine how lackluster it would sound on the NY.
Although I also prefer the Hamburg Steinway's sound, maybe this choice is a result of relatively few American pianists in the competition? My guess is that non American pianists would be much more familiar with and used to the Hamburg Steinway. I think it gets a little embarrassing that they announce each time that Pianist X will play the Hamburg Steinway "sent from Steinway in New York".



Good point. It doesn't help that there are no Central or South American pianists in this edition either. They should be as familiar to NY Steinways as North American pianists as that's what Steinway also supplies those regions with.


This! The pianos really are different enough that it would be very unwise to play on the Hamburg if your use to the New York or vise versa. Then again these pianists have possibly been around enough to have played and performed on both...



But then, we'll also have to ask why so many competitors at Sydney 2016 and Arthur Rubinstein 2017 chose Fazioli? I can't imagine that so many would be familiar with it, as it is still a very much a boutique brand that is extraordinarily expensive, even when compared to Steinway, such that most music schools and conservatoires simply wouldn't be able to have one for students to practice and perform on. Maybe the sample they test drove during the selection process was so outstanding that they were willing to take their chances on a relatively unknown quantity?


Now your really throwing this theory out the window.

I see your point. My guess is that it's a combination of first impression and how long one has to get use to the instrument. Anyone know how extensive that "getting to know" period is?
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
Ahh, a classmate played the Vallee d'Obermann a couple semesters ago. First time I heard it, and I've loved it ever since.
I heard it played by Horowitz at Carnegie live many moons ago.


I'm sure it was thrilling. I certainly wish I could've gotten such a chance.
I was too young to really appreciate what I was hearing. Same thing when I heard Richter, Serkin, and Rubinstein.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
Ahh, a classmate played the Vallee d'Obermann a couple semesters ago. First time I heard it, and I've loved it ever since.
I heard it played by Horowitz at Carnegie live many moons ago.


I'm sure it was thrilling. I certainly wish I could've gotten such a chance.
I was too young to really appreciate what I was hearing/ Same thing when I heard Richter, Serkin, and Rubinstein.


It's funny, my teacher said the same thing when she saw the greats.
I think a great deal of active concert pianists are very familiar with the Faziolis and have an opinion on their instruments. Extraordinarily expensive? I know a local church in a small nearby town that had a large budget put aside for buying a new instrument (perhaps 120,000 USD or so), and they went to four different manufacturers in Europe and ended up buying what was the cheapest option out of what they checked - Fazioli.

While many music academies might have a greater number of Steinways, many places also have at least one Fazioli or more.


It should perhaps be said that precisely because Fazioli is the new kid on the block, they invest a lot of time and effort on the instruments they send to competitions. Case in point: The piano used at the Sydney competition had been prepared for over two years, and was then sent to the hall more than two months prior to the competition, and was then constantly worked on from that point to make sure it got adapted to the hall, stayed in top shape, etc. By comparison, Steinway sent their instrument just some days before the competition started...Hence, a smaller number of pianists picked the Steinway for the finals.
Originally Posted by fnork
I think a great deal of active concert pianists are very familiar with the Faziolis and have an opinion on their instruments. Extraordinarily expensive? I know a local church in a small nearby town that had a large budget put aside for buying a new instrument (perhaps 120,000 USD or so), and they went to four different manufacturers in Europe and ended up buying what was the cheapest option out of what they checked - Fazioli.

While many music academies might have a greater number of Steinways, many places also have at least one Fazioli or more.


It should perhaps be said that precisely because Fazioli is the new kid on the block, they invest a lot of time and effort on the instruments they send to competitions. Case in point: The piano used at the Sydney competition had been prepared for over two years, and was then sent to the hall more than two months prior to the competition, and was then constantly worked on from that point to make sure it got adapted to the hall, stayed in top shape, etc. By comparison, Steinway sent their instrument just some days before the competition started...Hence, a smaller number of pianists picked the Steinway for the finals.


I think it's that, and also (I'm going to be in flames for saying this) simply the fact that Fazioli is a better instrument than the Steinway in many ways. It is so unlike most traditional makes, that it offers performers and audiences whole new ways of approaching the repertoire. Kind of like how a Hi-fi enthusiastic would want to re-listen to all of his/her favourite albums immediately after acquiring a brand new setup.
It's during threads like these that I particularly miss the late Minnesota Marty. He had so many great insights about pianos during the last Cliburn.
I think a lot of it comes down to how the pianos are maintained, prepped, and cared for. A few years ago, I had a gig at a university that had TWO Faziolis, and they were absolute dogs to play. It was clear that they needed a technician who was capable of caring for that kind of instrument (same thing with Bosendorfers, too). That's not to say that Steinway aren't immune to this problem, but it seemed more pronounced in this particular instance.
Shmukler, Chaconne, too fast. Don't romp. NEXT (competitor). mad (I'm rarely offended right off the bat, two measures in, and quit listening. smile )

(Pierdomenico was brilliant.)
Originally Posted by Brendan
I think a lot of it comes down to how the pianos are maintained, prepped, and cared for. A few years ago, I had a gig at a university that had TWO Faziolis, and they were absolute dogs to play. It was clear that they needed a technician who was capable of caring for that kind of instrument (same thing with Bosendorfers, too). That's not to say that Steinway aren't immune to this problem, but it seemed more pronounced in this particular instance.
What was wrong with them?
Out of regulation, stiff, and some pedal/damper issues.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Shmukler, Chaconne, too fast. Don't romp. NEXT (competitor). mad (I'm rarely offended right off the bat, two measures in, and quit listening. smile )

(Pierdomenico was brilliant.)


I kind of agree. That Chaconne is such a grandiose piece that it really needs greater breadth and space for the tense harmonies to breathe.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Shmukler, Chaconne, too fast. Don't romp. NEXT (competitor). mad (I'm rarely offended right off the bat, two measures in, and quit listening. smile )

(Pierdomenico was brilliant.)


It feels a pushed, yes (as does the Ravel). This is where the nerves/adrenaline/fatigue really start to set in. 99% of the contestants play a good first round recital, but after that the quality starts to taper off. I liked his first round better, but there are still a lot of good things happening in his performance today.
Shmukler's fortes and fortissimos sound harsh. Not a very successful Chaconne or Pavane.

I wonder if it sounds this harsh in the hall.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Shmukler's fortes and fortissimos sound harsh. Not a very successful Chaconne or Pavane.

I wonder if it sounds this harsh in the hall.


Do you see his high sitting position? His forearms are practically coming at the keyboard at a 45 degree angle. Interesting.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Shmukler's fortes and fortissimos sound harsh. Not a very successful Chaconne or Pavane.

I wonder if it sounds this harsh in the hall.


I almost guarantee it!

Honestly, I had him on my list of competitors who wouldn't pass. *Shurgs*
I know this is slightly off-topic, but man, am I glad I'm female and don't have to wear a shirt & jacket & tie. I'm surprised they haven't had to bring out a mop after each man who plays. The sweating! Oh my gosh.

The last few things I've done, I've worn sleeveless dresses and been VERY hot onstage. And in general, I'm cold-natured! I can't imagine how it feels to be a guy wearing all that fabric. I think they should let you all play in t-shirts if you want.

Maybe I should start a new fashion line... piano activewear. Ha ha.
Originally Posted by coaster
I know this is slightly off-topic, but man, am I glad I'm female and don't have to wear a shirt & jacket & tie. I'm surprised they haven't had to bring out a mop after each man who plays. The sweating! Oh my gosh.

The last few things I've done, I've worn sleeveless dresses and been VERY hot onstage. And in general, I'm cold-natured! I can't imagine how it feels to be a guy wearing all that fabric. I think they should let you all play in t-shirts if you want.

Maybe I should start a new fashion line... piano activewear. Ha ha.


One of the reasons I quit playing double bass in orchestras was that tuxedos were always required. If they were to start letting me play concerts in black pajamas, I'd probably go back.

The main reason, though, was that I was smitten by the piano bug. smile
Originally Posted by coaster
I know this is slightly off-topic, but man, am I glad I'm female and don't have to wear a shirt & jacket & tie. I'm surprised they haven't had to bring out a mop after each man who plays. The sweating! Oh my gosh.

The last few things I've done, I've worn sleeveless dresses and been VERY hot onstage. And in general, I'm cold-natured! I can't imagine how it feels to be a guy wearing all that fabric. I think they should let you all play in t-shirts if you want.

Maybe I should start a new fashion line... piano activewear. Ha ha.


And winged collars jab the neck. And French cuffs hang on the jacket's cuffs. smile
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Shmukler's fortes and fortissimos sound harsh. Not a very successful Chaconne or Pavane.

I wonder if it sounds this harsh in the hall.


Do you see his high sitting position? His forearms are practically coming at the keyboard at a 45 degree angle. Interesting.


Actually I'm mostly listening but not watching, I find it helps me personally to limit from two senses to just one.

If Khozyainov had made it through, which I think he should have, we would have heard HIS Ravel Pavane and Petrouchka today and it would have been very different I'm sure.
Originally Posted by ClsscLib


One of the reasons I quit playing double bass in orchestras was that tuxedos were always required. If they were to start letting me play concerts in black pajamas, I'd probably go back.

The main reason, though, was that I was smitten by the piano bug. smile


Hey, I played the bass, too! From 4th to 8th grade. That thing was a pain to lug around. However, it did give me a lot of great opportunities to play in orchestras as child bassists are generally in short supply. laugh In 5th grade I took up the flute because I wanted something that would fit in my backpack.
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by ClsscLib


One of the reasons I quit playing double bass in orchestras was that tuxedos were always required. If they were to start letting me play concerts in black pajamas, I'd probably go back.

The main reason, though, was that I was smitten by the piano bug. smile


Hey, I played the bass, too! From 4th to 8th grade. That thing was a pain to lug around. However, it did give me a lot of great opportunities to play in orchestras as child bassists are generally in short supply. laugh In 5th grade I took up the flute because I wanted something that would fit in my backpack.


I switched to Oscar Mayer Weiner Whistle.

FWIW, SiFi is also a recovering bassist.
For clothes, Mischa Maisky can overdo the pirate look, but he has the right idea for comfort. smile

https://youtu.be/KlIevMid5L4

https://youtu.be/3qWFSBqAxR4
I think Rachael Kudo is absolutely fabulous (many others are too). Love her control--the Bach! I was struck by how extremely muscular her hands and forearms are. I guess I have never really considered the physicality required. I realize it is a bit more difficult to see many players forearms but was completely struck by the fact that perhaps I had totally underestimated the athleticism required of the concert pianist.
Originally Posted by nancyde
I think Rachael Kudo is absolutely fabulous (many others are too). Love her control--the Bach! I was struck by how extremely muscular her hands and forearms are. I guess I have never really considered the physicality required. I realize it is a bit more difficult to see many players forearms but was completely struck by the fact that perhaps I had totally underestimated the athleticism required of the concert pianist.


That's more so a matter of her natural build. Quality of pianism isn't decided by strength, but effective use of weight.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by nancyde
I think Rachael Kudo is absolutely fabulous (many others are too). Love her control--the Bach! I was struck by how extremely muscular her hands and forearms are. I guess I have never really considered the physicality required. I realize it is a bit more difficult to see many players forearms but was completely struck by the fact that perhaps I had totally underestimated the athleticism required of the concert pianist.


That's more so a matter of her natural build. Quality of pianism isn't decided by strength, but effective use of weight.


Yeah, just consider how slim and petite Yuja Wang is. The sound she could get out of that piano, though, rivals Horowitz at his prime.
While we're waiting for the next set, let's do a "what would you play/what's your ideal Cliburn program?" (including Hamelin's piece):

Prelim:
Frescobaldi, Two Toccatas
Hamelin Toccata
Liszt, selections from Years of Pilgrimage 2

Quarterfinal:
Rzewski, Down By The Riverside
Beethoven, Waldstein
Liszt, Campanella (1838 version)

Semifinal Recital:
Messiaen, Regards 1-10

Semifinal Concerto:
Mozart C minor

Final Quintet:
Franck

Final Concerto:
Barber
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by nancyde
I think Rachael Kudo is absolutely fabulous (many others are too). Love her control--the Bach! I was struck by how extremely muscular her hands and forearms are. I guess I have never really considered the physicality required. I realize it is a bit more difficult to see many players forearms but was completely struck by the fact that perhaps I had totally underestimated the athleticism required of the concert pianist.


That's more so a matter of her natural build. Quality of pianism isn't decided by strength, but effective use of weight.


Yeah, just consider how slim and petite Yuja Wang is. The sound she could get out of that piano, though, rivals Horowitz at his prime.


Garrick Ohlsson explains this principle excellently if anyone finds this of interest:

Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by nancyde
I think Rachael Kudo is absolutely fabulous (many others are too). Love her control--the Bach! I was struck by how extremely muscular her hands and forearms are. I guess I have never really considered the physicality required. I realize it is a bit more difficult to see many players forearms but was completely struck by the fact that perhaps I had totally underestimated the athleticism required of the concert pianist.


That's more so a matter of her natural build. Quality of pianism isn't decided by strength, but effective use of weight.


Yeah, just consider how slim and petite Yuja Wang is. The sound she could get out of that piano, though, rivals Horowitz at his prime.


Corroborating this. I had a friend in undergrad who was all of 95-100 pounds; she won the concerto competition with Emperor and there were passages when she was playing so loudly that I couldn't hear the orchestra...
Mine:

Preliminary Round

Hamelin - Toccata
Chopin - Nocturnes, op. 9, op. 62
Bartok - Sonata Sz 88

Quarterfinal Round

Scarlatti - Select sonatas
Schumann - Etudes Symphoniques with posth. variations

Semifinal Round

Mozart - Piano Sonata K545
Rachmaninoff - Piano Sonata No. 1
Rachmaninoff-Kreisler - Liebesleid

Semifinal Concerto

Mozart - A major

Final Quintet

Brahms

Final Concerto

Rach 3
Originally Posted by nancyde
I think Rachael Kudo is absolutely fabulous (many others are too). Love her control--the Bach! I was struck by how extremely muscular her hands and forearms are. I guess I have never really considered the physicality required. I realize it is a bit more difficult to see many players forearms but was completely struck by the fact that perhaps I had totally underestimated the athleticism required of the concert pianist.


But you're right, she does have fabulous arms.
Originally Posted by Brendan
While we're waiting for the next set, let's do a "what would you play/what's your ideal Cliburn program?" (including Hamelin's piece):

Prelim:
Frescobaldi, Two Toccatas
Hamelin Toccata
Liszt, selections from Years of Pilgrimage 2

Quarterfinal:
Rzewski, Down By The Riverside
Beethoven, Waldstein
Liszt, Campanella (1838 version)

Semifinal Recital:
Messiaen, Regards 1-10

Semifinal Concerto:
Mozart C minor

Final Quintet:
Franck

Final Concerto:
Barber


Brendan, thanks for mentioning the Rzewski piece. I didn't know it before and enjoyed your YouTube performance of it.

You play it beautifully.

Weird YouTube thing, though: The "category" assigned to the piece is "comedy". They should probably fix that, since this piece (and your performance) are anything but! (Not that the piece doesn't have light-hearted moments.)
I take the comp. would not allow a prepared piano piece?

Just strikes me--a duo version of the Hamelin piece by Anderson and Roe would be good.

Wow, Dasol Kim's Scriabin 4 is kind of extraordinary.
Wow. Dasol Kim just knocked it out of the park with that Scriabin 4.

What exquisite tone!
Four competitors played the 24 Chopin Preludes in 2013, including Beatrice Rana and Fei-Fei Dong.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Wow, Dasol Kim's Scriabin 4 is kind of extraordinary.


Yes, it is.

The medici.tv feed mentioned he'd already recorded a CD for DG. Hum.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Wow. Dasol Kim just knocked it out of the park with that Scriabin 4.

What exquisite tone!


Great tone, but I didn't hear a lot of eroticism which is what Anderson & Roe were pushing.
Dasol's Preludes are so far quite straight-laced in terms of rubato and shaping - restrained but expressive. I think this temperament will get him very far here. Definitely think he'll make it into the next round, if not the finals.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Wow, Dasol Kim's Scriabin 4 is kind of extraordinary.


Yes, it is.

The medici.tv feed mentioned he'd already recorded a CD for DG. Hum.


I noticed that....kind of a big deal! But why isn't he listed on the DG website. (?) I see it on Amazon.
Oh my gosh, his shirt. Just noticed it.
Ethereal. His fingers are fairies dancing on the keys.
I think Dasol has the most beautiful tone I've ever heard today. That coupled with his restrained approach to rubato and phrasing makes this op. 28 an outstanding performance so far.
The anti-Shmukler. His fortes and fortissimos are rich, deep, and mellow.
Man. I'm really liking these Preludes. What a refined temperament this guy has. So refreshing to hear after all the recent hackneyed and over dramatic versions (*cough cough* Trifonov *cough*).
BRAVO!! Please, give this man a prize.
Sorry I missed the Scriabin and the first half of the preludes. Sounds like he did well, but I not surprised at the comment about the lack of eroticism in the Scriabin. I'll be interested to hear it later.

I'm curious to hear Teo who I find no less capable but of a different temperament.
Yeah, I'm kind of behind, haven't heard some of the competitors (missed all of the last day of preliminaries) but Dasol Kim is probably my frontrunner. That Scriabin 4 was probably the finest, most intricately detailed rendition I've heard. I understand the comment about lacking eroticism, though, but disagree in regards to the first movement. The second was highly structured and dance-like to be sure, but his clarity, color, balance, and texture make me give it a slide.

Those preludes were immaculate. His focus is uncanny. Almost freaky how unfazed he is by the pressure.
Is it just me or was Teo's chord voicing uncommonly beautiful in Le Gibet?
Teo is impressing me today more than in the preliminary round, certainly.
Yea, but I don't think he's planning on trying to go to the end. I kinda hope he doesn't advance. I feel like he'd be at risk for another Colafelice incident where his later works wouldn't be performance ready...but then maybe he was just having issues with Scarbo.

I don't know, I just know that I'm a little nervous. The Kapustin is going well though.
This Kapustin is great.
The Kapustin Variations were programmed by Alessandro Taverna in 2013 but I don't think he advanced to the semis to play them.
If Teo advances to the semis, he'll be playing Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues.
MikeN--thank you for the link to the Ohlsson master class. So relieved I am not going to need to start pumping iron. LOL That really is the least of my worries after watching all these fabulous programs.
Tristan Teo is among my 3 favorite (have to decide who's the third laugh ). Seriously, he is so charismatic! Loved his recital.
Originally Posted by kcostell
If Teo advances to the semis, he'll be playing Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues.



That's a joke? I've gone to check that... laugh
Originally Posted by Albunea
Originally Posted by kcostell
If Teo advances to the semis, he'll be playing Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues.



That's a joke? I've gone to check that... laugh


I think I remember that. grin

Edit: Yep!
Bartlett getting a back rub from one of the backstage Moms right now....! Will they rub feet too?
The previous presenter said it correctly, but this one read it as it is in the schedule (la muerta), which means "the dead woman" and sounds weird. blush
Originally Posted by nancyde
MikeN--thank you for the link to the Ohlsson master class. So relieved I am not going to need to start pumping iron. LOL That really is the least of my worries after watching all these fabulous programs.


A pleasure!
The pretentiousness is high with this one.
How is Yury Favorin doing? I keep missing his performances! I have one of his CDs and look forward to hearing him live, I hope, since I'll be attending 3 of the semi-final rounds.
Originally Posted by JoelW
The pretentiousness is high with this one.


I don't know. His facial expressions and mannerisms strike me as natural. And he's 20. He's so young that he's got nothing to lose. He can relax and enjoy the experience more than someone who's 30. I find his playing very natural and enjoyable.
I thought Favorin was one of the standouts in the prelims, but he hasn't played yet in the quarters. Looking forward to it though.
Very good Widmung and Granados from Bartlett.
Originally Posted by Fugue14
How is Yury Favorin doing? I keep missing his performances! I have one of his CDs and look forward to hearing him live, I hope, since I'll be attending 3 of the semi-final rounds.


His first round recital was superb. Don't miss it.
I like his character...free spirit style. Have you seen his smile in the video when he was talking? A really fresh smile.

Fugue14, Favorin will be playing in 2 hours and a half: http://cliburn2017.medici.tv/en/performances/
Originally Posted by JoelW
The pretentiousness is high with this one.


Yes, the facial expressions, ecstatic moon eyes at the heavens, nose right on the keyboard, gyrations make him impossible to watch for me, so I listen only. It helps a LOT.
I remember watching Martin James Bartlett on BBC TV in 2014 when he won the BBC Young Musician Competition. His calling card then was the Barber Sonata. His concerto was Rach/Pag, which suited his personality.

Yes, he's the very opposite of British reserve....... grin
Originally Posted by bennevis
I remember watching Martin James Bartlett on BBC TV in 2014 when he won the BBC Young Musician Competition. His calling card then was the Barber Sonata. His concerto was Rach/Pag, which suited his personality.

Yes, he's the very opposite of British reserve....... grin


I like him a lot! I also liked Rachel Cheung in the prelims. I am looking forward to hearing her again.
I also have enjoyed Bartlett immensely from just listening.
Yeah, I like Bartlett but he has a tendency for these tiny lapses in focus. He seems especially prone to this when he's just starting his recitals. I almost wrote him off after the issues in his Bach in the preliminary round but he won me over with what followed. His Schubert impromptu was about as lovely a rendition as I've ever heard. Overall, he can have a few rough edges but I like that his playing has personality, even sight unseen.

He reminds me a bit of Jose Carlos Cocarelli from '89.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Yeah, I like Bartlett but he has a tendency for these tiny lapses in focus. He seems especially prone to this when he's just starting his recitals. I almost wrote him off after the issues in his Bach in the preliminary round but he won me over with what followed. His Schubert impromptu was about as lovely a rendition as I've ever heard. Overall, he can have a few rough edges but I like that his playing has personality, even sight unseen.

He reminds me a bit of Jose Carlos Cocarelli from '89.


Interesting that you say that, I also felt his two Scarlatti sonatas weren't completely up to the level of the works that followed.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Yeah, I like Bartlett but he has a tendency for these tiny lapses in focus. He seems especially prone to this when he's just starting his recitals. I almost wrote him off after the issues in his Bach in the preliminary round but he won me over with what followed. His Schubert impromptu was about as lovely a rendition as I've ever heard. Overall, he can have a few rough edges but I like that his playing has personality, even sight unseen.

He reminds me a bit of Jose Carlos Cocarelli from '89.


Interesting that you say that, I also felt his two Scarlatti sonatas weren't completely up to the level of the works that followed.


I can't help but wonder if moving so much has something to do with this. It has to take up quite a bit of the brain's resources.
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by JoelW
The pretentiousness is high with this one.


I don't know. His facial expressions and mannerisms strike me as natural. And he's 20. He's so young that he's got nothing to lose. He can relax and enjoy the experience more than someone who's 30.
Definitely. His mannerisms are just his natural way of playing and not at all pretentious. Kind of like Trifonov.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Yeah, I like Bartlett but he has a tendency for these tiny lapses in focus. He seems especially prone to this when he's just starting his recitals. I almost wrote him off after the issues in his Bach in the preliminary round but he won me over with what followed. His Schubert impromptu was about as lovely a rendition as I've ever heard. Overall, he can have a few rough edges but I like that his playing has personality, even sight unseen.

He reminds me a bit of Jose Carlos Cocarelli from '89.


Interesting that you say that, I also felt his two Scarlatti sonatas weren't completely up to the level of the works that followed.


I can't help but wonder if moving so much has something to do with this. It has to take up quite a bit of the brain's resources.
I think NOT moving around would take up Bartlett's brain's resources. The moving is just natural and done without thought.

When I practice or play just for myself I have the bad habit of singing/grunting along. If I'm playing for other people I have to concentrate very hard to try and not sing and it's distracting to my brain. Notice how Hsu solves this problem by singing silently as he plays.
How are you so sure of his intentions?
Originally Posted by JoelW
How are you so sure of his intentions?
Life experience.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by JoelW
How are you so sure of his intentions?
Life experience.


None of us can be sure of his intentions, but I prefer to believe someone is genuine when they're performing. Why look at it negatively? Believe the best about people.
Did anyone else notice Daniel Hsu completely go off the music and fumble for about 4 bars in the opening Promenade during his last piece?
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by JoelW
How are you so sure of his intentions?
Life experience.

Right.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Yeah, I like Bartlett but he has a tendency for these tiny lapses in focus. He seems especially prone to this when he's just starting his recitals. I almost wrote him off after the issues in his Bach in the preliminary round but he won me over with what followed. His Schubert impromptu was about as lovely a rendition as I've ever heard. Overall, he can have a few rough edges but I like that his playing has personality, even sight unseen.

He reminds me a bit of Jose Carlos Cocarelli from '89.


Interesting that you say that, I also felt his two Scarlatti sonatas weren't completely up to the level of the works that followed.


I can't help but wonder if moving so much has something to do with this. It has to take up quite a bit of the brain's resources.
I think NOT moving around would take up Bartlett's brain's resources. The moving is just natural and done without thought.

When I practice or play just for myself I have the bad habit of singing/grunting along. If I'm playing for other people I have to concentrate very hard to try and not sing and it's distracting to my brain. Notice how Hsu solves this problem by singing silently as he plays.


We'll agree to disagree then.

I very strongly believe that any movement we make, period, requires some level of thought even if it's subconscious. This inevitably has to take some of our focus away from other tasks. While I agree that it would likely be very hard to break a habit of moving a certain way at the piano (Actually, I've broken this habit. I use to make faces.), and it would likely make relearning all of his repertoire a very arduous and tedious task, I do think the way he moves now is in many ways a double edge sword. Like with almost anything in life, there's probably a trade off.

Edit: So that you don't think I'm in any way attempting to devalue Bartlett's achievements, and yes I'm sure they are far beyond what I will ever do as a musician, I'd also like to point out that Horowitz did a lot of things that were counter intuitive from a physical standpoint. He also made a lot of mistakes. There's the trade off. Would I have asked Horowitz to change? NO! Would I ask Bartlett to change? NO! Is there probably a trade off...likely.
I have to agree that Dasol Kim is slaying this and is definitely set up for a prize. At this point, it seems like more of a contention between the three top Korean pianists (D. Kim, H. Kim, and Sunwoo) plus three others TBA (Broberg, Favorin, and Bartlett/Jurinic if he can pull it together?). I think we're in a Tchaik 15 sort of stage where there's no clear front runner but nonetheless lots of interesting pianism.
Originally Posted by Brendan
I have to agree that Dasol Kim is slaying this and is definitely set up for a prize. At this point, it seems like more of a contention between the three top Korean pianists (D. Kim, H. Kim, and Sunwoo) plus three others TBA (Broberg, Favorin, and Bartlett/Jurinic if he can pull it together?). I think we're in a Tchaik 15 sort of stage where there's no clear front runner but nonetheless lots of interesting pianism.


It's said often enough that it borders on cliché, but I'm glad I'm not a judge.

Listening to Favorin I'm forgetting that this is a competition. I feel like I'm at his concert.
It takes guts to program something like "Ich ruf zu dir". Plus total self-confidence and belief in the artistry of what you're doing.
I would go to any Favorin concert/recital, if only he would come to my village.
But how wonderful it was though.
Does any know about what the members of the jury get paid for their service at the Cliburn?
Originally Posted by MikeN
But how wonderful it was though.


Indeed.
Has anyone used the Cliburn Hamburg or NY at all today? At this point they might as well not announce which piano each competitor will use...
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Does any know about what the members of the jury get paid for their service at the Cliburn?


It's not mentioned in the Jury Handbook.

I was reading a blog earlier that said the 1997 jurors got $12,500 (or maybe it was $12,000). They had to pay their hotel expenses though, and presumably meals. So you figure either today it's a lot more, or maybe they did away with payment....
Man, I don't even like the Corelli variations and Favorin blew me away with that performance.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
It takes guts to program something like "Ich ruf zu dir". Plus total self-confidence and belief in the artistry of what you're doing.
I think the judges are certainly interested is in how well a contestant can handle a slow lyrical piece or works without high virtuoso requirements. Other pianists have included pieces like this.
I don't even know what to say after that performance.
I think the chorale prelude is a great way to start his program, which strikes me as really well considered. Like a journey through darkness and light.
...and the a Scriabin, too! This is an ASTOUNDING performance!
Someone just wrote on the liveblog, "The maturity level of this performance made it worthy sitting all day doing nothing listening to the competition" Agreed! Masterful, incredible.
He was so still for so many seconds after the Scriabin I thought the live feed had frozen.
Well, damn. There are virtuosos then there are virtuosos then there's this.
Ugh, I feel bad for Sun and Carroccia. Favorin hasn't had a misstep yet. He's so assured that, for me, there's no point in listening critically.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the judges are certainly interested is in how well a contestant can handle a slow lyrical piece or works without high virtuoso requirements. Other pianists have included pieces like this.


Draw the audience in, get both them and yourself focused before the fireworks begin. It makes a good opener.
Do you all know this Liszt Scherzo and March? I have literally never heard this before.
Once I listened to a Horowitz recording. I thought it long but thrilling. I stand by that assessment.
My favorites thus far are Kim, Sunwoo, Favorin, and that Italian kid whose name I can never remember Piadrosomethingorother. He's a sleeper. My little gumba could make us Italians proud. Still I pick Sunwoo to win, but it's a tight pack.
Ah, the good old Russian fireworks display.
Oh my God. Not to be too corny about it but my soul is crying out for more Yury Favorin, MORE. MORE.
That was a fantastic mini-recital. I kind of don't want to listen to anything for a while.
He must have gone over 45 minutes.
This is the part where I go get dinner and don't even bother listening to the next two people. Wow.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
He must have gone over 45 minutes.


I think he did, but he was so enthralling I don't think anyone cared or noticed lol
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Oh my God. Not to be too corny about it but my soul is crying out for more Yury Favorin, MORE. MORE.

Originally Posted by Brendan
This is the part where I go get dinner and don't even bother listening to the next two people. Wow.


YES!
Originally Posted by Ralph
My favorites thus far are Kim, Sunwoo, Favorin, and that Italian kid whose name I can never remember Piadrosomethingorother. He's a sleeper. My little gumba could make us Italians proud. Still I pick Sunwoo to win, but it's a tight pack.


My money's on Sunwoo as well....
Can anyone explain the advantages of the NY Steinway? So far I cannot name even just one. After hearing all those amazing performances on the Hamburg and now switched to the NY, I find myself wishing Sun had also chosen the Hamburg that virtually everyone else did.
Oddly enough, I feel like it actually fits Sun better.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Oddly enough, I feel like it actually fits Sun better.


I thought it lacked sparkle in the treble. It has this muffled sound throughout the range that is to my ears unsuitable for the Chopin. The Hamburg is so crisp and crystalline. Every note sustains for days, especially in the 5-6th octaves.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Can anyone explain the advantages of the NY Steinway? So far I cannot name even just one. After hearing all those amazing performances on the Hamburg and now switched to the NY, I find myself wishing Sun had also chosen the Hamburg that virtually everyone else did.


I thought the NY Steinway had a rich sound in the low register that was very good for the Chopin.

However, I also find myself preferring the Hamburg.

A side note, I was in NYC about a week ago and I went to Steinway Hall and played many of their new pianos for sale. The one I fell in love with was a Hamburg B. $110K. I have a 1972 NY Steinway L at home and I was very surprised to find I preferred none of the new ones to my own... except for the the Hamburg B (and not enough to replace mine - although if I had $110K to spare, then maybe!) We all played a Hamburg D at the amateur competition last summer and I loved it. It was so responsive and was like perfection to me. However, not all my fellow contestants felt the same.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by MikeN
Oddly enough, I feel like it actually fits Sun better.


I thought it lacked sparkle in the treble. It has this muffled sound throughout the range that is to my ears unsuitable for the Chopin. The Hamburg is so crisp and crystalline. Every note sustains for days, especially in the 5-6th octaves.


I agree about the difference in sound, but I really think the muffled quality fits his conception better than the Hamburg would. He somehow seems to thrive on this quality.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by MikeN
Oddly enough, I feel like it actually fits Sun better.


I thought it lacked sparkle in the treble. It has this muffled sound throughout the range that is to my ears unsuitable for the Chopin. The Hamburg is so crisp and crystalline. Every note sustains for days, especially in the 5-6th octaves.


This was quite apparent in the Ligeti.
Sort of a NY/Hamburg direct comparison:



Greg=Hamburg, Liz=NY

But, in this case, I can't really tell a difference. laugh
Carroccia's second nocturne is so languid I'm completely losing the line.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Carroccia's second nocturne is so languid I'm completely losing the line.

Languid is a good way to describe it. Almost put me to sleep.
You know what, I actually like Carroccia. Wouldn't expect him to be a competition winner, but I really enjoy him. He's certainly operates on his own wavelength. Seems to have no real care for showing large structure. One almost gets the sense that he's making all the details up as he goes.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Greg=Hamburg, Liz=NY

But, in this case, I can't really tell a difference. laugh


How did they do all those special effects, including the one where Anderson dreamily looks at Roe as if he wants to make love to her?
It actually did put me to sleep :P Woke up at the tail end of the Czerny.

I gave it an effort but I have to confess that after Favorin I kind of tuned out. Don't have any impression of Sun or Carroccia, good or bad.
I can't complain about him programming Czerny or Kabalevsky because I really enjoy the weird programming, but: the program never really woke up until the Kabalevsky and that's too risky. I dozed throughout most of it.
So he put at least two of us to sleep. I wonder, does that speak well or ill of his rendition of the Nocturnes?
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I can't complain about him programming Czerny or Kabalevsky because I really enjoy the weird programming, but: the program never really woke up until the Kabalevsky and that's too risky. I dozed throughout most of it.
I agree - the overall programming choices were unusual (particularly the Czerny coming after the three Chopin works) - and things didn't really pick up until the Kabalevsky. Certainly a talented, highly skilled, sensitive musician - but I doubt he'll make it to the finals.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
So he put at least two of us to sleep. I wonder, does that speak well or ill of his rendition of the Nocturnes?


Very debatable. Perhaps, as with reading Hegel, the whole point of nocturnes is to bring on sleep.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
reading Hegel


Okay, I can buy Sun and Carroccia as the thesis and antithesis. But then who's the synthesis?
Originally Posted by kcostell
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
reading Hegel


Okay, I can buy Sun and Carroccia as the thesis and antithesis. But then who's the synthesis?


It's got to be Greg Anderson.
Good morning! Who are we looking forward to hearing today? I'm nervous for Rachel Cheung and Tony Yike Yang.
Listened to Carriccia last night and agree with what was posted here - it never really took off. On top of that, I felt that he spent too much time on lesser music. The Barcarolle is a masterpiece, those two nocturnes are serviceable, the Czerny has its merits, and the Kabalevsky simply isn't a good or effective piece. He plays beautifully, but wasn't represented well by this program (not to mention having to go after Favorin).
I must be the only person who's not crazy about Favorin. I don't dislike him but there are others I'd rather hear.
Has anyone noticed how the comments on the live feed are always positive? I know they're carefully moderated, but still. I haven't been able to get anything approved except unreserved praise for the performer, composer, or work.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Has anyone noticed how the comments on the live feed are always positive? I know they're carefully moderated, but still. I haven't been able to get anything approved except unreserved praise for the performer, composer, or work.


Yes. In some cases, even given the unbelievably high level of playing, they are still just maybe a bit too positive. The only slightly negative one I saw was a tweet last night "I'm not wowed by Luigi." I was shocked they let that get through.
I thought the people there were all very nice, not knowing you need approval for a message to show. laugh
What happened to Orange Soda King? I remember him from 2013. He was such a Hamelin groupie, this competition is right in his wheelhouse.

Excellent recital from Tchaidze. Hopefully enough to get him to the semifinals.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Has anyone noticed how the comments on the live feed are always positive? I know they're carefully moderated, but still. I haven't been able to get anything approved except unreserved praise for the performer, composer, or work.


Yes. In some cases, even given the unbelievably high level of playing, they are still just maybe a bit too positive. The only slightly negative one I saw was a tweet last night "I'm not wowed by Luigi." I was shocked they let that get through.


laugh

Kudos to Tchaidze for keeping the staccato octaves immediately before the shock ending at piano. Too many play that forte out of uncontrollable excitement!
They are so tight on time here the employees were wiping the keyboard for Broberg as Tchaidze was taking his second bow...

Meanwhile, one of the types of perhaps too exuberantly positive comments on the feed "[Tchaidze] is like the reincarnation of Emil Gilels!!"

There's a lot of "This is the best ______ I have ever heard !!!"
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
They are so tight on time here the employees were wiping the keyboard for Broberg as Tchaidze was taking his second bow...

Meanwhile, one of the types of perhaps too exuberantly positive comments on the feed "[Tchaidze] is like the reincarnation of Emil Gilels!!"

There's a lot of "This is the best ______ I have ever heard !!!"


I remember the stagehands moving the Hamburg out of the way and the NY in for Sun almost bumped into Favorin as he was taking his curtain call. I was like really? Can't you give the man a damn moment to soak it in?
I saw that too. Can't blame them too much though; Favorin did go over and the competition has to run on time.
Broberg's Ballade 4: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
I forgot that we Americans are supposed to root for the American competitors. ha
Yea, a whole lot happening. Nothing really seems to quite carry to a destination point. frown

Edit: More like I feel I'm getting left hanging quite a bit.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Broberg's Ballade 4: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


Well that might be a little harsh.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
I forgot that we Americans are supposed to root for the American competitors. ha


He's not only American but also studied in Texas. laugh I think he did great. Beautiful music. smile
Wouldn't it have been fun if Chopin's 24 Preludes were 24 Preludes and Fugues?
The preludes:

"Unlike Bach, who proceeds through the ‘48’ alphabetically, as it were (C major/minor; C sharp major/minor; D major/minor etc.), Chopin advances through the so-called circle of fifths (C-G-D-A-E-B etc.) in pairs of descending thirds, each major prelude being followed by one in its relative minor (C major/A minor etc.) – a scheme well suited to a plan of dramatic opposition. They proceed, on the whole, with a brevity seldom attempted by Bach." Chopin: The Reluctant Romantic, Jeremy Siepmann
It sounded like perhaps Cheung started getting tired around #11. A few boo-boos in #19. A lovely touch in many of them, but overall a lack of energy which she overcame in time to give verve to #24. But she looked happy afterwards so maybe I'm off my rocker.

Liked the Sibelius a lot.
I didn't get to hear Rachel Cheung's quarterfinal. I will have to listen later. I liked her a lot in the prelims.
Did Cheung have a problem with her piano? I was hearing this clicking noise starting partway through the Chopin, and wasn't sure if it was the piano or my computer/headphones.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
What happened to Orange Soda King? I remember him from 2013. He was such a Hamelin groupie, this competition is right in his wheelhouse.

Excellent recital from Tchaidze. Hopefully enough to get him to the semifinals.
He is performing and competing right now with his college choir, the Cardinal Singers, in four different cities in Europe so he has less time or no time to watch the competition.
Having heard some of the first round and the quarters, Leonardo Pierdomenico stands out for me. Clean playing, strong technique (the Brahms variations are such a knuckle buster), and Liszt Ballade No. 2 so mercurial with such a wide sonic spectrum. Hope he makes it to the later rounds, he would play all four Chopin Ballades!
I'm enjoying Belyavskiy's Eroica variations. Very playful.
Loving Belyavskiy's 4th movement. Some moments were rather gasp worthy for me.
Petty good recital from Belyavskiy. He had a great sense of character in each piece, particularly the Beethoven. Prokofiev 2 is a slightly lightweight piece, but he made it memorable.
Now time for Tony Yike Yang to blow the roof off.
Enjoying the Scriabin, it's a good fit for him. I'm a little worried about the Liszt though. Here hoping for awesome playing!
A very harsh reading of the Scriabin, IMO.
Originally Posted by Brendan
A very harsh reading of the Scriabin, IMO.


I agree, but a lot of people like Scriabin this way. I actually got banned from playing Scriabin in college. Not harsh enough. grin
Can we tell the difference between Belyavskiy on the New York Steinway and now Yang on the Hamburg? Belyavskiy was definitely getting a bell-like tone in the Eroica variations. What is due to the player's own touch vs. the piano technology seems like an open question.
Very convincing Liszt sonata from Yang thus far.
The Liszt has some drama, but there are too many small memory lapses at critical moments for it to be enjoyable, not to mention that the tone quality here is even harsher than the Scriabin. frown
Originally Posted by kcostell
Did Cheung have a problem with her piano? I was hearing this clicking noise starting partway through the Chopin, and wasn't sure if it was the piano or my computer/headphones.


No idea, but I'm hearing a few clicks (or really quiet thumps?) at the beginning of Sunwoo's Schubert. I wonder if it's the pedal(s)? It sounds like something coming from the piano rather than from my computer.

The last two sounded like something from the microphone(s) onstage.

But the two after that came from the piano, or the bench....ghost in the piano?
Hearing it more and more. I hope he can't hear it, it would drive him nuts.

It's like there's an extra mike in a place where it's not supposed to be, transmitting sound. I can also hear breathing.
So far Sunwoo's Schubert is strangely uncompelling, which surprises me.

But things are much better in the third movement.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
So far Sunwoo's Schubert is strangely uncompelling, which surprises me.

But things are much better in the third movement.


I'm starting to wonder if this is a case of a pianist loving music which isn't their strong suit as a performer?

Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Program:
GRUNFEL Soiree de Vienne, concert paraphrase on Strauss' waltzes, op. 56
BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 13 in E-flat Major, op. 27, no. 1 ("Quasi una fantasia")
SCHUBERT Fantasy in C Major, D. 760, op. 15 "Der Wanderer"
I'm generally enjoying his Schubert, think it's finely detailed, but he uses just a bit too much rubato for my taste. Those micro pauses in the last movement disrupt the flow for me.
La Valse is so beautiful and virtuosic I wonder why more competitors don't program it. Maybe not that many people can play it convincingly.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
La Valse is so beautiful and virtuosic I wonder why more competitors don't program it. Maybe not that many people can play it convincingly.


Then there's also the issue of Ravel leaving us with components of a great piece and then expecting us to sort through and find a way to make a satisfying whole.
Delectable, gorgeous La Valse from Sunwoo!
Wow. That's another rendition (the Ravel Valse) that's as good or better than any I've heard. The level at this competition is unreal.
He also has a great stage presence and has given a hug to the backstage Mom after each round.
My connection has been on the fritz but I caught the ending of he Ravel. It's one of the most effective I've ever heard.
I loved Sunwoo's La Valse!
Every time I hear the first few notes of the Shostakovich opening motif, I think, "We wish you a merry Christmas"

Edited to add: I suppose that was in the fugue... so I guess I should say the "subject." That is, if it was the fugue... I wasn't paying all that great attention. In general am not a fan of pieces that sound like that so I tend to only half-listen.
I loved La Valse.
Han Chen looks like Steven Lin's twin. (Lin played 4 years ago.)
I think Han Chen won that battle of the Liszt sonatas.
This is my first exposure to Chen & he's now also on my list. Great rhythm, ear for detail, and sense of structure. Soulful but never over sentimentalized, always keeps the flow.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I think Han Chen won that battle of the Liszt sonatas.


Remarkable suspended time at the end (which the audience just had to crash into with applause. Grrrrr!).

That version makes one forget a lot of others.

I think he's a contender (for final) with Dasol Kim, Leonardo P., Favorin.

OT, has anbody ever noticed that Mr. Slatkin favors Harvey Updyke? ha

http://www.southernpigskin.com/archives/harvey-updyke-out-of-jail/
Tony Yike's Liszt b minor ending too perfunctory for my taste. The drama was a little lacking in my own opinion.
Smashing dress on Elizabeth Joy Roe.
Delightful Haydn from Honggi Kim and he had a big smile as he finished. I think the next work might just kill me though.
Lovely Haydn from Kim - let's see how he does on the Rach. He's come off as more of a finger technician in his previous stuff, so I'm curious how he'll deal with this.
According to the live feed, all 30 pianists should be awarded the gold medal of this competition and of every other future and past Van Cliburn competition and any other future and past non-Van Cliburn piano (and non-piano) competition.
Originally Posted by hechbah
According to the live feed, all 30 pianists should be awarded the gold medal of this competition and of every other future and past Van Cliburn competition and any other future and past non-Van Cliburn piano (and non-piano) competition.


Plus whatever they just played has become the commenter's "best ever" version of that piece.
This Rach is pretty freaking amazing so far - amazing sweep, incredible clarity in the voice leading, and a huge sound. He almost makes me want to learn it. If things keep going like this, he's in for sure.
I don't think anyone will ever outdo Ogdon in this sonata, at least not in my lifetime. Kim seems entirely comfortable nonetheless.
This seems like a very idiosyncratic reading of the sonata. But I can't say I've heard it performed that many times so please correct me if I'm wrong. I've heard Khozyainov's version which was blisteringly romantic.
Ogden was amazing! So tragic he died so young and had so many difficult mental health issues. Chen's Rach, I think, is going very well.
Originally Posted by MikeN
I don't think anyone will ever outdo Ogdon in this sonata, at least not in my lifetime. Kim seems entirely comfortable nonetheless.


Possibly. Kim definitely has a well-formed interpretation of the piece and is in complete command of this. The ending of the first movement was incredible (starting to sound like the Medici feed, sorry...).
Maybe idiosyncratic, but I think highly effective. Somehow he seems to make this work hold together in a way I've never heard anyone else manage.

I really should have clarified. I don't anyone will outdo Ogdon...equal by means of a different vision, definitely. Depending on the third movement, Kim may do just that.


I think the competition at this point isn't basically a Favorin-Kim-Sunwoo-Kim showdown. No one else is playing on their level.

This makes me glad about the jury's shuffling. These kind of players probably wouldn't have made it past the screening auditions if we had last time's panel and the blatant nepotism that plagued the last few competitions. This is a real Renaissance for the Cliburn.
I like this better than Kholodenko's so far. Strong but never forceful, expressive but never sentimental. Very transparent handling of textures, which is no small feat for this piece.
You know, I've never watched a competition as intensely in the past, so I can't compare. I can say that I think the best pianists are prevailing as of the first elimination. Things have been as fair and as reasonable as I believe possible, and I'm greatly pleased.

Hmm, I loved the third movement. I'm also frustrated though. I wanted one moment where I felt things really took off.
Well that definitely made me listen with new ears.
My first exposure to Honggi Kim. Not quite at the technical level of Dasol Kim or Sunwoo but still above most others. Did a good job of keeping the Rachmaninov sonata from being so draining on the listener without sacrificing drama.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
My first exposure to Honggi Kim. Not quite at the technical level of Dasol Kim or Sunwoo but still above most others. Did a good job of keeping the Rachmaninov sonata from being so draining on the listener without sacrificing drama.


+1
Uh oh, the piano's clicking again for Kudo.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Uh oh, the piano's clicking again for Kudo.


Yes, why can't they fix that !?
Shall we take the Claudio Arrau kind of position that Op. 31, No. 3, should be essentially sad? ha

Seriously, this is a tad too pushed?
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Shall we take the Claudio Arrau kind of position the Op. 31, No. 3 should be essentially sad? ha

Seriously, this is a tad too pushed?


Definitely Lisztian, yes.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Shall we take the Claudio Arrau kind of position the Op. 31, No. 3 should be essentially sad? ha

Seriously, this is a tad too pushed?


Definitely Lisztian, yes.

Perhaps - but it works for me. ha
For me, too. And I don't know about Lisztian but definitely sunny and cheerful, which seems to fit her personality.
Is it just me or is there nothing special about Kudo's tone? There is with Dasol, Favorin, Honggi, etc. I think it's quite clear that they are in a different league.
Kudo chose the Brahms #1 for her final concerto, always a surprising and lonely choice these days.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Kudo chose the Brahms #1 for her final concerto, always a surprising and lonely choice these days.


I was just gonna say, kudos to her for that original choice.
I don't think Kudo is going to make the 12 semis. Her Beethoven seemed confused and full of spilt notes. Maybe even a slight memory lapse at one point in the first movement. Either that or it was a hiccup in her playing. It just sounded flat to me.
Originally Posted by Ralph
I don't think Kudo is going to make the 12 semis. Her Beethoven seemed confused and full of spilt notes. Maybe even a slight memory lapse at one point in the first movement. Either that or it was a hiccup in her playing. It just sounded flat to me.


Same. I don't think she plays on the same level as the Koreans here, or Favorin, or Yang.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Is it just me or is there nothing special about Kudo's tone? There is with Dasol, Favorin, Honggi, etc. I think it's quite clear that they are in a different league.


She's solid, but her performances have all been fairly standard "competition" interpretations - very middle-of-the-road and not much risk taking. Most of the rep choices are standard Kaplinsky assignments, too (her program in this entry and 2009(?) are almost identical to Joyce Yang's).
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Is it just me or is there nothing special about Kudo's tone? There is with Dasol, Favorin, Honggi, etc. I think it's quite clear that they are in a different league.


She's solid, but her performances have all been fairly standard "competition" interpretations - very middle-of-the-road and not much risk taking. Most of the rep choices are standard Kaplinsky assignments, too (her program in this entry and 2009(?) are almost identical to Joyce Yang's).


That's what I'm saying. In an edition full of so many phenomenal competitors, one has got to do better than solid and middle-of-the-road to get ahead. This year's Cliburn I think has an even higher standard than Chopin 2015 or Tchaik 2015. Certainly higher than Rubinstein 2017.

I would be very surprised if Kudo gets in the Semifinals at this point.
This is one of the strongest fields I have seen in any competition. Much better that the 2013 Cliburn. I'm very impressed by how many top tier players are in this.
I think her tone is fine but agree there's far too much restraint in her playing. Her sunny disposition is charming, though, and might carry her in (the Nakamatsu effect).

That piano noise is really distracting, though.
Uh oh. Botched ending with those A-flat chords. D'oh!
Is it the piano or is it the way she pedals? Do you hear it with other players? To me it sounds as though she's popping off the pedal too guickly.
Interesting that she competed in 2009 but not in 2013. I remember her competing in the Chopin competition twice too.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Is it the piano or is it the way she pedals? Do you hear it with other players? To me it sounds as though she's popping off the pedal too guickly.


We've heard it with at least 1-2 other players, including Sunwoo.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Is it the piano or is it the way she pedals? Do you hear it with other players? To me it sounds as though she's popping off the pedal too guickly.


It was an issue with a few competitors earlier today, though I think it got really bad with Kudo.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Is it just me or is there nothing special about Kudo's tone? There is with Dasol, Favorin, Honggi, etc. I think it's quite clear that they are in a different league.
She's solid, but her performances have all been fairly standard "competition" interpretations - very middle-of-the-road and not much risk taking. Most of the rep choices are standard Kaplinsky assignments, too (her program in this entry and 2009(?) are almost identical to Joyce Yang's).
That's what I'm saying. In an edition full of so many phenomenal competitors, one has got to do better than solid and middle-of-the-road to get ahead. This year's Cliburn I think has an even higher standard than Chopin 2015 or Tchaik 2015. Certainly higher than Rubinstein 2017. I would be very surprised if Kudo gets in the Semifinals at this point.
Whether she makes it or not - she gave a beautiful performance of the Schumann. .

I love her and certainly hope she advances. I was aware of an odd sound with the piano--she played the same piano in the preliminary round and I didn't notice it at all.
You'll think the technician would jump all over that problem and fix it.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Is it just me or is there nothing special about Kudo's tone? There is with Dasol, Favorin, Honggi, etc. I think it's quite clear that they are in a different league.


She's solid, but her performances have all been fairly standard "competition" interpretations - very middle-of-the-road and not much risk taking. Most of the rep choices are standard Kaplinsky assignments, too (her program in this entry and 2009(?) are almost identical to Joyce Yang's).


That's what I'm saying. In an edition full of so many phenomenal competitors, one has got to do better than solid and middle-of-the-road to get ahead. This year's Cliburn I think has an even higher standard than Chopin 2015 or Tchaik 2015. Certainly higher than Rubinstein 2017.

I would be very surprised if Kudo gets in the Semifinals at this point.


I actually think she'll pass through because there have been fewer incidents in her recital as opposed to the other contestants. The ones I have on the naughty list are Teo, S. Kim, Yang, Cheung, and Carroccia. Tossups are Shmukler, Broberg, and Belayivsky. We'll see how Jurinic does.
My naughty list would be Kudo, Su Yeon Kim, Belayivsky, Broberg, Shumukler, Carroccia, Bartlett.

Yang and Teo I think would go through.
Originally Posted by Ralph
You'll think the technician would jump all over that problem and fix it.
Perhaps someone needs to jump all over the technician.
Well now we know the Mozart conductor hates Beethoven's cadenza for the 21st concerto. I wonder if anyone will play it....

He probably would have hated Khozyainov's choice even more, the Busoni cadenza, which is so much fun, riotous, rocking, insane.
Will anyone have written their own cadenzas this year? You have to think yes, Nikita Mndoyants wrote his own for the Mozart 20th concerto in 2013 (apparently he wrote it on the plane coming over).
Jurinic is doing a lot better than his prelims round so far - great feel for the Debussy.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Will anyone have written their own cadenzas this year? You have to think yes, Nikita Mndoyants wrote his own for the Mozart 20th concerto in 2013 (apparently he wrote it on the plane coming over).


I believe that was Kholodenko if my memory is not failing me...
Too much Schumann tonight, IMO. I respect both of their performances, but God, is this awful music.
Agree, not one of Schumann's better efforts. Novelletten would have been better choice.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Too much Schumann tonight, IMO. I respect both of their performances, but God, is this awful music.
Hate to admit it, but this is the first time I've ever heard the Schumann Sonata performed by anyone. This young man is amazing. Beautiful and engaging playing - but I can understand why the piece isn't performed that much....

It is utterly bizarre. Think how much worse it would sound in a lesser pianist's hands.
Not exactly "Widmung", is it...(one of Schumann's other expressions of love for Clara)
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
It is utterly bizarre. Think how much worse it would sound in a lesser pianist's hands.
OMG
Aww, I actually like the sonata, It definitely needs the help of a very good pianist though.
Huh. Instead of interviewing the piano technician maybe get him to work on that pedal.
Oh no! laugh
He'll have two days to work on it. Today it might just have been a case of "not enough time to fix it today, since there's 10 people playing"
Wow does the tech clash with Anderson and Roe.

Edit: It's getting better. That's a relief...except the Cliburning questions grin
If you want to play on a cane chair, are you allowed?
They must be having trouble getting Betty Sue Bach to boot. whome
From the medici.tv feed:

@andersonroe hang in there! This is the hardest part of hosting, the filler! (Jade Simmons, the host from 4 years ago)
I find myself getting ear fatigue and loosing my patients with the players. I can't imagine how the jurors feel. I'm ready to pick a winner and call it quits. Maybe this competition is a little too long? Require a Mozart concerto (good idea IMO) maybe one or two Beethoven sonatas. Require one original work written for the competition. And then they can pick the rest, but limit it somehow. Maybe two baroque pieces, three romantic and two post romantic. That should do it. Crazy?
Advancing: Broberg, Chen, Cheung, Favorin, Hsu, Dasol Kim, Honggi Kim, Pierdomenico, Sun, Sunwoo, Tchaidze, Yang
Eliminated: Bartlett, Belyavskiy, Carroccia, Jurinic, Su Yeon Kim, Kudo, Shmukler, Teo


Disappointed (but not surprised) to see Teo go.

More Kapustin to come from Dasol Kim in the semis!
Six of my seven passed, Bartlett being the exception.
Glad Leonardo made it! Looking forward to the Beethoven Op. 7, Grande Sonata, and the Chopin Ballades! Also happy for Broberg. Too bad for Luigi Carrococcia. His program was too drawn out, what with the Barcarolle followed by 2 Nocturnes.
Not surprised. Feel sorry for Kudo, but she did not play well tonight. Watch out for the Italian kid Piedromenico . He's the sleeper, but I still think Sunwoo will win.
I hope you all like Mozart's concertos 20 (D Minor) and 21 (C Major). We'll be hearing them 6 and 4 times, respectively in the next few days (Honggi Kim is playing 23, and Broberg 25).

Other repeated works: Pictures at an Exhibition (3 times!) and Prokofiev's Sixth Sonata, Schubert's op. 899 Impromptus, and Schumann's Kreisleriana (twice each).
I think this is pretty much what everyone expected, aside from one or two disagreements. I still don't understand what they see in Yang, he is not ready for the gigs and responsibilities that this competition offers and is still having nerves/consistency issues in his recitals. Is he our new HWSNBN?

Anyway, glad that Favorin got through. Barring any major incidents, I think that the finalists will be the three Koreans, Favorin, Broberg, and Pierdomenico.
Regarding your predictions for finalists, I'd swap Han Chen for Broberg.

I have yet to hear Yang, but I think Hsu fits that description as well. He shows promise but could use some time to develop.

As far as (T)WSNBN, I don't think there's anyone in this competition that seems quite so out of place. Though regarding the original, I did find some things (they) did to be kind of fresh and interesting.
Originally Posted by Brendan
I think this is pretty much what everyone expected, aside from one or two disagreements. I still don't understand what they see in Yang, he is not ready for the gigs and responsibilities that this competition offers and is still having nerves/consistency issues in his recitals. Is he our new HWSNBN?

Anyway, glad that Favorin got through. Barring any major incidents, I think that the finalists will be the three Koreans, Favorin, Broberg, and Pierdomenico.


Yang has the ability to generate incredible harmonic tension through articulation and rests.

Well deserved advancement.
I didn't really follow Yang's progress during the Chopin competition, but since then I have become a big fan of his, such a presence and style for someone so young (in fact for any age). Many of his Youtube videos are of interest and even inspiring to me.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Is he our new HWSNBN?

Help me out here?
Originally Posted by Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted by Brendan
Is he our new HWSNBN?

Help me out here?


Me, too! I have no idea what that acronym stands for.

On a side note, I am looking forward to six K. 466s, as that's my favorite Mozart concerto. I see we're in for 3 Pictures at an Exhibition, too. Also looking forward to hearing all 4 Ballades in a row, as I frequently listen to Artur Rubinstein play them (and the Scherzos) when I run.
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted by Brendan
Is he our new HWSNBN?

Help me out here?


Me, too! I have no idea what that acronym stands for.



"He Who Shall Not Be Named"?
I find the commentary of Anderson and Roe, as well as their dynamic to be quite awkward.

It's apparent that Greg does most of the talking, and when Liz gets a rare chance to speak, it often feels contrived, and she quite often gets cut-off by Greg.

I really expected there to be much more synergy between the two of them. Yes I realize that they are not reporters/actors/speakers and that they are professional piano players, it's just that they don't seem to warm to each other.

Did anyone else notice that old lady backstage that grabs the competitors left arm and squeezes followed by a big pat on the back it each time a pianist is about to take the stage? I'm surprised that none of the pianists have shaken her off. With the amount of nerves they must be experiencing at that moment, I'm surprised they put up with all of that groping.

And speaking of nerves, do you think that any of these pianists use beta blockers? I was speaking with my doctor, and she mentioned that it's quite common for professional musicians at the highest level to use them (one of her patients is in the SF symphony and uses them).
Originally Posted by kcostell
Did Cheung have a problem with her piano? I was hearing this clicking noise starting partway through the Chopin, and wasn't sure if it was the piano or my computer/headphones.


I heard that too, to me it sounded like too long fingernails.
Much very loud pedalthumping going on too, especially with Belyavksiy in the Beethoven variations, very annoying. Actually, I don't like Rachel Cheung. Her Schubert in round one was boring and played in a very mediocre fashion. And her Debussy préludes were just amateurish. I really don't understand how she got through.
Originally Posted by hechbah
[
"He Who Shall Not Be Named"?


OK, that's probably right, but people like me still have no idea who it is.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Too much Schumann tonight, IMO. I respect both of their performances, but God, is this awful music.


Yes that sonata is not Schumann at his best, but let's be honest: It is much less awful than the layer upon layer of ugliness of the Hamelin Toccata.
Another piece I really don't like are the Rachmaninov Chopin variations. It does not surprise me that Hamelin thinks they need to be performed more (hopefully not too much Hamelin fanboys (do they still exist?) floating around hereabout).
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by hechbah
[
"He Who Shall Not Be Named"?


OK, that's probably right, but people like me still have no idea who it is.


There was a competitor in the 2013 Cliburn whom many on the corollary thread to this just loved to hate (Others quite liked her). Once everything to be said about her had been said, she began to be referred to here as SWSNBN.
Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
I find the commentary of Anderson and Roe, as well as their dynamic to be quite awkward.
I think they're quite good and have interesting and informative comments.


Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
Did anyone else notice that old lady backstage that grabs the competitors left arm and squeezes followed by a big pat on the back it each time a pianist is about to take the stage? I'm surprised that none of the pianists have shaken her off. With the amount of nerves they must be experiencing at that moment, I'm surprised they put up with all of that groping.
I think most of the competitors are glad to have support at the last minute. Groping??
Too bad No. 26 in D major (Coronation) was not selected on the required concerto list. Rarely played nowadays. A good example of late Mozart too.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus

Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
Did anyone else notice that old lady backstage that grabs the competitors left arm and squeezes followed by a big pat on the back it each time a pianist is about to take the stage? I'm surprised that none of the pianists have shaken her off. With the amount of nerves they must be experiencing at that moment, I'm surprised they put up with all of that groping.
I think most of the competitors are glad to have support at the last minute. Groping??

I think "manhandling" is more appropriate. grin

'Don't you dare back out now - get out there and DELIVER!!'
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
I find the commentary of Anderson and Roe, as well as their dynamic to be quite awkward.
I think they're quite good and have interesting and informative comments.


Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
Did anyone else notice that old lady backstage that grabs the competitors left arm and squeezes followed by a big pat on the back it each time a pianist is about to take the stage? I'm surprised that none of the pianists have shaken her off. With the amount of nerves they must be experiencing at that moment, I'm surprised they put up with all of that groping.
I think most of the competitors are glad to have support at the last minute. Groping??


I can only speak for myself, but I thought the backstage moms were wonderful last year. It's been nice to see them taking care of everyone.

Edited to add: I am enjoying Anderson & Roe's commentary.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
I find the commentary of Anderson and Roe, as well as their dynamic to be quite awkward.
I think they're quite good and have interesting and informative comments.


Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
Did anyone else notice that old lady backstage that grabs the competitors left arm and squeezes followed by a big pat on the back it each time a pianist is about to take the stage? I'm surprised that none of the pianists have shaken her off. With the amount of nerves they must be experiencing at that moment, I'm surprised they put up with all of that groping.
I think most of the competitors are glad to have support at the last minute. Groping??


I like to imagine this happening to Gould. He would be put in traction and there would be so much litigation!

Was it Horowitz that needed a good shove from backstage because of his stage fright?
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[quote=Mooseknuckle]I find the commentary of Anderson and Roe, as well as their dynamic to be quite awkward.
I think they're quite good and have interesting and informative comments.

Oh, I agree it's interesting and informative, I was commenting on the dynamic between them.

I expected them to be a lot more fluid, like their piano playing! Maybe it's nerves, maybe it's just lack of experience with television. I do find the constant interruptions of Liz by Greg to be distracting.
Originally Posted by spins
Originally Posted by kcostell
Did Cheung have a problem with her piano? I was hearing this clicking noise starting partway through the Chopin, and wasn't sure if it was the piano or my computer/headphones.


I heard that too, to me it sounded like too long fingernails.
Much very loud pedalthumping going on too, especially with Belyavksiy in the Beethoven variations, very annoying. Actually, I don't like Rachel Cheung. Her Schubert in round one was boring and played in a very mediocre fashion. And her Debussy préludes were just amateurish. I really don't understand how she got through.



She has a great lyrical gift. Did you hear the Chopin Preludes? It was very polished, expressive but restrained.
Originally Posted by Vid
[

Was it Horowitz that needed a good shove from backstage because of his stage fright?


On Horowitz return to the stage in 1965, Schuyler Chapin said Horowitz was facing him and making no effort to take the stage, so Chapin turned him 180 degrees and placed both hands on Horowitz's back and gave him a gentle push toward the stage. Apparently, it worked.
The original SWSNBN was way out of her league as I remember it, but I also remember it as SWSNBMentioned, but I'm sure I'm wrong. I don't think Yang lives up (or down) to that most aspired and exulted pinnacle of recognition as having caps that don't make any sense as your name. He's not quite there yet.

Actually we don't have any of those in this competition. I rather enjoyed those days gone past.
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by hechbah
[
"He Who Shall Not Be Named"?


OK, that's probably right, but people like me still have no idea who it is.


There was a competitor in the 2013 Cliburn whom many on the corollary thread to this just loved to hate (Others quite liked her). Once everything to be said about her had been said, she began to be referred to here as SWSNBN.

I missed the 2013 competition... Which pianist are people referring to?
Originally Posted by Ridicolosamente
[quote=ClsscLib][quote=coaster][quote=hechbah][

I missed the 2013 competition... Which pianist are people referring to?


Fei Fei Dong. I personally quite enjoyed her performances. She has been named!
This competition, albeit an important one, is just a bit too long. I also think requiring players to play the same pieces is a good idea. It's the best way I have of comparing players. I find it hard to compare someone who plays Bach to another who plays Stravinsky. Also people will play to their strengthens. I few required pieces from different eras would be a good idea.
Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
Originally Posted by Ridicolosamente
[quote=ClsscLib][quote=coaster][quote=hechbah][

I missed the 2013 competition... Which pianist are people referring to?


Fei Fei Dong. I personally quite enjoyed her performances. She has been named!



And then there was Beatrice Rana whose thumb looked like a big toe. Didn't seem to bother her any though. She's actually one of my favorites. Still notice her photo on the cover of "International Piano". Can't see the thumbs can you? Huh, huh, huh. All other photos also show no thumb. Then look at photo on page 22. TOE! Check it out.
I find Beatrice Rana to be a fantastically gifted pianist and a wonderfully grounded and charming young lady.

If you haven't yet heard her new recording of the Goldberg Variations, run -- don't walk -- to find it.

I don't know how many recordings of that great work I've heard, but hers is my favorite ever.
Really, better than Semone Dinerstien?
Originally Posted by Ralph
Really, better than Semone Dinerstien?


Dinnerstein (who along with Yuja Wang, Valentina Lisitsa and Lang Lang) has somehow managed to have a viable career without ever participating (to the best of my knowledge) in any major piano competition.

Any thoughts on how these folks compare to this year's talent pool in the Cliburn ? smile
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Ralph
Really, better than Semone Dinerstien?


Dinnerstein (who along with Yuja Wang, Valentina Lisitsa and Lang Lang) has somehow managed to have a viable career without ever participating (to the best of my knowledge) in any major piano competition.

Any thoughts on how these folks compare to this year's talent pool in the Cliburn ? smile



This begs an interesting question. Does one have to win a big competition to have a successful concert career or can it be done simple by word of mouth. I watched Lang Lang from the age of 14 at Curtis grow into the famous international concert pianist that he is today and I don't know how he did it. I literally sat 15 feet from him in Field Hall at Curtis almost every time he played for years. All of a sudden I'm paying $100 a ticket to see a guy play that I've been watching of years for free (well I did contribute to Curtis). I think when Gary Graffman is your teacher and he says book this guy, they book him. He took off like an ICBM and hasn't stopped yet. Having the Phiily orchestra on speed dial probably also helps.
Originally Posted by Mooseknuckle
I find the commentary of Anderson and Roe, as well as their dynamic to be quite awkward.

It's apparent that Greg does most of the talking, and when Liz gets a rare chance to speak, it often feels contrived, and she quite often gets cut-off by Greg.

I really expected there to be much more synergy between the two of them. Yes I realize that they are not reporters/actors/speakers and that they are professional piano players, it's just that they don't seem to warm to each other.

Did anyone else notice that old lady backstage that grabs the competitors left arm and squeezes followed by a big pat on the back it each time a pianist is about to take the stage? I'm surprised that none of the pianists have shaken her off. With the amount of nerves they must be experiencing at that moment, I'm surprised they put up with all of that groping.


I did notice that Anderson finally stopped telling listeners Roe's name, and now she tells listeners her own name. She must have said something to him. He does talk way too much which is irritating, plus his arm gestures are so large they take over and are distracting. I don't find them awkward together, I just find him to be a larger and more assertive presence and probably clueless about how he comes across as larger and more assertive. It's hard to tell if she minds and is just being polite, or if she doesn't mind his over-assertiveness and just goes with the flow.

As for the Backstage Mom, you'll notice there's one pianist who doesn't "put up with all that groping." Favorin backstage is walking around and swinging his arms, which may be solely to dissipate nerves, to keep limber, but it also has the practical side effect of warding off any groping by anyone.

Clearly there are some pianists who don't mind being touched and prodded by Backstage Mom, but yeah, Backstage Mom has to give the pianists who want it their space.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Ralph
Really, better than Semone Dinerstien?


Dinnerstein (who along with Yuja Wang, Valentina Lisitsa and Lang Lang) has somehow managed to have a viable career without ever participating (to the best of my knowledge) in any major piano competition.

Any thoughts on how these folks compare to this year's talent pool in the Cliburn ? smile



This begs an interesting question. Does one have to win a big competition to have a successful concert career or can it be done simple by word of mouth. I watched Lang Lang from the age of 14 at Curtis grow into the famous international concert pianist that he is today and I don't know how he did it. I literally sat 15 feet from him in Field Hall at Curtis almost every time he played for years. All of a sudden I'm paying $100 a ticket to see a guy play that I've been watching of years for free (well I did contribute to Curtis). I think when Gary Graffman is your teacher and he says book this guy, they book him. He took off like an ICBM and hasn't stopped yet. Having the Phiily orchestra on speed dial probably also helps.


Didn't Lang Lang have one of those serendipitous magical moments where he filled in for an ailing star and overnight became a sensation himself? Supposedly that's how Andre Watts' career started and a bunch of other famous names too.

As for Valentina Lisitsa I have never liked her, never warmed to her playing.
There did appear to be one cute moment where Martin James Bartlett was pretending not to want to go onstage (if anyone has a natural stage presence, it's him) and Backstage Mom gave him a prolonged, large shove. In those moments I find the groping adorable. Obviously, you have to want to be groped. Uninvited groping = bad.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Didn't Lang Lang have one of those serendipitous magical moments where he filled in for an ailing star and overnight became a sensation himself? Supposedly that's how Andre Watts' career started and a bunch of other famous names too. .
Funny you should mention Andre Watts - as that's who Lang Lang substituted for back in 1999 grin
Originally Posted by Ralph
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Ralph
Really, better than Semone Dinerstien?
Dinnerstein (who along with Yuja Wang, Valentina Lisitsa and Lang Lang) has somehow managed to have a viable career without ever participating (to the best of my knowledge) in any major piano competition. Any thoughts on how these folks compare to this year's talent pool in the Cliburn ? smile
This begs an interesting question. Does one have to win a big competition to have a successful concert career or can it be done simple by word of mouth. I watched Lang Lang from the age of 14 at Curtis grow into the famous international concert pianist that he is today and I don't know how he did it. I literally sat 15 feet from him in Field Hall at Curtis almost every time he played for years. All of a sudden I'm paying $100 a ticket to see a guy play that I've been watching of years for free (well I did contribute to Curtis). I think when Gary Graffman is your teacher and he says book this guy, they book him. He took off like an ICBM and hasn't stopped yet. Having the Phiily orchestra on speed dial probably also helps.
Actually, both Yuja Wang and Lang Lang studied with Graffman - and he was quite influential in helping launch their careers. Dinnerstein and Lisitsa managed to gain recognition largely through creative self promotion.

Still wonder - how do Wang, Lang, Lisitsa and Dinnerstein compare to the best players in the current Cliburn competition - and does winning a big competition guarantee a successful concert career??
Originally Posted by Carey
...and does winning a big competition guarantee a successful concert career??


Depends on what you think a successful concert career might be, I think. Does Kobrin have one, for example? I think some would say yes, and others would say no. How about Nakamatsu? Pedroni?

At any rate, the Cliburn is essentially a big splashy publicity event that functions as auditioning process for their concert management program - it's all about getting the winners into some sort of a concert career, if for no other reason than to keep the whole thing going. I don't think the other big competitions are organized in the same way, or with quite the same sort of primary motivation based on marketing potential after the competition is done.
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Carey
...and does winning a big competition guarantee a successful concert career??


Depends on what you think a successful concert career might be, I think. Does Kobrin have one, for example? I think some would say yes, and others would say no. How about Nakamatsu? Pedroni?
All three have remained active as performers, however, from what I've read, Kobrin and Pedroni appear to have been more successful overall/high profile than Nakamatsu.
Quote
At any rate, the Cliburn is essentially a big splashy publicity event that functions as auditioning process for their concert management program - it's all about getting the winners into some sort of a concert career, if for no other reason than to keep the whole thing going. I don't think the other big competitions are organized in the same way, or with quite the same sort of primary motivation based on marketing potential after the competition is done.
Interesting. smile
Originally Posted by spins
Originally Posted by Brendan
Too much Schumann tonight, IMO. I respect both of their performances, but God, is this awful music.


Yes that sonata is not Schumann at his best, but let's be honest: It is much less awful than the layer upon layer of ugliness of the Hamelin Toccata.
Another piece I really don't like are the Rachmaninov Chopin variations. It does not surprise me that Hamelin thinks they need to be performed more (hopefully not too much Hamelin fanboys (do they still exist?) floating around hereabout).


I'm hardly a Hamelin fanboy. But, to be fair, not many pieces commissioned for competitions turn out to be the kind of good music that makes it very far in the world. And not only that, they usually are commissioned from professional composers for whom writing music is a career, not a sideline, as it seems to be for Hamelin. Out of the pieces the Cliburn has commissioned over the years, I can only think of one that I've seen turn up on a concert program - Corigliano's Fantasia on an Ostinato.

The Hamelin commission seems a lot like somebody's idea of a cool marketing gimmick to me. Regardless of what I might think of it as music (turgid and poorly organized), I think it did adequately do what competition commissions generally do, which is act like a kind of test piece that every competitor has to conquer/endure. But I imagine more than a few of the competitors have already permanently dropped it from their repertoires.
2 young pianists come to mind who did not win a big name competition (Cliburn, Tchaikovsky, Rubenstein) would be Lisa d la Salle, a young French pianist, and Benjamin Grovsvenor, 24 year old British pianist. But they were noted child prodigies. And they both have established careers and recording contracts. Their playing reflects the maturity of seasoned concert performers and yes, to my ear they are far above the talent pool of competition performers. Igor Levit did take 2nd at the Rubenstein in 2005 and has gone onto a critically acclaimed career, superseding his fellow competitors.
We're back tonight with Daniel Hsu and Dasol Kim. Both have lengthy Schubert selections (a sort-of-not-really suite and a sonata) - lets see how it compares to the last round of the quarterfinals with two lengthy Schumann works (a suite and a sonata). Other than that, it's Brahms-Handel, Mendelssohn Fantasy, and some Kapustin.
...and also, I thought that Hamelin's piece was very clever and quite fun to listen to. It was by far the best and most pianistic commissioned piece they've had in a long time (maybe Liebermann's Three Impromptus comes close). There are plenty of pieces in my rep, new music and otherwise, that I've only played once and then let go (Petrushka is the first that comes to mind...NEVER again). I think people will be interested in playing this after the competition is done, it's far more approachable than his other piano works.
So, are there any thoughts regarding best performance of the Hamelin? Worst performance?

Best is hard, but worst for me would probably be Grewe. Not to knock her, but it clearly wasn't a piece that was suited to her.
Elizabeth looks beautiful tonight although she should have paired that outfit with deep red lipstick.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
So, are there any thoughts regarding best performance of the Hamelin? Worst performance?

Best is hard, but worst for me would probably be Grewe. Not to knock her, but it clearly wasn't a piece that was suited to her.


Agreed. She just didn't make any sense of it at all. It came out as a jumble of notes.
Hmm, seems like this is going to be a hyper romantic Schubert. Not really my thing, but let's see how it goes.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Hmm, seems like this is going to be a hyper romantic Schubert. Not really my thing, but let's see how it goes.


Way too romantic.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by MikeN
Hmm, seems like this is going to be a hyper romantic Schubert. Not really my thing, but let's see how it goes.


Way too romantic.


Yea, I certainly question the wisdom of programming this set. Unless your a Radu Lupu or maybe a Zimmermann type of pianist, I really don't think it does any favors. *sigh* Well, this is only the first piece of the set. I'm hopeful.

Edit: It's not getting better. The romantic devices are disrupting the natural ebb and flow of the music. cry
Not very successful so far - too syrupy and lacking crispness. Very "basic" conservatory conception.
The rubato in #3 is driving me insane! It's even more distracting than what was going on in #2. Make it stop....groan....
Wow. That was a good two seconds of lingering on the dominant before the recap. Too excessive, too melodramatic!
I recall in a documentary, Horowitz said something to the effect of, "We need something romantic now!" right before starting the fourth impromptu. Who are we to argue with Horowitz?

(I... kinda disagree with Horowitz :P)
Oh my God.

(Sorry....a response to a particularly horrific rubato.)
I could not agree more! This speaks to style and if you play these works with a style that is not really consistant with the era, composer or piece it self then your at risk for a big fail.
Oh well, props for the gradual pedal release at the end of #3. It boggles me how few get this detail. Trifonov is a master of this.
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.

It's interesting to see which contestants are doubling down on their rep (Favorin, Cheng, Sunwoo, Chen, Pierdomenico, and H. Kim) and which are conserving.
The liveblog went with a negative tweet, how shocking. "Not gonna lie. This is pretty anodyne. I am hardly still listening...zzzz"
Originally Posted by Ralph
I could not agree more! This speaks to style and if you play these works with a style that is not really consistant with the era, composer or piece it self then your at risk for a big fail.


Romantic doesn't mean sentimental or heavy handed. Mastery of the Romantic style requires discipline and restraint.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
The liveblog went with a negative tweet, how shocking. "Not gonna lie. This is pretty anodyne. I am hardly still listening...zzzz"


Since deleted!
Bad op 90!
He kind of is setting up Dasol Kim to dominate, yes...
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Ralph
I could not agree more! This speaks to style and if you play these works with a style that is not really consistant with the era, composer or piece it self then your at risk for a big fail.


Romantic doesn't mean sentimental or heavy handed. Mastery of the Romantic style requires discipline and restraint.



I'm cursing in your side view mirror right along side of you. wink
Originally Posted by Brendan
He kind of is setting up Dasol Kim to dominate, yes...


What a difference in musical maturity those extra years make.

But it's partly about personality too. Yang is even younger but clearly has a more refined temperament than Hsu.
Originally Posted by Brendan
He kind of is setting up Dasol Kim to dominate, yes...


It's decisions like these were experience is helpful. I'm surprised he wasn't coached differently, but we do not know how he arrived at this program.
The stream is letting all sort of semi-critical messages through!
"What is he playing next? This piece is a bit boring." - George Li

Uh...is that the real George Li?
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Brendan
He kind of is setting up Dasol Kim to dominate, yes...


What a difference in musical maturity those extra years make.

But it's partly about personality too. Yang is even younger but clearly has a more refined temperament than Hsu.


You beat me to it and said it more directly than I had guts to do so. I always thought a large part of the out come would be related to the competitors age. I give the older musicians a big edge and I'm still pulling for Sunwoo, but Leanardo Piedro..... Is the sleeper.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
"What is he playing next? This piece is a bit boring." - George Li

Uh...is that the real George Li?


No more than "Yekwon's Mom" is Yekwon's mom, probably.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
So, are there any thoughts regarding best performance of the Hamelin? Worst performance?

Best is hard, but worst for me would probably be Grewe. Not to knock her, but it clearly wasn't a piece that was suited to her.


Hamelins that particularly impressed me were Cheung, Favorin, Jurinic, and Yang. They were the ones who for me gave structure to the piece and made it make sense, particularly in the middle which had a tendency to ramble in some pianist's hands (they made it seem, to use wr's words, turgid and poorly organized")
Originally Posted by Ralph
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Brendan
He kind of is setting up Dasol Kim to dominate, yes...


What a difference in musical maturity those extra years make.

But it's partly about personality too. Yang is even younger but clearly has a more refined temperament than Hsu.


You beat me to it and said it more directly than I had guts to do so. I always thought a large part of the out come would be related to the competitors age. I give the older musicians a big edge and I'm still pulling for Sunwoo, but Leanardo Piedro..... Is the sleeper.


I must confess that I don't see why there's all the fuss about Pierdomenico - he's solid but not my pick for the front runner. My money for the medalists is on Favorin, Dasol and Yekwon, even though I'm no fan of the latter.
There's something about Leonardo that I could see attracting the x-factor vote. He's not the best out there, but he has a certain unknown quality that could pull him through if the others vomit on their shoes which is unlikely. I don't really see him winning if all things go as I think they will.
OK, I don't see how Dasol Kim could *not* get into the finals.
...and as expected, Dasol Kim is slaying this.
Exquisite Mendelssohn.
Hmm, I kinda wonder what's going through Hamelin's head considering he was one of the major players in bringing Kapustin's music to the public's attention.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Exquisite Mendelssohn.


Yeah, there's no comparison at this point. Let's see what he does with the Schubert.
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.
Dasol understands the best way to approach Schubert's heavenly lyricism is not to phrase it too heavily or push and pull it too much. Let it flow simply and naturally, and beauty will speak for itself.
Among all his standout qualities, at the moment I'm astounded and perplexed at his finesse with the pedal.
Must be having bandwidth issues due to more people streaming now than before. My stream keeps freezing up. Very frustrating.
"Where's everyone tuning in from?" asks Jessica from medici tv with terrible timing. Shut up and let us listen to the first movement.
There's zero emoting or sentimental lingering. This man gets it.
Absolutely lovely Schubert...shame that the piano is out of tune in the upper register, etc.
Mad props for separating the last two chords in the first movement instead of pedaling through. It is details like this that separates the finalists from the medalists.
My streaming was so bad I really could tell anything. Ok here goes the second movement.
Can't help but to think of Richter when I hear this.
Going to have to reuse the "exquisite" I used for the Mendelssohn. Complete maturity at 28.
This second movement always makes me think of Hamlet's soliloquy.
Didn't really hear the first movement, but the second is world class. Very well developed with deep understanding of the piece.
Cougher in audience should remove himself.
The piano is going more out of tune in the upper register. Too many beats between the octaves. Brendan is right.
From

The

Top

Rope
Well ladies and gentlemen, that was a master right there.

I really am speechless.
Didn't hear everything, but what I did of Dasol Kim is ready for Carnegie Hall!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
Several people say they've just fallen in love with Yutong Sun right now. laugh It was fun haha. I enjoyed that Liszt too. smile
Me too. It's nice to hear a piece I'd never imagine being programed.
Originally Posted by Albunea
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


If I rememeber correctly, the last couple of perfomances of the final take place in the (Texas) afternoon.
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Didn't Lang Lang have one of those serendipitous magical moments where he filled in for an ailing star and overnight became a sensation himself? Supposedly that's how Andre Watts' career started and a bunch of other famous names too. .
Funny you should mention Andre Watts - as that's who Lang Lang substituted for back in 1999 grin


And Andre Watts filled in for an ailing Glenn Gould in 1963 (Leonard Bernstein asked him to, he was conducting), in the Liszt #1 concerto.
Originally Posted by spins
Originally Posted by Albunea
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


If I rememeber correctly, the last couple of perfomances of the final take place in the (Texas) afternoon.



Hmm there is nothing for me to see on the 7th. Then the 8th and 9th three performances a day between 2-5 am. But on the 10th (last day in the calendar), one at 2:30am....and one at 10 pm...Hurrah! laugh That last one must be what you were remembering.
Everything from Yutong Sun is highly competent, nothing is out of whack like it was with Hsu, but he's missing that necessary dose of artistry combined with age/maturity.
Agree, this is very standard. It's solid, but he's not really bringing anything new to any of these pieces. The tone quality isn't only getting harsher and harsher as he plays, too.
Anderson and Roe are color coordinating again today.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Anderson and Roe are color coordinating again today.


I misread this, at first, as "color commentating"--which means give colorful (interesting) info to sports boadcasts in addition to play-by-play. But, they always used to say stuff like:

And for our viewers with black-and-white TV sets: the white piano keys are white, and the black piano keys are black. grin

Originally Posted by Ralph
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Ralph
Really, better than Semone Dinerstien?


Dinnerstein (who along with Yuja Wang, Valentina Lisitsa and Lang Lang) has somehow managed to have a viable career without ever participating (to the best of my knowledge) in any major piano competition.

Any thoughts on how these folks compare to this year's talent pool in the Cliburn ? smile



This begs an interesting question. Does one have to win a big competition to have a successful concert career or can it be done simple by word of mouth. I watched Lang Lang from the age of 14 at Curtis grow into the famous international concert pianist that he is today and I don't know how he did it. I literally sat 15 feet from him in Field Hall at Curtis almost every time he played for years. All of a sudden I'm paying $100 a ticket to see a guy play that I've been watching of years for free (well I did contribute to Curtis). I think when Gary Graffman is your teacher and he says book this guy, they book him. He took off like an ICBM and hasn't stopped yet. Having the Phiily orchestra on speed dial probably also helps.


Jan Lisiecki has a pretty big career and never won any important competition. His career seems to have been forged by a credulous media as much as anything else.

Khatia Buniatishvili has a huge career and won 3rd place at the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein competition, though whether those two things are related I don't know. She seems to be in the Lang Lang mold of being willing to do anything to raise her profile, any media appearance, photo shoot, etc.
How does everybody feel about the common programming tactic of feeding the audience the "cod liver oil" first, then moving to the more popular, "listenable" works?
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
How does everybody feel about the common programming tactic of feeding the audience the "cod liver oil" first, then moving to the more popular, "listenable" works?


If I were ignorant of the tactic, it wouldn't bother me at all. Throw the tough piece at me first. But knowing the tactic exists, most particularly at symphony concerts, I do find it annoying and condescending. (It seems to happen much less often in competitions like this.) It's a tactic aimed at the "uneducated" and "unsophisticated." Of course, I welcome programs that are full of difficult and ugly works, with very little that is "listenable." It's fantastic to hear stuff you've never heard before, even if you end up hating it.
My current teacher who shall remain nameless was on the roster of a very reputable agent for young artists but he could not stomach competitions. He believes they are just contests of nerves. He's someone who was described at his Lincoln Center recital when he first signed with them as "the ghost of Horowitz". He's 33 now and about to age out of his current representation. In something out of a movie, he gave a recital recently where an extremely well know classical agent just happened to show up because he was in the neighborhood. He basically signed him after the concert. All his other pianists are competition winners, or near winners. He's spectacular. I think he will probably have a successful career now although that chapter is yet to be written. But I guess it can happen. Unlike the others, who I don't particularly care for, this guy is not manufactured out of media hype or looking like a porn star at the piano (I'm sorry, I know others like her, I just can't stomach anything about her).
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
How does everybody feel about the common programming tactic of feeding the audience the "cod liver oil" first, then moving to the more popular, "listenable" works?


I like popular. laugh These are not popular enough for me.

Or, well, I prefer it when I hear something for the first time and like it very much, but it doesn't happen that often.
That Tchaikovsky-Feinberg was somehow like a 500 pound bauble.

(weight, not currency)
I don't think I've ever heard Favorin play Beethoven before. I'm nervous but excited.
Don't be, he's going to kill it.

I'd say that both of the afternoon performers are on the bubble, Sun because he couldn't maintain interest and banged and over-accented his way through his recital, and Kim because of programming choices. The Vine was well-played, but it was a mistake performing the Schumann. It quite simply doesn't go anywhere and is hard to hold the audience's interest even in the best of performances. The transcription was exciting, but he came very close to losing it at the end.

I hope that he passes through, he's proven to be a sensitive artist so far and I'd like to hear more of him. Of the performances we've heard, no one even remotely compares to Dasol Kim. I have a feeling Favorin is going to slay it tonight and Tchiadze will play respectably.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
How does everybody feel about the common programming tactic of feeding the audience the "cod liver oil" first, then moving to the more popular, "listenable" works?


If I were ignorant of the tactic, it wouldn't bother me at all. Throw the tough piece at me first. But knowing the tactic exists, most particularly at symphony concerts, I do find it annoying and condescending. (It seems to happen much less often in competitions like this.) It's a tactic aimed at the "uneducated" and "unsophisticated." Of course, I welcome programs that are full of difficult and ugly works, with very little that is "listenable." It's fantastic to hear stuff you've never heard before, even if you end up hating it.
It's perfectly reasonable to program difficult contemporary works first. Especially at symphony concerts a significant portion of the audience will leave before these works if they are at the end of or very late in the program.

I think it's arrogant to call people who don't like these kinds of pieces "uneducated" and "unsophisticated". I know professional musicians who don't care for this type of music, and it's unreasonable to expect the average concert goer to be as open to some contemporary pieces as professional musicians might be.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think it's arrogant to call people who don't like these kinds of pieces "uneducated" and "unsophisticated". I know professional musicians who don't care for this type of music, and it's unreasonable to expect the average concert goer to be as open to some contemporary pieces as professional musicians might be.


I wasn't calling people uneducated or unsophisticated, just suggesting that the tactic itself seems to do so, to condescend to people. I agree there are lots of professional musicians who don't like new/unknown/rarely programmed/tonally challenging/whatever music.
Wow. Interestingly slow tempo.
Yeah I didn't want to troll, but I am thinking "Umm this is slow..."
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Wow. Interestingly slow tempo.


Yep. I was wondering how the Hammerklavier and the Shostakovich were going to fill up one hour, and now I know....
This is bad Beethoven so far. Lacks integrity and harmonic tension.
It got better as it went, but yes that was on the slow side.
This is a big surprise for me. I expected to be blown away. Instead I'm dosing off trying to keep my eyelids open.
Originally Posted by Ralph
This is a big surprise for me. I expected to be blown away. Instead I'm dosing off trying to keep my eyelids open.



Was just going to say. What a snooze worthy slow movement. It's too colorful and pretty. The structural integrity isn't there, neither is the harmonic tension.
This is going to knock him out of the running. Sorry to see him go, but I don't see him getting past this.
Odd...Why aren't competitors playing to their strengths? I haven't gotten to
listen to all the recitals, but according to all of you it seems like a lot of competitors haven't chosen the best programs for themselves. Why!?
Things haven't been going well since the flubbed opening LH leap. So bizarre. I swear he was special in the prelims and quarterfinal.
Those leaps are treacherous. I tuned in a little late so I didn't see the very beginning.
They are treacherous. He played them with LH like he's supposed to, but they were too slow. The very first one was flubbed as he hit at least one extra note in the Bb triad.
I think he tried to conserve early on for the fugue, but I didn't think a good fugue can make up for the rest.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
They are treacherous. He played them with LH like he's supposed to, but they were too slow. The very first one was flubbed as he hit at least one extra note in the Bb triad.


Wow, a bad start for sure. That can definitely throw you off for the rest of the piece.
Wow. No back weight or even full arm weight on the final cadence. This had been a very weak Hammerklavier. Especially weird coming from a heavy weight Russian virtuoso.
2 seconds into the Shostakovich and I'm like "HERE'S the Favorin we know and love!"
SMH, had to have been the rep.
Originally Posted by Brendan
2 seconds into the Shostakovich and I'm like "HERE'S the Favorin we know and love!"


Yes....maybe Beethoven isn't quite his wheelhouse, although I didn't hear the same problems other people did, once I had recovered from that initial tempo.
Wow the Shostakovich!
I guess we'll find out if Mozart is in his wheelhouse on June 4 ! At any rate I still totally dig him and really hope the Beethoven doesn't knock him out. I will be heartbroken if I don't get to hear him in the Prok. #2.
Why isn't the Cliburn Hamburg Steinway getting any love? At least the NY was used like what, 4 times?
Yea but if you come to play the HC you better play the heck out of it. I don't think he can recover even with a good Shostakovich.
Wow! Where was that with the Beethoven!
Interesting that we've heard a fair amount of Schumann but no Fantasie Op. 17. (Khozyainov would have played it in the semifinal.) Cheung will play Kreisleriana.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Interesting that we've heard a fair amount of Schumann but no Fantasie Op. 17. (Khozyainov would have played it in the semifinal.) Cheung will play Kreisleriana.


And no Études Symphoniques, one of my favorite works of his! Also a competition warhorse.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Interesting that we've heard a fair amount of Schumann but no Fantasie Op. 17. (Khozyainov would have played it in the semifinal.) Cheung will play Kreisleriana.
I'm a bit surprised to hear the Opus 82 being performed in this competition. Tchaidze is playing beautifully, but this is basically intermediate level repertoire.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Interesting that we've heard a fair amount of Schumann but no Fantasie Op. 17. (Khozyainov would have played it in the semifinal.) Cheung will play Kreisleriana.


And no Études Symphoniques, one of my favorite works of his! Also a competition warhorse.
That was over-programmed, if I recall correctly, in the 2013 competition. grin
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Interesting that we've heard a fair amount of Schumann but no Fantasie Op. 17. (Khozyainov would have played it in the semifinal.) Cheung will play Kreisleriana.
I'm a bit surprised to hear the Opus 82 being performed in this competition. Tchaidze is playing beautifully, but this is basically intermediate level repertoire.


I think it's a warhorse of his.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Interesting that we've heard a fair amount of Schumann but no Fantasie Op. 17. (Khozyainov would have played it in the semifinal.) Cheung will play Kreisleriana.
I'm a bit surprised to hear the Opus 82 being performed in this competition. Tchaidze is playing beautifully, but this is basically intermediate level repertoire.
I think it's a warhorse of his.
A safe warhorse. Perhaps it's worked for him in the past....... smile
Tchaidze is so very refined. Is this Pictures a bit too pretty?
Some thoughts:

In 2005, I remember that Maria Mazo missed most if not all of the opening chords and took similar tempo to tonight's performance (IIRC, the fugue was slower, too). Most people thought it was borderline, but she still passed to the semis.

Different competition and jury: even if Favorin nails his Mozart (and I hope he will), I'm not sure if it will be enough to get him into the finals. The Beethoven basically was his program, and it could have been a lot better. A lot will depend on how the others will do. No one really stood out today (Tchaidze is very laid back as of now).

Long story short: it will probably be D. Kim and Sunwoo battling it out for the top spot. Today's performances really set up the other six to shine.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Tchaidze is so very refined. Is this Pictures a bit too pretty?


It's a very unique reading for sure (especially with the articulation and caesuras). I like it better than Sun's by far, at least.
I've been trying for days to figure out who Tchaidze reminds me of, and it is Colin Firth (as someone just said in the liveblog).
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I've been trying for days to figure out who Tchaidze reminds me of, and it is Colin Firth (as someone just said in the liveblog).

Colin Firth the pianist ?? crazy

(I'm loving this performance !!)
This is probably the best Pictures of the bunch. So far, the clear finalists are D. Kim and Tchaidze.

Edit: loved how he brought out that middle voice E-flat bell tone. Never heard anyone do that before.
Yeah, that was great. I'm happy for him.
Originally Posted by Brendan
This is probably the best Pictures of the bunch. So far, the clear finalists are D. Kim and Tchaidze.

Edit: loved how he brought out that middle voice E-flat bell tone. Never heard anyone do that before.



I was just going to point out how that E-flat was too harsh. In general I liked Sun's performance of this better. Let's see how Yang does tomorrow.
Hahaha, different strokes. Given how lightly he played most of the other movements, I was actually kind of taken by how he ignored the dynamics and played the entire last movement fff. Seemed appropriately climatic. Sun for me was harsh from start to finish and didn't have as wide of a range of sound.
So some of the contestants will be playing their Mozart concertos before their semifinal recitals, it looks like? That's weird. And they've scheduled each Mozart concerto precisely 1/2 hour apart, that is not really going to work, fellas!
Interesting. I was only able to catch Tchaidze's performance today but I thought he sounded pretty rough. I do appreciate the fresh perspective toward the Pictures and think it was definitely more interesting than Hsu's rendition. Didn't care for his Schumann, timing all over the place.
Yeah, the other selections weren't as memorable. I honestly wish people would stop playing Schumann in competitions, it's simply not a good idea. For concerts, yes (or maybe...), but definitely not in this situation.
Originally Posted by vers la flan
Interesting. I was only able to catch Tchaidze's performance today but I thought he sounded pretty rough. I do appreciate the fresh perspective toward the Pictures and think it was definitely more interesting than Hsu's rendition. Didn't care for his Schumann, timing all over the place.


That was my impression as well. I thought Tchaidze was more mature than Hsu but "messier" than Sun by a long shot. His textures aren't always transparent as he sometimes just accumulates too much sound. Sun on the other hand is very clear and crisp, even in the Gate of Kiev. The difference is extremely clear in the ways they handled the final E-flat bass tremolos.
Thought Tchaidze's Pictures was the strongest so far. The build up to Great Gate was most impressive. Enjoyed his Waldscenen as well.
And Honggi Kim impressed with his reading of "Kreisleriana" I liked how he brought out inner voices and counterpoint and canon in some of the "Eusebius" sections. Nice contrast to start off with the Vine Sonata. And to finish with the pyrotechnics of the Tchaikovsky transcription, very bold!
These two were the winners in my book today.
Originally Posted by Brendan
I honestly wish people would stop playing Schumann in competitions, it's simply not a good idea. For concerts, yes (or maybe...), but definitely not in this situation.


I'm in the same camp, but have even stronger feelings. Most of Schumann's solo piano works goes in one ear and right out the other for me. I'll get flamed, but his music doesn't do anything for me. His concerto and chamber music is a different story, but if I never hear another solo piano composition by him I'll be just fine as long as I still have Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, etc.
I was in the audience for today's concerts. I have to disagree that Favorin's Beethoven was as bad as some of you said. Yes, he hit a couple of clinkers in the beginning, and yes tempos were a bit slow, but I thought the Adagio was exquisite (Michael Korstick's 28 minute version is far slower!), and the Fugue had tremendous drive. I think we can all agree that the Shostakovich was mind-blowing. I hope he makes it to the finals. Tchaidze's Pictures was a little brisk at times, but he delivered the goods. Not sure I want to sit through another Pictures on Saturday! (Sun's was clean but a little workman-like to my ears.)
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
They are treacherous. He played them with LH like he's supposed to, but they were too slow. The very first one was flubbed as he hit at least one extra note in the Bb triad.


Actually, in about 99.9 percent of all live performances I've heard of this piece, the pianist trips up in those opening chords.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Yeah, the other selections weren't as memorable. I honestly wish people would stop playing Schumann in competitions, it's simply not a good idea. For concerts, yes (or maybe...), but definitely not in this situation.
Can you elaborate more about why you feel this way?
Originally Posted by MikeN

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 wasn't thinking he'd learned it for that reason, but that he may have chosen to program it at this competition for that reason.

Quote

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?


Oh, I would think Hamelin does see it that way, at least a bit. Who wouldn't? But, if it were me, I'd be thinking "How was I to know the kids would be picking up on this pseudo-jazz novelty music that has classical pretensions? Maybe I owe the musical world an apology."
Originally Posted by spins
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
They are treacherous. He played them with LH like he's supposed to, but they were too slow. The very first one was flubbed as he hit at least one extra note in the Bb triad.
Actually, in about 99.9 percent of all live performances I've heard of this piece, the pianist trips up in those opening chords.
Just curious - has anyone participating in this discussion actually performed this formidable work themselves?
Originally Posted by Ralph


I'm in the same camp, but have even stronger feelings. Most of Schumann's solo piano works goes in one ear and right out the other for me. I'll get flamed, but his music doesn't do anything for me. His concerto and chamber music is a different story,



Glad to see I'm not the only one. I have tried to like it but you described it best: in one ear and out the other. It's just not memorable (to me).
That makes three of us! I can stand the Fantasy because there's an actually payoff, but everything else is utter garbage to me (particularly Kriesleriana and Davidsbundler).
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by Ralph


I'm in the same camp, but have even stronger feelings. Most of Schumann's solo piano works goes in one ear and right out the other for me. I'll get flamed, but his music doesn't do anything for me. His concerto and chamber music is a different story,



Glad to see I'm not the only one. I have tried to like it but you described it best: in one ear and out the other. It's just not memorable (to me).


So Schumann's Opus 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15,16, 17, 18, 21, 26 and numerous shorter works aren't memorable? smile These works have always appealed to me. Love them. Schumann composed his share of clunkers (we heard a major one recently at the Cliburn) - but the same could be said of other great keyboard composers. The best of his music has certainly withstood the test of time - and will continue to do so.
Originally Posted by Brendan
That makes three of us! I can stand the Fantasy because there's an actually payoff, but everything else is utter garbage to me (particularly Kriesleriana and Davidsbundler).
Apparently one man's garbage is another man's treasure. grin
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by Ralph


I'm in the same camp, but have even stronger feelings. Most of Schumann's solo piano works goes in one ear and right out the other for me. I'll get flamed, but his music doesn't do anything for me. His concerto and chamber music is a different story,



Glad to see I'm not the only one. I have tried to like it but you described it best: in one ear and out the other. It's just not memorable (to me).


So Schumann's Opus 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15,16, 17, 18, 21, 26 and numerous shorter works aren't memorable? smile These works have always appealed to me. Love them. Schumann composed his share of clunkers (we heard a major one recently at the Cliburn) - but the same could be said of other great keyboard composers. The best of his music has certainly withstood the test of time - and will continue to do so.
I completely agree. Even his Sonata No. 1 is excellent IMO. I can still remember how excited I was when I first heard it live in a performance by Anton Kuerti at Miller Theater at Columbia. I think most of Schumann's major works have always been regularly performed in recitals.
I like some Schumann a lot, though probably I've heard more of the short pieces. I discovered now there is one piece that I don't like much. laugh

In this competition, some composers I remember having enjoyed very much are Ravel, Rachmaninov, Liszt, and Kasputin? Was it Kapustin what Tristan played? There must be more I am forgetting...
I've been trying to follow as much of the competition as possible this last week, and wanted to join this thread!

I am probably a fanboy, but I did enjoy Hamelin's Toccata quite a bit, even if it's not his strongest piece--but I ordered it and got the sheet music yesterday. It's so much fun to read through, and very comfortable for the hands. Of course, now that I have the score I'm curious to re-listen to the prelims and see what I can glean from the different interpretations. It's striking how different it sounded in each competitor's hands.

I'm also a Schumann fanboy, but while I love Kreisleriana and Davisbundlertanze, I can agree that it is probably not ideal competition repertoire. Arguably better to stick to things like the Fantasy and Etudes Symphonique (or maybe Carnaval), unless you're absolutely confident that your Schumann interpretations will wow the judges.
Well. Just program Schumann first (like other "unpalatable" stuff). Problem solved! ha

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
How does everybody feel about the common programming tactic of feeding the audience the "cod liver oil" first, then moving to the more popular, "listenable" works?


If I were ignorant of the tactic, it wouldn't bother me at all. Throw the tough piece at me first. But knowing the tactic exists, most particularly at symphony concerts, I do find it annoying and condescending. (It seems to happen much less often in competitions like this.) It's a tactic aimed at the "uneducated" and "unsophisticated." Of course, I welcome programs that are full of difficult and ugly works, with very little that is "listenable." It's fantastic to hear stuff you've never heard before, even if you end up hating it.
It's perfectly reasonable to program difficult contemporary works first. Especially at symphony concerts a significant portion of the audience will leave before these works if they are at the end of or very late in the program.

I think it's arrogant to call people who don't like these kinds of pieces "uneducated" and "unsophisticated". I know professional musicians who don't care for this type of music, and it's unreasonable to expect the average concert goer to be as open to some contemporary pieces as professional musicians might be.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by Ralph
I'm in the same camp, but have even stronger feelings. Most of Schumann's solo piano works goes in one ear and right out the other for me. I'll get flamed, but his music doesn't do anything for me. His concerto and chamber music is a different story,
Glad to see I'm not the only one. I have tried to like it but you described it best: in one ear and out the other. It's just not memorable (to me).
So Schumann's Opus 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15,16, 17, 18, 21, 26 and numerous shorter works aren't memorable? smile These works have always appealed to me. Love them. Schumann composed his share of clunkers (we heard a major one recently at the Cliburn) - but the same could be said of other great keyboard composers. The best of his music has certainly withstood the test of time - and will continue to do so.
I completely agree. Even his Sonata No. 1 is excellent IMO. I can still remember how excited I was when I first heard it live in a performance by Anton Kuerti at Miller Theater at Columbia. I think most of Schumann's major works have always been regularly performed in recitals.
Shame on me for calling the Schumann Sonata No. 1 a "clunker." Granted, it is a difficult piece to grasp upon first hearing ....and then there's the issue of the interpretation itself. But I just spent 30 minutes following the score and listening to an amazing rendition of the sonata by Murray Perahia -- a completely different experience which has only increased my understanding and appreciation of Schumann as a composer. I now want to familiarize myself with the other two sonatas.
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by coaster
Originally Posted by Ralph
I'm in the same camp, but have even stronger feelings. Most of Schumann's solo piano works goes in one ear and right out the other for me. I'll get flamed, but his music doesn't do anything for me. His concerto and chamber music is a different story,
Glad to see I'm not the only one. I have tried to like it but you described it best: in one ear and out the other. It's just not memorable (to me).
So Schumann's Opus 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15,16, 17, 18, 21, 26 and numerous shorter works aren't memorable? smile These works have always appealed to me. Love them. Schumann composed his share of clunkers (we heard a major one recently at the Cliburn) - but the same could be said of other great keyboard composers. The best of his music has certainly withstood the test of time - and will continue to do so.
I completely agree. Even his Sonata No. 1 is excellent IMO. I can still remember how excited I was when I first heard it live in a performance by Anton Kuerti at Miller Theater at Columbia. I think most of Schumann's major works have always been regularly performed in recitals.
Shame on me for calling the Schumann Sonata No. 1 a "clunker." Granted, it is a difficult piece to grasp upon first hearing ....and then there's the issue of the interpretation itself. But I just spent 30 minutes following the score and listening to an amazing rendition of the sonata by Murray Perahia -- a completely different experience which has only increased my understanding and appreciation of Schumann as a composer. I now want to familiarize myself with the other two sonatas.





You don't have to try to convince me which Schumann pieces are great repertoire. I'm not saying any of it's bad. It just doesn't appeal to me (or Brendan or Ralph.) We don't have to love everything out there.
Originally Posted by coaster
You don't have to try to convince me which Schumann pieces are great repertoire. I'm not saying any of it's bad. It just doesn't appeal to me (or Brendan or Ralph.) We don't have to love everything out there.
Of course not !! But there is a difference between saying something doesn't appeal to you and saying something is garbage. If it doesn't speak to you, that's fine. However, I'm curious, how much Schumann have you played...not that it makes any difference one way or the other, but in my case, much of my appreciation for Schumann relates to my personal experience playing his music....and I can only wish that I had the technical chops to master more of it.
I'm glad to see I'm in such good and respectable company. I always felt out of place when people would talk up Schumann and I would just say to myself what on earth are they hearing that I'm not. So I try and try again and end up in the same place; I just don't like his music. I'd hear people in the audience get excited because they were about to hear Kriesleriana and would say to myself, time for a snooze.
I've always wondered how that composer wrote that concerto (one of the mos perfect) and with Chopin I've wondered the same thing but for the opposite reason.
Originally Posted by Ralph
I'm glad to see I'm in such good and respectable company. I always felt out of place when people would talk up Schumann and I would just say to myself what on earth are they hearing that I'm not. So I try and try again and end up in the same place; I just don't like his music. I'd hear people in the audience get excited because they were about to hear Kriesleriana and would say to myself, time for a snooze.
Funny - I have the same reaction to ANYTHING composed by Shostakovich !! grin
I wasn't fond of Schumann until my last teacher gave me Arabeske to play, to 'beautify' my tone wink (because he thought the Chopin Etudes and Polonaises I was practicing were making my playing too aggressive....), followed swiftly by Carnaval and then Kreisleriana. By then I was more than convinced, and went on to learn the C major Fantasy by myself.

But I'm still not convinced by his sonatas, nor by his symphonies (but then I haven't played any of them........).
Interesting review of Favorin's recital:

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts/cla...wess-friday-night-vancliburn-competition

Cantrell has the reputation of being a hard critic, so maybe there's hope still.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Interesting review of Favorin's recital:

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts/cla...wess-friday-night-vancliburn-competition

Cantrell has the reputation of being a hard critic, so maybe there's hope still.


"Editor's note: Scott Cantrell, former classical music critic of The Dallas Morning News, has also written for The New York Times and numerous music magazines."

So Cantrell is no longer the official classical music critic for the Dallas Morning News?? Who has replaced him ??

Edit: Never mind - I now see that Cantrell is covering the same beat as a free lancer. The DMN eliminated the full time critic position two years ago. Sad - because they had a full time music critic for more than 50 years.


Why is "Pictures at an Exhibition" famous? At least the title is famous...
What is Greg Anderson WEARING??
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Brendan
Interesting review of Favorin's recital:

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts/cla...wess-friday-night-vancliburn-competition

Cantrell has the reputation of being a hard critic, so maybe there's hope still.


"Editor's note: Scott Cantrell, former classical music critic of The Dallas Morning News, has also written for The New York Times and numerous music magazines."

So Cantrell is no longer the official classical music critic for the Dallas Morning News?? Who has replaced him ??




I don't think anybody? I think he's just one of the casualties of reduced overall coverage of the arts across America.
I think he retired and they didn't renew the position.
I thought I didn't feel like listening to Scarlatti right now laugh but I'm liking it. smile
Originally Posted by Brendan
Interesting review of Favorin's recital:

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts/cla...wess-friday-night-vancliburn-competition

Cantrell has the reputation of being a hard critic, so maybe there's hope still.


How are you reading that? It's behind a paywall for me, even after Ad Blocker turned off.
Yeah, he's really into this. It seems he's not too nervous anymore and is able to relax into his performance, this is much better than the prelims and quarters.

Edit: this piano is starting to sound pretty gnarly in the upper register. Hopefully they can voice it soon.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Brendan
Interesting review of Favorin's recital:

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts/cla...wess-friday-night-vancliburn-competition

Cantrell has the reputation of being a hard critic, so maybe there's hope still.


How are you reading that? It's behind a paywall for me, even after Ad Blocker turned off.


Really? It opens up with no problems here. In any case, it's a (relatively) good review of his Beethoven.
His Chopin is murky. I wouldn't suspect he was a finalist in the biggest Chopin comp. if I didn't already know.
I'm starting to really wonder about this piano, it doesn't seem like it's holding up to the strain of everyone playing it. Hopefully they can get a tech in there soon. It didn't seem to do any favors to Yang in the last movement of the Chopin (not his fault).
Originally Posted by Brendan
I'm starting to really wonder about this piano, it doesn't seem like it's holding up to the strain of everyone playing it. Hopefully they can get a tech in there soon. It didn't seem to do any favors to Yang in the last movement of the Chopin (not his fault).
Something was definitely lacking.
It seems like a pretty high percentage of the pianists in the VCC don't play with the more classic back mostly straight posture. Many play like Trifonov with their face close to the keys and hunched over the keyboard which was probably quite rare 50 years ago.
http://www.theaterjones.com/ntx/fif...525171934/2017-05-25/Our-Cliburn-Reviews

More reviews. Of every recital.
I think there is a big difference in experiencing the concerts live vs watching them remotely. Favorin's performance seems like it came off much better live than we felt it did while watching a live stream.
Beethoven op 109, such a tough sonata to get started.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Beethoven op 109, such a tough sonata to get started.


Really? I love the opening and first movement. Do you mean for the performer, or the listener? I find op. 110 beginning sort of more tough to listen to.
Originally Posted by Ralph
I think there is a big difference in experiencing the concerts live vs watching them remotely. Favorin's performance seems like it came off much better live than we felt it did while watching a live stream.


Seems that way. This is how the Theater Jones critic critiqued Favorin's recital:

"Yury Favorin began his program with one of the most difficult pieces in the repertoire: Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” sonata. In addition to its awesome technical demands, it is also the first example of very long sonata, clocking in at 50 minutes or so of strenuous playing. Just by programming it, Favorin made a statement that he can play anything.

His opening chords were more stately than loud. It was an early example of his careful attention to Beethoven’s dynamic layering. The entire sonata uses a descending third as a motto, and Favorin brought this out in the opening chords. The first movement has three significant themes and moves through different keys, some distant from the home key. Once again, Favorin brought this out with subtle accents when the key changed.

The second movement went by in a flash. He set a quick tempo that was bright and cheery. His used his forearm for the staccato attacks, launching them from above the keyboard: effective but dangerous, as there is a risk of hitting a wrong key.

The slow movement is quite long; at 20 minutes, it’s just under half of the total length of the entire piece. Nothing bright and cheery here. It is downright morose. Favorin took it very slow—at times it felt glacial—which made it hard to follow the line, but he brought out the depth of its misery. The true test of a pianist’s ability is the big fugue in the last movement. It is in three voices, and the difficulty is bringing them all out. Favorin made this happen and his rendition was transparent enough so we heard all the complex counterpoint. It was a remarkable performance.

He followed the Beethoven with another famously difficult work, Shostakovich’s Sonata No. 1, op. 12. It is the most dissonant of his early works, some of it atonal. It is in one movement, but it is constantly changing tempo and pacing. Favorin accented its restless nature, even the slow part kept up the restless nature of the entire piece.

This recital was amazing, with two technical monsters that were successfully played."
More here:

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/special-reports/van-cliburn/

This seems to be more in line with our perception of the performance.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Beethoven op 109, such a tough sonata to get started.


Really? I love the opening and first movement. Do you mean for the performer, or the listener? I find op. 110 beginning sort of more tough to listen to.



No, I mean for the player. I absolutely love everything about this sonata, but there are unknown pit falls all over the place that the listener who does not play the sonata may not be aware of. One of those pit falls for the player is at the very beginning. The balance, tempo voicing, all need to be right there from the very first note without the player getting a running start at it.
[).[/quote] Apparently one man's garbage is another man's treasure. grin
[/quote]
Agree, Carey! This haterade for Schumann's piano music is surprising, given his place in the piano literature. Yet understandable as his bipolar personality is reflected in his writing which can cause a disturbing reaction to listeners. So they didn't have the meds back then to control his psychosis. His avenue of solace was to create music of such a personal nature that it is difficult for some to stomach. "Kreisleriana" in particular is manic depressive music, with a ghostly ending inspired by the character of Kreisler from the writings of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Schumann considered it one of his best piano works. It may not appeal to the audience as the literary aspirations may be too intellectual for them, but the jury is pretty sophisticated to begin with. After all, competitors are playing for the jury in the end, and that is all that matters.
Well I thought Sunwoo's 109 was beautiful.
I wonder if Hamelin has recorded this Strauss-Grainger.
Love the interesting piano transcriptions that we're hearing. First the arrangement of the Tchaikovsky third movement from the "Pathetique" Symphony, now Grainger's arrangement from the last trio of Strauss's "Der Rosenkavlier". All in the same vein as Liszt's piano transcriptions of operatic passages. Good job by SunWoo.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Well I thought Sunwoo's 109 was beautiful.


Yes. As is his Prokofiev.
Someone in the audience is sniffing extremely loudly.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Well I thought Sunwoo's 109 was beautiful.


Yes. As is his Prokofiev.


That's kind of the problem with it for me. laugh

It's a very good recital, overall.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Well I thought Sunwoo's 109 was beautiful.


Yes. As is his Prokofiev.


That's kind of the problem with it for me. laugh


Favorin would give a very different interpretation of this. The only Prokofiev we heard from him thus far is Etudes op. 2 which were absolutely mesmerizing.
War sonata 6 seems to be warming up. Not all music is meant to be pretty.
I'm not a Prok expert and I don't play any of his sonatas, but I thought Sunwoo's #6 worked well.
It was an excellent recital, but I still give the overall edge to Dasol in terms of style and delivery. It felt like he was holding back in the Prokofiev. I kept hoping that he would unleash in the finale, but it was still a little too beautiful, IMO.

Clear finalists so far: Dasol, Tchaidze, and Sunwoo.
Originally Posted by Brendan
It was an excellent recital, but I still give the overall edge to Dasol in terms of style and delivery. It felt like he was holding back in the Prokofiev. I kept hoping that he would unleash in the finale, but it was still a little too beautiful, IMO.

Clear finalists so far: Dasol, Tchaidze, and Sunwoo.


Agree. A sports metaphor: it seemed like he was playing it safe with his delivery in this recital, the way a sports team with a lead plays to hold on to the lead, not to lose, rather than busting out and taking risks. It's the kind of thing you don't see Favorin doing.

Sunwoo still plays excellently when he's playing it safe of course.
I agree with that, but I put Tacaidze just a hair below Dasol and Sunwoo. Let's see what happens with the Mozart. Could be interesting.
Trying to catch up. Right now listening to Sunwoo. The Strauss/Grainger transcription was ravishing.
Ahhhh...Mozart, my ears needed the rest.
Absolutely lovely so far! The orchestra sounds great under McGegan, too.
Hmm, seems like minimalist Mozart thus far. Not unenjoyable though.
Ya it sounds great.

Check out the live tweets in the VC live feed. There's one about how Mozarts wife used to role up her hair in his music, but she misspelled "sheets". It's a must read! blush
Is that the Beethoven cadenza?
Yes sir. Which McGegan told Anderson & Roe he loathed during an intermission interview.
Reminds me very much of Uchida's recording. It depends on how you like this piece - sturm und drang, or refinement? He's definitely going for the latter. Either way is fine as long as it's convincing.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Ya it sounds great.

Check out the live tweets in the VC live feed. There's one about how Mozarts wife used to role up her hair in his music, but she misspelled "sheets". It's a must read! blush


I thought that was Haydn's wife. Supposedly some of the music she used as hair rollers hadn't been published yet, so there are missing Haydn scores.
The trumpets are using side winders. For non trumpet players, those are B flat rotary trumpets instead of the typical piston type trumpets you see in American orchestras. Interesting choice and I like it.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Ya it sounds great.

Check out the live tweets in the VC live feed. There's one about how Mozarts wife used to role up her hair in his music, but she misspelled "sheets". It's a must read! blush


I thought that was Haydn's wife. Supposedly some of the music she used as hair rollers hadn't been published yet, so there are missing Haydn scores.


The one who wsa using shits of Mozart' music to role her hair :-)) ? Or is it a legend... ha crazy
Second movement could use more ornaments but is otherwise lovely.
Didn't McGeghan say in his interview with A&R that he hated the Beethoven cadenza?
The orchestra is too loud I think. Maybe it's the mics, but his dynamics are over shadowed.
Some out of sync moments in both movements. Will that count against him? They have such a tiny amount of rehearsal time it's going to be almost unavoidable for many competitors, I suspect.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Didn't McGeghan say in his interview with A&R that he hated the Beethoven cadenza?



Yup he did. Too late for Pierdomenico. Well, McGegan isn't on the jury anyway.
Lovely Mozart. Orchestra sounds wonderful!
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Didn't McGeghan say in his interview with A&R that he hated the Beethoven cadenza?



Stylistically the Beethoven cadenza and the concerto do not fit together. Maybe that's the source of his dislike. I find it an odd combination as well.
He's playing the third movement very nicely. I think the tension finally broke and now he's taking more Liberty with the dynamics. Seemed to me he was playing a very safe Mozart, but I like the third movement the best.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Didn't McGeghan say in his interview with A&R that he hated the Beethoven cadenza?



Stylistically the Beethoven cadenza and the concerto do not fit together. Maybe that's the source of his dislike. I find it an odd combination as well.


I'm sure it is the source of his dislike, since he seems to be a historical performance guy. Mozart's own cadenzas never modulate, and that's the way McGeghan likes it...and he likes it when people improvise their cadenzas...but we're in the real world....

I love to hear a weird new cadenza, personally. Anything to enliven a work I've heard many, many times.
Um...at least sync that final cadence!
Hurry hurry fellas, the next concerto is supposed to start promptly at 8:00!
Lovely! However I feel that those who have already played solo recitals are at an extreme advantage. If Kim or Hsu advance, they already have many more days of prep before the final round.

Excited for Broberg.
Wonderful Mozart playing by Leonardo Pierdomenico! Classically structured, not proto Romantic. An elegance reminiscent of his compatriot Maurizio Pollini.
Overall a very solid performance, but kind of middle of the road. The real success was the orchestra which sounds very good. Love the way the brass blends so well with the rest of the band. Different than we are used to here in USA.
Very confident Mozart from Broberg! Extremely different sound.
McGeghan must have loved that cadenza..... eek
Broberg is hitting it out of the park. Great Mozart sound!
This is too muscular for me. The fact that the 5-6th octaves are starting to show strain isn't helping.
Broberg strong in first movement of No. 25, a very showy concerto. Love his cadenza, adds a reference to "La Marseillaise" towards the end. Can see one of the 1st violin string players laughing in the background. Lovely playing in the 2nd movement. Glad he added some ornamentation to the leaps towards the recap.
Originally Posted by BeeZee4
Broberg strong in first movement of No. 25, a very showy concerto. Love his cadenza, adds a reference to "La Marseillaise towards the end. Can see one of the 1st violin string players laughing in the background. Lovely playing in the 2nd movement. Glad he added some ornamentation to the leaps towards the recap.
I also loved the reference to "La Marseillaise" in the cadenza - and I find Broberg's overall approach to the concerto quite appealing. (And yes - the orchestra seems too loud.)

La Marseillaise is a bit of an anachronism since it was composed a few months after Mozart's death.... ha

Top notch performance !!!!
Marvelous Mozart playing by Leonardo and Broberg so far! Can't wait for their individual recitals, hope they make the next round. Tricky coordination with woodwinds and Kenneth in the third movement, but he did quite splendidly.
Anderson seems a little jumpy in that tee shirt.
Originally Posted by Ralph
Anderson seems a little jumpy in that tee shirt.


It's awful!
Again, I thought that the first contestant set up the second for success (as has been the case in more or less every semis recital). Pierdomenico was beautiful, but nondescript. Broberg was supremely confident, aside from occasional ensemble issues. It'll be interesting to see if Hsu and Kim can wrap it up or not.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Anderson seems a little jumpy in that tee shirt.


It's awful!


And Liz is wearing the Sydney Opera House. 😜
Originally Posted by Brendan
Again, I thought that the first contestant set up the second for success (as has been the case in more or less every semis recital). Pierdomenico was beautiful, but nondescript. Broberg was supremely confident, aside from occasional ensemble issues. It'll be interesting to see if Hsu and Kim can wrap it up or not.



This is getting boring, but I agree 100%. Piedromenico rendition was as I said middle of the road. Broberg was better. His playing most of the time was down right lovely.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Anderson seems a little jumpy in that tee shirt.


It's awful!


And Liz is wearing the Sydney Opera House. 😜


Too bad, because the dress below it is very pretty.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by Ralph
Anderson seems a little jumpy in that tee shirt.


It's awful!


And Liz is wearing the Sydney Opera House. 😜



Ha! Hope she doesn't have to bend over.
Oh dear....for Greg the highlight of Hsu's entire run here was those four Schubert impromptus! Tsk, tsk, Greg.
Neither performance so far tonight has either thrilled me or sent me into dreamy reveries.
Aaaaaand we're rushing.....
Originally Posted by Brendan
Aaaaaand we're rushing.....



By a lot. Very noticeable!
And this is why Mozart is just as difficult as anything more technically challenging.....
This has been one if his issues all competition, has it not?
No hiding when playing Mozart, as Daniel Hsu has demonstrated. Runs not as clean as Pierdomenico or Broberg and some sticky passages that he was not able to negotiate clearly. Slight memory slips that glaringly stand out. Great orchestra backup though. Really nice cadenza though, clearly in the spirit of Mozart.

Third movement much better, seems to have settled in, clean crisp runs, very sprightly. Still, not as strong showing as Broberg or Leanardo.
He keeps speeding up during the fast passages and comes back to normal when things slow down. For me that's a sign of nerves.
Slightly silly cadenza, IMO. Kholodenko's fugue was cooler.
Originally Posted by Ralph
He keeps speeding up during the fast passages and comes back to normal when things slow down. For me that's a sign of nerves.



And relative inexperience, I suppose, given his age. It's very hard to believe that Rafal Blechacz was only 20, and has never played with an orchestra in his life before the final of the 2005 Chopin Competition.
Beautiful second movement only to go back to rushing in the third. Very aggravating.
Three curtain calls?
Much better balance vs. Pierdomenico. Very much in control and leading rather than following. Go Dasol!
Kim's pianistic wizardry is only more pronounced in the Mozart.
Aaahhh. Finally with Dasol I feel like we're in the zone.
OK, at this point I think it's clear that he's on a different level than Pierdomenico all together.
Passionate but classical; love it.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
OK, at this point I think it's clear that he's on a different level than Pierdomenico all together.


I though that was obvious from the first round. *shurgs*

I always thought Pierdomenico a bit of an underdog. Lesser pianistically, but an astounding musician who created unusually captivating sounds at the instrument. A pleasant surprise to see him play well and advance, but maybe rather unlikely to win against the freak pianism of the South Koreans.
Honestly he is making me feel utter bliss.
Guys and gals don't forget to vote for him on cliburn2017.medici.tv! Let's make him win the Audience Award in addition to...the gold medal.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Honestly he is making me feel utter bliss.

Sheer perfection !!!!!!!
Yeah, we're done. Wrap it up.
Man these brass players sound great.
Dasol Kim hit it out of the ballpark. HIs Mozart was sublime, on point, lyrical and dramatic. Great ensemble, a mature confident musician. A proto romantic approach, which meshed well with the Beethoven cadenza. Pierdomenico had a more classically restrained approach. Broberg was exciting. Hsu had his moments but overall not as convincing, and his slips were more egregious in comparison with the others.
Hard to believe we're only 1/3 of the way through the Mozart concertos.
So there's the difference Mozart can make. True musicianship and pianism shines when played correctly, however that's done I do not know. It's a mystery but you can hear who is good vs who is great with Mozart more than just about any other composer save Beethoven.
Originally Posted by Ralph
So there's the difference Mozart can make. True musicianship and pianism shines when played correctly, however that's done I do not know. It's a mystery but you can hear who is good vs who is great with Mozart more than just about any other composer save Beethoven.

More so. smile
I finally got a chance to listen to Tchaidze's reimagining of Pictures and found it fascinating. He had clearly thought about each picture as a scene, and did great work conveying them musically. The gnome was impish and clumsy. The two Jews came close to blows in the street. Time came close to stopping when he walked past the skulls in the catacombs. And the bells rang out at the Gate of Kiev.

At times he ignored Mussorgsky's own markings to do this (e.g. the forte opening to Bydlo, the decidedly not "non tropo" Andante in the catacombs, the frequent pauses in phrases). But it worked for me.
Han Chen is among my favorite. I like his style. smile
I enjoyed the Bach Busoni, but the Scriabin has too much sound for too long for my tastes.
Fast starting tempo on the 4th movement of the Wanderer - hope he can sustain it throughout !!

Edit: Did fine - except for one little flub. smile
A very solid recital from Han Chen. It wouldn't surprise me if he advances.
Anderson looks like he dressed in the dark this morning.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Anderson looks like he dressed in the dark this morning.


laugh laugh laugh That's why he's wearing a glow in the dark shirt.
I believe this is the best Schumann so far.
Very good performance by Rachel.
Why do they still announce someone as "hailing" from Hong Kong when HK is part of China?

Ok nevermind. It's an "autonomous territory."
I've never heard this Prokofiev sonata before - I'm guessing it's not performed that often. She's certainly doing a beautiful job with it.
Its a very different place. Different currency, different visa requirements, even (i think) different passports.
Her "Kreisleriana" was decent enough, but a few missteps here and there. The furious d minor section was a bit muddy in places. But heartfelt emotion in the "Eusebius" sections, very drawn out. Miss some of the counterpoint and canon inner voices that Schumann wrote in. Honggi Kim gave the stronger performance in my opinion.

Unless she kills it with the Mozart d minor concerto, don't think she will advance. And there are a lot of d minor concertos for the jury to hear.
How many Cliburn finals have there been without women? We may be about to have another one.
Is everyone voting for their favorite competitor every day? It's a $2,500 prize. That will buy you a lot of street food.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
How many Cliburn finals have there been without women? We may be about to have another one.


It happened previously in 1993, 1981, 1977, and 1973.
What the heck is Anderson wearing under his jacket now?
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Man these brass players sound great.


The orchestra in general sounds much better than I remember them from 4 years ago.
Oh man, the orchestra at the last Cliburn was egregious. I'm fairly certain it was their lack of cohesiveness that threw Sean Chen off during his Emperor concerto.
Yeah, it's noticeably better.
I am loving Sun's K. 466.
The dynamic contrasts within the Beethoven cadenza were too wide for me.
Is the flautist standing up? ha

Orchestras seem to play "heavier" or crescendo faster for bare-handed conductors. This orchestra seems a little large for Mozart (cut a few strings stands).
Not to my taste, honestly; very safe, overall on the slow side, and not really keyed into the spirit of the piece.
The 2nd movement was a little too precious.
To me it's coming across as insecure and rhythmically clunky on the part of the pianist and the orchestra.
Hmmmm, the audience didn't seem to feel it, either.
An absolutely LOVELY Mozart from Kim! I can't stop smiling.
Originally Posted by Brendan
An absolutely LOVELY Mozart from Kim! I can't stop smiling.


Since the 2nd mvt. grin
It was the orchestra's fault in the first movement smile
I missed last night's broadcast so this is the first time I'm hearing the orchestra and I'm just not crazy about them. They don't sound tight and feel like they are dragging the players behind. Like here in the third movement it feels like Honggi is trying to inject some liveliness to the proceedings but they just refuse to respond in kind.
Well at least they ended together!
Again, the first person set up the second for success, and wow, was it realized.

Excited for Favorin!
Yongi Kim does not look happy backstage. Too bad the orchestra was not in synch with him in the latter part of the 1st movement. Poignant 2nd movement, but 3rd movement could have used more sparkle. Of course I keep hearing Alfred Brendel in my head, so not too fair.
I wonder what the on-stage acoustics are like at Bass Hall? Sometimes orchestra players can't hear much of anything, have to rely on watching the conductor too much (instead of listening to each other), and ensemble suffers.

This is essentially an opera house with a shell.
Hmm, once again feels like our Russian is a little out of his element. Not offensive though.
I'm loving his Mozart. Just pure and unpretentious, gorgeous tone.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I'm loving his Mozart. Just pure and unpretentious, gorgeous tone.


See, I find it rather academic and a little cold. Different strokes for different folks. It does sorta Remind me of Richter in this repertoire though.

Edit: I kinda wonder if the recording is leveling the dynamics and making the performance sound a little monotone to me. I feel like this is the case. I bet this sounds pretty awesome in the hall actually.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I'm loving his Mozart. Just pure and unpretentious, gorgeous tone.


Agree!
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I'm loving his Mozart. Just pure and unpretentious, gorgeous tone.


Agree!


And never out of sync with the orchestra (or orchestra out of sync with him). How does that happen.....so many sync problems with certain competitors but not with others.
Excellent articulation from Tchaidze so far.
Well Tchaidze sounds great except for the constant buffering.
He needs to stop throwing his arms in the air at the end of every phrase. It looks incredibly affected.
Loved Favorin, but this again is another case of performer #1/3 setting up #2/4 so well.


It's endemic in this competition!!!!
Well, this conductor may not like that cadenza, but I love it.
It's either Tchaidze or D. Kim at this point...
The ornamentation might be just a little too sexy here. We're seeing a LOT of ankle.
This is brilliant and scintillating playing but it's not moving me emotionally like Dasol's did.

Suddenly the orchestra sounds great again, there go those brass players!
0_____________0
Neat cadenza but please, please stop with the arm throwing.
Originally Posted by BeeZee4

Unless she kills it with the Mozart d minor concerto, don't think she will advance. And there are a lot of d minor concertos for the jury to hear.


Speaking of killing it, if it were me, I'd do the Alkan cadenzas (cadenzi?), which absolutely kill it as far as cadenzas for Mozart go. That would shift the whole atmosphere of this Mozart tinkle-fest. Plus, you'd have the added bonus of McGegan throwing up right there on the podium, which would definitely make the performance a standout.
Well that had greatness in it! Tchaidze! Best synergy with conductor and orchestra.

Getting the Mozart bounce for the final: Tchaidze, Dasol Kim, Broberg, I think.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Neat cadenza but please, please stop with the arm throwing.


Oh, I liked the arm throwing! yippie
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Well that had greatness in it! Tchaidze! Best synergy with conductor and orchestra.

Getting the Mozart bounce for the final: Tchaidze, Dasol Kim, Broberg, I think.


Agree 100% based on the concerti. If we factor in the recitals, I'd add Sunwoo.

So, that's 4/6. Who are the top picks for the other two? The critics spoke very highly of Cheung today. I'm not sure Favorin made the sale frown
Tchaidze: brilliant tonight, impressed with his own cadenza in the third movement. Red blooded Beethoven cadenza which matched the fiery Mozart 1st movement. And added ornaments where needed. He wins tonight.
Favorin: played way too safe in No. 21. Not enough sparkle in the 3rd movement. Did not look too happy backstage.
Honggi Kim: Problems with synching with the orchestra. Blame the conductor.
Yutong Sun: Meh, especially compared with Tchaidze.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Well that had greatness in it! Tchaidze! Best synergy with conductor and orchestra.

Getting the Mozart bounce for the final: Tchaidze, Dasol Kim, Broberg, I think.


Agree 100% based on the concerti. If we factor in the recitals, I'd add Sunwoo.

So, that's 4/6. Who are the top picks for the other two? The critics spoke very highly of Cheung today. I'm not sure Favorin made the sale frown


Leonardo P., Han Chen, depending on tomorrow? Favorin may still be in the running?

I'll have to look back at the concerto with Leonardo--I thought his Liszt was a little meh in the second recital.

Love Chen's tone, but does he have enough "personality?"
Did you know that competitors (for all instruments) in the Queen Elisabeth Competition get 7 days to learn their compulsory commissioned work? During this time period they have all phones and electronic devices taken away. In the 2013 piano competition it was a piece for piano and orchestra, I don't know if that's always the case.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Did you know that competitors (for all instruments) in the Queen Elisabeth Competition get 7 days to learn their compulsory commissioned work? During this time period they have all phones and electronic devices taken away. In the 2013 piano competition it was a piece for piano and orchestra, I don't know if that's always the case.


Actually, it's always a piece for piano and orchestra in the final round, there is also a compulsory commissioned work to be played in the semifinal round. The piano + orchestra piece (or violin + orchestra for the violin competition) has been the subject of a composition competition for many years, but nowadays it is ordered to a 'famous' composer (and it's still rubbish). They have one week to learn the commissioned work for the final from scratch.

By the way, they had the piano competition one year in advance last year (to avoid competition with the Cliburn in the future??) and it was won by Lukas Vondracek, who did not manage to get into the Cliburn semifinals in 2009. The Queen Elisabeth competition has full coverage on national radio and television in Belgium (from the semifinals onwards).

Intereseting anecdote: When asked who was going to win, Gustav Alink, president of the Alink-Argerich foundation, told something like this (on Belgian national television): "Vondracek will win, and I'll tell you why. All the competition pianists know each other, it's always the same people travelling from competition to competition and they tell me that Lukas is just a better pianist than they are."
I have to say, he made a lasting impression on me with Brahms' 3th piano sonata in the semifinals and Rach 3 in the final round (both can be found on youtube), contrary to any of this year's Cliburn contestants (I'll forget about all of them as soon as the competition has ended).


I don't have "a" favorite K. 466 yet, but these are the two that moved me most:
1st movement - Sun. His opening phrase was so lyrical and connected. Not note-y. He hooked me immediately.
3rd movement - Tchaidze. I loved the energy.

I was surprised that D. Kim's didn't move me so much, as I greatly enjoyed all of his recitals.

I loved Cheung's recital. It's the first time I've managed to listen to the Kreisleriana without daydreaming. She has been my favorite woman in the competition since the preliminary round. I'm looking forward to her K. 466 tonight. I don't know if she can make the top 6 but I hope she does, as her performances really move me and I want to hear her again.
Did Cheung break new ground with her Prokofiev Sonata No. 6?

Even my non-piano friends like what she did last night starting 49:50. I don't know how medici TV come up with such a great camera sequence in real time!

I am disappointed by the high percentage of negative and even snarky comments from some posters. As if they're always looking for something to criticize and not much looking for positive things to say.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I am disappointed by the high percentage of negative and even snarky comments from some posters. As if they're always looking for something to criticize and not much looking for positive things to say.


I understand the feeling. When I listen to these pianists, all I can think is, "Wow." There are some things I prefer done differently, but that's because it's *my* interpretation. These people are all so talented, highly-trained, and educated and they do it their way on purpose. I can't say it's wrong or it's bad. It's just different.

When I listen to a pianist, I mainly know at the end how their performance made me feel. Some just have a special way of reaching into your heart and making you feel the music right along with them, whether it's done "your way" or not. That's what I look for when choosing my personal favorites.

I guess I'd be a terrible judge (or critic)!
I have been spending too much time practicing myself to actually watch and listen. The top finishers will have careers and I will hear them eventually. However, the comments here make me wince. I'm reminded of Simon Cowell saying that he thought that a young Aretha Franklin wouldn't be able to win American Idol today I can only imagine how a young Vladimir Horowitz would be torn apart here for his eccentricity. Again, I realize this is probably a necessary evil but it is not a sporting event, and unfortunately that is how it is being treated.
Originally Posted by coaster
I don't have "a" favorite K. 466 yet, but these are the two that moved me most:
1st movement - Sun. His opening phrase was so lyrical and connected. Not note-y. He hooked me immediately.
3rd movement - Tchaidze. I loved the energy.

I was surprised that D. Kim's didn't move me so much, as I greatly enjoyed all of his recitals.

I loved Cheung's recital. It's the first time I've managed to listen to the Kreisleriana without daydreaming. She has been my favorite woman in the competition since the preliminary round. I'm looking forward to her K. 466 tonight. I don't know if she can make the top 6 but I hope she does, as her performances really move me and I want to hear her again.


I'm with you on this. I would probably make a poor judge and my favourites rarely place in these things. Makes me wonder what the point is?
Originally Posted by coaster
I don't have "a" favorite K. 466 yet, but these are the two that moved me most:
1st movement - Sun. His opening phrase was so lyrical and connected. Not note-y. He hooked me immediately.
3rd movement - Tchaidze. I loved the energy.

I was surprised that D. Kim's didn't move me so much, as I greatly enjoyed all of his recitals.

I loved Cheung's recital. It's the first time I've managed to listen to the Kreisleriana without daydreaming. She has been my favorite woman in the competition since the preliminary round. I'm looking forward to her K. 466 tonight. I don't know if she can make the top 6 but I hope she does, as her performances really move me and I want to hear her again.


Yes, Cheung was quite clearly a cut above the other 9 female competitors from the very beginning.

Her Kreisleriana and Prok 6 were the finest performances of both those pieces in the competition, IMO. She has a wonderful mastery of sound.
Hmm..Pierdomenico's op. 7 is very introverted so far. I'm missing the drama and harmonic tension.
I love hearing these early Beethoven sonatas in competition, and everywhere. I wish more people would play them.
He certainly plays gracefully and lets the music speak for itself. This approach might have worked better in Mozart, however. Let's see how the Ballades fare.
Originally Posted by jondavwal
I have been spending too much time practicing myself to actually watch and listen. The top finishers will have careers and I will hear them eventually. However, the comments here make me wince. I'm reminded of Simon Cowell saying that he thought that a young Aretha Franklin wouldn't be able to win American Idol today I can only imagine how a young Vladimir Horowitz would be torn apart here for his eccentricity. Again, I realize this is probably a necessary evil but it is not a sporting event, and unfortunately that is how it is being treated.


You know, I think Horowitz actually would've had a fighting chance in this competition. They seem to put musicianship first this year. I'm really proud of that.

I'll also say that I really doubt any critical comments on this forum were delivered with snarky or rude intentions. I think most commenting in this thread are emotionally secure people who have careers in music or are aficionados who, though knowledgeable and discerning, are excited to hear great young artists make great music.

I also think one should remember that these folks are generally practicing around the clock. What an insult to listen to their work to heap empty praises upon it! Sure if you have a different opinion, then you say that what your hearing isn't to your tastes. On the other hand though, if something is unsuccessful for whatever reason whether stylistic, technical, or otherwise. Why ignore or be dishonest? Why cheat someone out of an honest opinion and devalue the superhuman task of preparing for performance. Finally, if a performer is up in arms over an unenthusiastic reaction of the public, I think we have to question whether the motivations behind the performance are healthy to begin with.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by jondavwal
I have been spending too much time practicing myself to actually watch and listen. The top finishers will have careers and I will hear them eventually. However, the comments here make me wince. I'm reminded of Simon Cowell saying that he thought that a young Aretha Franklin wouldn't be able to win American Idol today I can only imagine how a young Vladimir Horowitz would be torn apart here for his eccentricity. Again, I realize this is probably a necessary evil but it is not a sporting event, and unfortunately that is how it is being treated.


You know, I think Horowitz actually would've had a fighting chance in this competition. They seem to put musicianship first this year. I'm really proud of that.


Ouch!
Originally Posted by MikeN
Originally Posted by jondavwal
I have been spending too much time practicing myself to actually watch and listen. The top finishers will have careers and I will hear them eventually. However, the comments here make me wince. I'm reminded of Simon Cowell saying that he thought that a young Aretha Franklin wouldn't be able to win American Idol today I can only imagine how a young Vladimir Horowitz would be torn apart here for his eccentricity. Again, I realize this is probably a necessary evil but it is not a sporting event, and unfortunately that is how it is being treated.


You know, I think Horowitz actually would've had a fighting chance in this competition. They seem to put musicianship first this year. I'm really proud of that.

I'll also say that I really doubt any critical comments on this forum were delivered with snarky or rude intentions. I think most commenting in this thread are emotionally secure people who have careers in music or are aficionados who, though knowledgeable and discerning, are excited to hear great young artists make great music.

I also think one should remember that these folks are generally practicing around the clock. What an insult to listen to their work to heap empty praises upon it! Sure if you have a different opinion, then you say that what your hearing isn't to your tastes. On the other hand though, if something is unsuccessful for whatever reason whether stylistic, technical, or otherwise. Why ignore or be dishonest? Why cheat someone out of an honest opinion and devalue the superhuman task of preparing for performance. Finally, if a performer is up in arms over an unenthusiastic reaction of the public, I think we have to question whether the motivations behind the performance are healthy to begin with.
It's not the performer that was up in arms from the public(I doubt they even read PW), but a PW member who complained about the level and tone of the criticism.

Considering the level of these pianists, i.e. some of the best young pianists in the world, when posters write five or sometimes more negative posts for each positive post, I think it's actually quite silly and says more about the poster than the pianist they are criticizing. Some people are always looking for something to criticize as opposed to what's good in the playing, And there are ways of writing criticism that do not come off as arrogant or snarky which IMO describes some of these posts. Something being "unsuccessful" may also be open to opinion and not factual although some of the criticism has been expressed as if it were factual.
I think young Horowitz could do well in this competition; Beethoven, Anton Rubinstein, and Chopin and a lot of other famous names through the early 20th century, not so much. (You'd like to think Liszt would kill it....)
I guess I object to the constant mention of wrong notes. When one gets carried away one plays wrong notes. One of my favorite pianists of all time is Annie Fischer. Her performances were littered with wrong notes and yet they are brilliant and riveting and everything you could ever want in a pianist. Hopefully, if she competed here, wrong notes and all, she would win. She was one of Richter's, Pollini's, and Argerich's favorite pianists as well. And when I'm butchering whatever piece I'm playing these days I tell myself that it just means I'm musically superior and just getting swept away like she did. It comes with dementia.
Very much looking forward to Broberg's final recital. He's been one of my favorites, though I'm dreading the Schubert Impromptus... Fingers crossed!
I don't go to a piano teacher to only tell me what I'm doing right, and I don't come here (although I'm not really a frequenter these days) to only read people gushing about how great stuff is. Reading other peoples' impressions, even negative or snarky ones, exposes me to potentially differing viewpoints. It's saddening to see people getting so upset about negative feedback both here and on the stream feed for a competition. It's so very closed minded.
Some pretty interesting reviews of the concertos heard thus far. This reviewer is extremely harsh on Nicholas McGegan.

http://www.theaterjones.com/ntx/fif...042/2017-06-04/Cliburn-Semifinal-Round-5

http://www.theaterjones.com/ntx/fif...611/2017-06-04/Cliburn-Semifinal-Round-7
Really lovely third impromptu.
Gorgeous Schubert from Broberg.

Would Pierdomenico have been better off playing the rep. from the earlier recitals later?
Yes Broberg is KILLING IT in the Schubert. To think I was nervous for what seemed like a treacherous choice!
Originally Posted by valarking
I don't go to a piano teacher to only tell me what I'm doing right, and I don't come here (although I'm not really a frequenter these days) to only read people gushing about how great stuff is. Reading other peoples' impressions, even negative or snarky ones, exposes me to potentially differing viewpoints. It's saddening to see people getting so upset about negative feedback both here and on the stream feed for a competition. It's so very closed minded.
I think it goes without saying that any reasonable and serious piano student doesn't just want positive feedback. I don't mind negative criticism about these performances if it's phrased in an appropriate manner, if opinions/preferences are clearly expressed as such, and if the reviewer doesn't post a huge preponderance of negative criticism. To me, the last one says they are just looking for negative things to say. In addition, my guess is that many(not all) of those doing the negative criticizing cannot play anywhere the level of these pianists.

As far as snarky comments go, I don't think they're ever appropriate since one can always express the same idea without a snarky tone. Although my guess is very few, if any, of the participants read this thread, I think posters should take into account they might and express themselves accordingly.
I'm loving Broberg's sense of drama (especially in how he times things) and of voicing, both in the Schubert and the Liszt.

Not sure if it's as technically dazzling as the previous Liszt sonatas I've heard, but I'm enjoying it the most of any of them.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by valarking
I don't go to a piano teacher to only tell me what I'm doing right, and I don't come here (although I'm not really a frequenter these days) to only read people gushing about how great stuff is. Reading other peoples' impressions, even negative or snarky ones, exposes me to potentially differing viewpoints. It's saddening to see people getting so upset about negative feedback both here and on the stream feed for a competition. It's so very closed minded.
I think it goes without saying that any reasonable and serious piano student doesn't just want positive feedback. I don't mind negative criticism if it's phrased in an appropriate manner and if the reviewer doesn't post a huge preponderance of negative criticism. To me, that says they are just looking for negative things to say. In addition, my guess is that many(not all) of those doing the negative criticizing cannot play anywhere the level of these pianists.

As far as snarky comments go, I don't think they're ever appropriate since one can always
express the same idea without a snarky tone.


I know of a teacher who has never given a very positive review of any concert. To me, that is quite unfortunate...though more so for them than anyone else. On the same note, no one has a right to not be offended nor should one have to tip toe around their thoughts for fear of offending random third parties who are, in the grand scheme of things, no more important than those making the criticism.

Also, why should we assume this tech savy generation of pianist doesn't read this forum? I not saying they do, mind you, but I am saying that it's unlikely they would have any trouble finding this forum. It pops up pretty often on google searches and what we say is archived for years. I think we should all be mindful of the fact that there's a good chance our comments might someday make it directly to the performer.

Originally Posted by jondavwal
I guess I object to the constant mention of wrong notes. When one gets carried away one plays wrong notes. One of my favorite pianists of all time is Annie Fischer. Her performances were littered with wrong notes and yet they are brilliant and riveting and everything you could ever want in a pianist. Hopefully, if she competed here, wrong notes and all, she would win. She was one of Richter's, Pollini's, and Argerich's favorite pianists as well. And when I'm butchering whatever piece I'm playing these days I tell myself that it just means I'm musically superior and just getting swept away like she did. It comes with dementia.


I have rather mixed feelings about this though Bronfman has manged to sway me towards his viewpoint: https://youtu.be/EAPg4HfQwaI?t=9m40s

Now, since I have unfortunately managed to turn things off topic, I have to say that I'm very interested to hear the last night of Mozart concerti. I want to hear Sunwoo because he seems to have a love of the classical period based on his programing, but many seem to be left a little cold by his conservative approach. I also want to hear very much the young Yike Yang who's appearance in these later rounds is a very welcome thing indeed.
Originally Posted by kcostell
I'm loving Broberg's sense of drama (especially in how he times things) and of voicing, both in the Schubert and the Liszt.

Right, he really stands out in this competition with his voicing and inner melodies for me. Makes me appreciate his first round counterpoint all the more now as he seemingly naturally highlights "hidden" melodies in the later Chopin, Schubert and Liszt he played. Also great use of the pedal in his playing.
Originally Posted by MikeN
I have rather mixed feelings about this though Bronfman has manged to sway me towards his viewpoint


Yes, that was a quite interesting statement from Bronfman given that he's bucking a trend, or maybe I feel like it's a trend because I read the New York Times music reviews and Anthony Thommasini. Thommasini loves a concert that makes him think, something cerebral, no matter how many wrong notes are in it.

I think it's perfectly fine to have either opinion - that wrong notes matter, or that they don't. It's okay to disagree with any opinion put forth in this forum.

I understand that Anderson & Roe are doing a very specific job and part of their job is to be unrelentingly praising and if they didn't like a particular thing about a performance to disguise it with carefully couched phrases, but if you ever get the chance to listen to competition commentators who are willing to be upfront and honest and not only uniformly praiseful, such as Gerard Willems at the Sydney piano competition, there is something not just refreshing about it but very educational. You educate your musical ear not just by listening to lots of music and playing it but by hearing others discuss what was successful and unsuccessful about it and why.
I don't think wrong notes don't matter. I think a great pianist/musician can make them not matter. Schiff's discussion of what constitutes great technique is also interesting. He says we mistake mechanics for technique today. I would agree.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by MikeN
I have rather mixed feelings about this though Bronfman has manged to sway me towards his viewpoint


Yes, that was a quite interesting statement from Bronfman given that he's bucking a trend, or maybe I feel like it's a trend because I read the New York Times music reviews and Anthony Thommasini. Thommasini loves a concert that makes him think, something cerebral, no matter how many wrong notes are in it.

I think it's perfectly fine to have either opinion - that wrong notes matter, or that they don't. It's okay to disagree with any opinion put forth in this forum.

I understand that Anderson & Roe are doing a very specific job and part of their job is to be unrelentingly praising and if they didn't like a particular thing about a performance to disguise it with carefully couched phrases, but if you ever get the chance to listen to competition commentators who are willing to be upfront and honest and not only uniformly praiseful, such as Gerard Willems at the Sydney piano competition, there is something not just refreshing about it but very educational. You educate your musical ear not just by listening to lots of music and playing it but by hearing others discuss what was successful and unsuccessful about it and why.


I was quite shocked by Bronfman's statement when I first heard it though, after careful consideration, I had to agree. Anyone who's ever played any of the repertoire of the level being programmed in this competition knows how difficult a task it truly is to play all the notes. On the same note though, I have a friend who does the most interesting things musically that I've never heard anywhere else. He hates to drill anything though, so his performances are somewhat sloppy. I'd jump at the chance to hear him! Maybe even over some of the competitors we're hearing here.

How wonderful that such commentators exist! Let us not lose such learning opportunities because of censorship and political correctness. On the same token, let us not use the freedom we have to indulge egotism. I think both are extremes to be avoided.

Originally Posted by jondavwal
I don't think wrong notes don't matter. I think a great pianist/musician can make them not matter. Schiff's discussion of what constitutes great technique is also interesting. He says we mistake mechanics for technique today. I would agree.


I also agree. I think Leopold Godowsky outlines this difference quite well in his preface to his Studies on Chopin Etudes.

Edit: I am mistaken. I've long since reading his remarks separated technique and mechanics as he does. He never does explain the difference though. ha
Caught the end of Broberg's Schubert and heard all of the Liszt. The Schubert was lovely and has some interesting things in it.

I'm not sure what to say about the Liszt. He certainly has his own interpretation of it (as a Tchaidze did with Pictures), but I felt that some of the things he did went past interpretation and into misreading territory, IMO. There were some technical issues (I can sympathize...), but he held it together very well. With a 2009/2013 jury, he'd be out for sure, but I think that this panel will award his adventurousness.

Missed Pierdomenico today as well as both of the solo recitals yesterday, so I'll have to skim those before tonight. Kudos to Han Chen for programming Janacek.
Originally Posted by MikeN
I know of a teacher who has never given a very positive review of any concert. To me, that is quite unfortunate...though more so for them than anyone else. On the same note, no one has a right to not be offended nor should one have to tip toe around their thoughts for fear of offending random third parties who are, in the grand scheme of things, no more important than those making the criticism.
Just because no one has a right to not be offended doesn't mean those commenting on the performances should be offensive. Nor would I call that concept "political correctness" as another poster characterized it. I'd call it basic courtesy and how one should treat another person.
Originally Posted by MikeN
Also, why should we assume this tech savy generation of pianist doesn't read this forum? I not saying they do, mind you, but I am saying that it's unlikely they would have any trouble finding this forum. It pops up pretty often on google searches and what we say is archived for years. I think we should all be mindful of the fact that there's a good chance our comments might someday make it directly to the performer.

And why should we assume that the even more established pianists of today don't read this forum? Some may be surprised to hear about which piano celebrities that have tuned in to the writings here. The world is small - even if they do not bother to check the forums themselves, they also have friends, friends of friends, fans, and others, who may alert them. I can speak with absolute certainty of at least one such case with a pianist considered among the very best, who was shocked to say the least about the negative tone expressed here regarding various aspects about himself. Yes, it would be very naive to assume that pianists in general do not tune in to this forum.
Ugh, buffering. I've missed hearing about 25% of the notes thus far.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Caught the end of Broberg's Schubert and heard all of the Liszt. The Schubert was lovely and has some interesting things in it.

I'm not sure what to say about the Liszt. He certainly has his own interpretation of it (as a Tchaidze did with Pictures), but I felt that some of the things he did went past interpretation and into misreading territory, IMO. There were some technical issues (I can sympathize...), but he held it together very well. With a 2009/2013 jury, he'd be out for sure, but I think that this panel will award his adventurousness.

I would beg to disagree. Misreading territory? Where exactly? If there were technical "issues", I found them all to be very minor in comparison to all of the positive aspects of his technique. On top of being in full control of the entirety of the piece, he had keen attention to detail, and kept this piece of music (which I rate, from a purely musical standpoint, roughly as highly as you rate Schumann's F# minor sonata...) interesting from start to finish.

I haven't followed the competition all that well, and I must say that I was skeptical when I saw that he had programmed both the Dante and the B minor sonata, but nevertheless, this seems to have suited him perfectly. Pairing the B minor with Schubert seems to have been an excellent idea, as well.

I'm hoping to see him in the finals. I might be somewhat biased, having met and spoken to him at the Sydney competition last year. A wonderfully friendly and interesting character, and he undoubtedly has a bright and exciting future ahead, no matter what the results in the Cliburn will be.
Damn. Yang is slaying it.
Originally Posted by fnork
Originally Posted by MikeN
Also, why should we assume this tech savy generation of pianist doesn't read this forum? I not saying they do, mind you, but I am saying that it's unlikely they would have any trouble finding this forum. It pops up pretty often on google searches and what we say is archived for years. I think we should all be mindful of the fact that there's a good chance our comments might someday make it directly to the performer.

And why should we assume that the even more established pianists of today don't read this forum? Some may be surprised to hear about which piano celebrities that have tuned in to the writings here. The world is small - even if they do not bother to check the forums themselves, they also have friends, friends of friends, fans, and others, who may alert them. I can speak with absolute certainty of at least one such case with a pianist considered among the very best, who was shocked to say the least about the negative tone expressed here regarding various aspects about himself. Yes, it would be very naive to assume that pianists in general do not tune in to this forum.
Maybe, but at least in terms of professional pianists who concertize with some regularity and are PW members I think there may be as few a 10. You, Brendan, Koji, Can Cakmur, dolce sfogato, and ...? Most of the pianists listed in the who's who forum virtually never post as far as I know.

It is more possible I think that some pro pianists find out about posts related to them through friends or students. Around five years ago I posted something about one of the Prok Sonatas I had heard in a master class at Mannes, and a little while later the master class teacher(the pianist who runs the e-competition)posted a comment about what I had said. One of his students had told him about my post.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Maybe, but at least in terms of professional pianists who concertize with some regularity and are PW members I think there may be as few a 10. You, Brendan, Koji, Can Cakmur, dolce sfogato, and ...

Two things: First of all, my point had nothing to do with the regulars of the forum who also concertize. Second of all, neither you nor I know who hides behind various pseudonyms here.

Either way, my basic point was that lots of people tune in here without being active members of the forums, including world famous pianists. With that in mind, it might be wise to consider being careful with what one writes here.
This third movement is way too frenetic.
He really brought out the Beethoven in the cadenzas...maybe just a bit too much so.
Originally Posted by fnork
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Maybe, but at least in terms of professional pianists who concertize with some regularity and are PW members I think there may be as few a 10. You, Brendan, Koji, Can Cakmur, dolce sfogato, and ...

Two things: First of all, my point had nothing to do with the regulars of the forum who also concertize. Second of all, neither you nor I know who hides behind various pseudonyms here.

Either way, my basic point was that lots of people tune in here without being active members of the forums, including world famous pianists. With that in mind, it might be wise to consider being careful with what one writes here.


I agree. I think people don't realize that the music world, especially at the top, is a rather close knit community and the great pianists of the world don't live in caves cut off from society and I've never met one that doesn't care what the public thinks. WHAT WE THINK!

Whatever our thoughts, I think one mustn't forget that these people are giving up a good amount of their lives partly to provide us with enjoyment. That's a massive sacrifice! I can't help but be grateful.
Some synchronization issues in the d minor - the orchestra isn't helping out terribly tonight. The C major is going much better. Once again, performer #1 sets up #2 for success.

...and someone FINALLY does the whole note ornaments correctly in the slow movement of 467! It sounds so painfully awkward when played as written.
Ooh, Yekwon's crazy ornaments are bringing a big grin to McGegan's face. I'm loving this performance, I don't even know if I love Sunwoo or Dasol Kim better. I love them both.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Ooh, Yekwon's crazy ornaments are bringing a big grin to McGegan's face. I'm loving this performance, I don't even know if I love Sunwoo or Dasol Kim better. I love them both.


They really are amazing those two. I got my money on Dasol's more extroverted temperament, but I love Sunwoo too.
Very confident performance! Having heard both the recital and the concerto, he's definitely a shoo-in.
Divine.
Sunwoo, very elegant for so fast in the 3rd mvt. of K. 467. (That's a compliment. laugh )
Mozart fits him like a glove. No one else in this competition has such smooth scales. It's amazing the beauty of sound.
Originally Posted by Brendan
[Broberg] certainly has his own interpretation of it (as a Tchaidze did with Pictures), but I felt that some of the things he did went past interpretation and into misreading territory, IMO.


I like the comparison of Broberg's Liszt to Tchaidze's Pictures. In both cases it felt like they had clear big picture interpretations they wanted to convey, and were willing to stretch (or even ignore) what was written on the page in places if it helped them convey it better.

I find it forgivable (perhaps especially so when it's pieces we're hearing so many times this week, but I wouldn't be especially shocked to see either of them bounced.
My money is on: Dasol, Sunwoo, Tchaidze, Broberg, Cheung, and Yang.
Han Chen will perform his own cadenzas.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
My money is on: Dasol, Sunwoo, Tchaidze, Broberg, Cheung, and Yang.



I agree with all except Yang. I'm hoping that it's a wild card that goes to Favorin, but we'll see.

In other news, Chen's tempo is bringing out the Maestoso nicely. Feels more in control.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
My money is on: Dasol, Sunwoo, Tchaidze, Broberg, Cheung, and Yang.



I agree with all except Yang. I'm hoping that it's a wild card that goes to Favorin, but we'll see.

In other news, Chen's tempo is bringing out the Maestoso nicely. Feels more in control.


Me too, I wanna hear his Prok 2. 😭
Side comment: has anyone else noticed some voice leading issues in the eingangs/fresh cadenzas from the competitors? It's kind of disconcerting to hear 4 resolve to 5...

/nerd
Originally Posted by Brendan
Side comment: has anyone else noticed some voice leading issues in the eingangs/fresh cadenzas from the competitors? It's kind of disconcerting to hear 4 resolve to 5...

/nerd


Bad tendency. (Do they make you teach theory, or is it just a nerd thing? laugh )
Heard both recitals today. Am impressed with both! Glad Pierdomenico programmed in the early big Beethoven sonata, not often heard in recital. Ist movement appeared note perfect. He also caught major facets of Beethoven, far ranging dynamics, humor, contrapuntal skill, the nods toward Haydn, etc. His readings of the Chopin Ballades were very satisfying to me, fiery, romantic and dramatic. His demeanor reminiscent of Pollini. Hope he moves onto the next round.
Broberg also very satisfying. The Schubert, while not technically demanding, had lots of nuance, character and subtle gradations of dynamics. No. 3 flowed like a water brook. And his Liszt was powerful and dramatic, he should graduate to the next round as well.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Brendan
Side comment: has anyone else noticed some voice leading issues in the eingangs/fresh cadenzas from the competitors? It's kind of disconcerting to hear 4 resolve to 5...

/nerd


Bad tendency. (Do they make you teach theory, or is it just a nerd thing? laugh )


Just a nerd thing. laugh
OK, sticking my neck out and predicting (with a dose of personal preference):

Tchaizde
Broberg
Dasol Kim
Chen
Sunwoo
Cheung

I have liked moments of Favorin and Pierdomenico, but they were somewhat inconsistent.
My picks:

Cheung
D. Kim
Tchaidze
Sunwoo
Hsu
Broberg
Interesting. Brentano quartet members say that given the 1 hr. 15 min rehearsal time, the Brahms is the most difficult.
I'm going to miss the Cliburning questions when this is all over.
Cheung, D. Kim, Tchaidze, Sunwoo, Broberg, and....

Sun? I can see it from an endurance perspective, although I'm not thrilled by his sound/style. I feel that the others have evolved over the competition in some way, but he's been fairly predictable since the first round.

H. Kim? He's a beautiful player and has some great programming instincts (Liszt-Volodos, Tchaik-Finberg, Rach 1). His subtleties in Mozart, Chopin,and Ravel might have been overshadowed by others, though.

Favorin? I really hope so, but I don't think it will happen. Rounds one and two were fantastic, but he stumbled in the finals with his rep choices. Hammy was a risk that didn't pay off, and his Mozart felt too cold. Freaking amazing Shostakovich, though. Ditto Pierdomenico - he had an edge at the onset but the strain is really showing.


Hsu or Yang? Maybe Yang has the edge over Hsu, but again I raise the consistency question, which was displayed in the concerti.

Pressed, I'll pick Sun.

No Dasol??!?!!?!????!? Happy to hear Favorin, but I'm shocked that it's Hsu instead of Kim.
I give up on trying to predict these things.
I think Tchaidze has it as of now, has biggest competition seemed to come from Dasol. But who knows, either Sunwoo or Favorin might be the winner.
I thought that of my list, that it would be Hsu who got bumped for Favorin. I had a feeling the judges would advance him. I am surprised it was D. Kim who didn't advance. I can't wait to hear the finals!
Originally Posted by Brendan
No Dasol??!?!!?!????!? Happy to hear Favorin, but I'm shocked that it's Hsu instead of Kim.


Yep, same. I'm ecstatic for Favorin and Sunwoo, though, and stoked to hear Favorin's Prokofiev. Also kind of stoked that there will be no repeats among the concertos, which is kind of astounding.
Originally Posted by kcostell
I give up on trying to predict these things.


Yeah. There is always something thrown in from left field, always. It could be that the jury is just as surprised as we are too, since they don't deliberate and come to an agreement.
Favorin got in on the strength of his "Hammerklavier", which the jury must have admired for his moderate tempi. His Mozart left much to be desired. Tchaidze was an easy pick, he was consistently exciting and exhibited a mature demeanor. Broberg's Mozart No. 25 and his Liszt b minor was very strong, he was destined to move up. Rachel was on the cusp, but she delivered an albeit safe version of the d minor concerto, plus as the only woman, that factored in as well. Surprised as no Dasol, thought his Mozart was very decent. Disappointed that Pierdomenico didn't advance, thought his recital was exemplary but maybe his classical approach to the d minor proved to be too dry for the jury.
Well, the PWCMDA (Piano World Cliburn Megathread Discretionary Award) clearly goes to Dasol Kim. Unfortunately, there is no cash involved with this prize--unless Brendan wants to take up a collection. laugh



Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Well, the PWCMDA (Piano World Cliburn Megathread Discretionary Award) clearly goes to Dasol Kim. Unfortunately, there is no cash involved with this prize--unless Brendan wants to take up a collection. laugh


Dasol is still in the running for best performance of the Hamelin piece (worth $5,000), also as a semifinalist he gets $5,000 and as a quarterfinalist $2,500; through today he was still in the running for the audience award of $2,500 although obviously the remaining six now gain the advantage. There are also three discretionary jury awards of $4,000. If he runs the table he makes $19,000. Worst case scenario he's made $7,500.
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Well, the PWCMDA (Piano World Cliburn Megathread Discretionary Award) clearly goes to Dasol Kim. Unfortunately, there is no cash involved with this prize--unless Brendan wants to take up a collection. laugh


Dasol is still in the running for best performance of the Hamelin piece (worth $5,000), also as a semifinalist he gets $5,000 and as a quarterfinalist $2,500; through today he was still in the running for the audience award of $2,500 although obviously the remaining six now gain the advantage. There are also three discretionary jury awards of $4,000. If he runs the table he makes $19,000. Worst case scenario he's made $7,500.


$7,500 + the PWCMDA thumb
Weird statistical quirk. The Schumann quintet was chosen by 13 pianists, more than any other. It is also the only one of the four quintets not being played by any of this year's finalists.
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi


$7,500 + the PWCMDA thumb


laugh laugh laugh


Lots of my favorites are out by now. frown
Originally Posted by kcostell
Weird statistical quirk. The Schumann quintet was chosen by 13 pianists, more than any other. It is also the only one of the four quintets not being played by any of this year's finalists.


That is shocking. I consider it the "popular" one. Maybe by that I just mean the one I have heard the most.
Originally Posted by Brendan
No Dasol??!?!!?!????!? Happy to hear Favorin, but I'm shocked that it's Hsu instead of Kim.
I'm beyond shocked.

Pleased for Broberg, however.
I didn't listen to one performance. However, perusing the articles before and during the competition I would have bet money that Hsu would be in the finals as long as he "stayed on his feet" (to use a figure skating analogy). Which is why I don't watch competitions. This is a business, and a struggling one. The story matters.
The fact that Hsu Made it but D. Kim didn't made me lose faith in this jury.

Did they just want an extra American in the finals or what? Broberg was already more than enough.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
The fact that Hsu Made it but D. Kim didn't made me lose faith in this jury.

Did they just want an extra American in the finals or what? Broberg was already more than enough.


At last year's amateur, one of the members of the jury commented that sometimes they were just as surprised as we are regarding who advances. It all depends on how the yes/no/maybe votes add up. Remember, they don't discuss anything at all regarding the competition - not during the week and not during the voting, either. So I doubt they just "wanted another American."

That said, I was also surprised Hsu advanced over D. Kim. I picked Hsu but I thought Favorin (not one of my personal picks) would advance instead of Hsu. Never thought it would be D. Kim who would get bumped from my list.
I'm shocked that Chen didn't make it. Oh well, at least Favorin did!
Cliburn used to have a prize for 'best player from USA'

I think Hung-Kuan Chen won it once for the good old US of A. smile

And Tchaikovsky had 'best lady's prize', don't know if they still have it?
Originally Posted by Fugue14
I'm shocked that Chan didn't make it. Oh well, at least Favorin did!


Chen, not Chan.
[
Originally Posted by coaster
At last year's amateur, one of the members of the jury commented that sometimes they were just as surprised as we are regarding who advances. It all depends on how the yes/no/maybe votes add up. Remember, they don't discuss anything at all regarding the competition - not during the week and not during the voting, either.
If that is indeed the case, perhaps the process needs to be revised to allow for some discussion before the jury votes for the six finalists and the winners.
Originally Posted by Carey
[
Originally Posted by coaster
At last year's amateur, one of the members of the jury commented that sometimes they were just as surprised as we are regarding who advances. It all depends on how the yes/no/maybe votes add up. Remember, they don't discuss anything at all regarding the competition - not during the week and not during the voting, either.
If that is indeed the case, perhaps the process needs to be revised to allow for some discussion before the jury votes for the six finalists and the winners.


As sorry as I am to hear about Dasol Kim, I like the way they handle the voting. Sure there's an element of chance, but I think this is reasonable. Besides, not winning a competition makes a pianist no lesser.
Originally Posted by Carey
[
Originally Posted by coaster
At last year's amateur, one of the members of the jury commented that sometimes they were just as surprised as we are regarding who advances. It all depends on how the yes/no/maybe votes add up. Remember, they don't discuss anything at all regarding the competition - not during the week and not during the voting, either.
If that is indeed the case, perhaps the process needs to be revised to allow for some discussion before the jury votes for the six finalists and the winners.


I understand the reasoning behind that. However, their reasoning is that they don't want the dominant personality(ies) to influence the others, and that does make sense.
I am dumbfounded that. D. Kim was not advanced. I did not watch everyone....but he was SO exquisite!
I just have to chime in here and say I am seriously disappointed that Dasol Kim did not advance. He played brilliantly all the way through his contenst, and seemed really energetic and spirited. He will be missed, and I will not enjoy the finals nearly as much without him with us.
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Brendan
No Dasol??!?!!?!????!? Happy to hear Favorin, but I'm shocked that it's Hsu instead of Kim.
I'm beyond shocked.

Pleased for Broberg, however.


I'm also beyond shocked.
Maybe the members of the jury don't like Kapustin?

I know I saw some lists of pieces but could never found them again. Did the pianists have some pieces to choose from for their concerts or were they free to choose whatever they preferred?
Schedule for the Final (all times Central US):

Wednesday at 7:30:

Broberg -- Dvorak Quintet
Favorin -- Franck Quintet
Sunwoo -- Dvorak Quintet

Thursday at 7:30

Tchaidze -- Dvorak Quintet
Cheung -- Brahms Quintet
Hsu -- Franck Quintet

Friday at 7:30

Favorin -- Prokofiev 2nd Concerto
Broberg -- Rachmaninov Paganini Variations
Sunwoo -- Rachmaninov 3rd Concerto

Saturday at 3:00

Cheung -- Beethoven 4th Concerto
Tchaidze -- Prokofiev 3rd Concerto
Hsu -- Tchaikovsky 1st Concerto
Originally Posted by Albunea
I know I saw some lists of pieces but could never found them again. Did the pianists have some pieces to choose from for their concerts or were they free to choose whatever they preferred?


For the solo recitals, the only requirement was that the preliminary round include the commissioned work by Hamelin. For the semifinals, they had a list of 8 Mozart Concertos to choose from. For the finals, they had a list of four piano quintets to choose from, and a "free choice" concerto that could in theory be any work for piano and orchestra (though in practice pianists gravitate towards warhorses they can be sure the orchestra already knows well).
Originally Posted by newport
...


I was waiting for your list of finalists... laugh Did you get it right again but didn't share it or this time it was too difficult? smile
Originally Posted by kcostell
Originally Posted by Albunea
I know I saw some lists of pieces but could never found them again. Did the pianists have some pieces to choose from for their concerts or were they free to choose whatever they preferred?


For the solo recitals, the only requirement was that the preliminary round include the commissioned work by Hamelin. For the semifinals, they had a list of 8 Mozart Concertos to choose from. For the finals, they had a list of four piano quintets to choose from, and a "free choice" concerto that could in theory be any work for piano and orchestra (though in practice pianists gravitate towards warhorses they can be sure the orchestra already knows well).


Thank you, kcostell. I read you in your previous post and knew you'd be able to answer my question! smile

So it is possible they don't like Kapustin... frown
I have sort of lost interest since someone like D.Kim does not advance. So very amazed!
The only solution I see to all this is making Sunwoo the winner so that he can properly represent all the South Koreans that fell along the way.

laugh

I enjoyed very much Sunwoo's Beethoven and Strauss.


My favorite that got out of the competition this time was Han Chen.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Fugue14
I'm shocked that Chan didn't make it. Oh well, at least Favorin did!


Chen, not Chan.


Thanks for catching that! It was a typo--I know his last name...even met him and had a nice chat after the semi-final round.
Originally Posted by Albunea
The only solution I see to all this is making Sunwoo the winner so that he can properly represent all the South Koreans that fell along the way.

laugh

I enjoyed very much Sunwoo's Beethoven and Strauss.


My favorite that got out of the competition this time was Han Chen.


Not saying that there's any conspiracy, but it seems that Sunwoo has played a number of two-piano concerts with one of the jurors, Anne-Marie McDermott:

https://bachtrack.com/concert-listi...rmott-duo-recital/15-december-2016/20-00

He did play well so far, but to the point of exclusion of Dasol? That's questionable.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not saying that there's any conspiracy, but it seems that Sunwoo has played a number of two-piano concerts with one of the jurors, Anne-Marie McDermott:
https://bachtrack.com/concert-listi...rmott-duo-recital/15-december-2016/20-00 .
Interesting. Can't help but wonder if the jurors were made aware of this and/or whether it would have made a difference one way or another. Probably a non issue. We'll never know.
Originally Posted by musica71
I have sort of lost interest since someone like D.Kim does not advance. So very amazed!

That's kind of where I'm at as well. But, of course, life isn't always fair, and this is just another competition.
Come on, Brendan smile


I've found out something. You can still vote for Dasol Kim on this page: https://www.cliburn.org/2017-cliburn-competition/2017-competition-audience-award-vote/
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not saying that there's any conspiracy, but it seems that Sunwoo has played a number of two-piano concerts with one of the jurors, Anne-Marie McDermott:
https://bachtrack.com/concert-listi...rmott-duo-recital/15-december-2016/20-00 .
Interesting. Can't help but wonder if the jurors were made aware of this and/or whether it would have made a difference one way or another. Probably a non issue. We'll never know.


Shouldn't it just be assumed that this was known by the jury and any necessary steps taken? If I were a competitor in this competition, I wouln't want to read this negative speculation on this forum.... particularly while it is ongoing.
frown
Spilling coffee on my computer the day the competition started and only getting it back today from the shop certainly set me way behind!

Nevertheless, from the skimming I've done (Which is really just skimming, so if you can direct me to anyone in particular I'd be interested!)...this year seems to have a lot of nice sounds and well shaped phrases, but so far I haven't seen some of the same electricity/craziness/maverik-ey stuff that was demonstrated in competitions past (I'm thinking Deljavan, Bozhanov, Sean Chen, Kern). It's not that they seem to be necessarily "playing if safe", but instead a bit hesitant to swing the pendulum any too far in one interpretive direction. (The British guy who plays Barber in the prelims kinda did).

That being said, I loved Daniel Hsu's dreamy sound and elasticity in the Schubert Impromptus. Favorin's unusually broad tempi in the Hammerklaiver was interesting and different (Though if Pressler were on the jury again, going that far away from the score indication would be cause for trouble)
Originally Posted by Albunea
Maybe the members of the jury don't like Kapustin?



I doubt it hinged on whether jury members liked the Kapustin - it was likeable and fun and DK played it well, charming the audience. And it was short. In itself, they probably liked it just fine.

More likely, if it had a negative effect on their assessment, it was because they thought it was not appropriate, especially juxtaposed between the Mendelssohn and the Schubert. It's sort of like seeing someone loaded down in millions of dollars worth of fantastic heirloom jewelry designed by the best jewelry makers the world has known, and in the middle of all that seeing one cute and cheap piece of costume jewelry made of plastic and glass. Not a great effect.

Or, to put it a more musical context, it might be like an orchestra doing a program of the Hebrides Overture and a Schubert symphony, and throwing in some Leroy Anderson bonbon in between. It's just way out of place, you know? And you'd question the judgement of the person doing the programming.

Taking the appropriateness issue a bit further - it wouldn't surprise me if some jury members would question whether a Kapustin piece was appropriate for a big competition at all. Which again, wouldn't necessarily be about whether they personally enjoy hearing some Kapustin once in a while, but because he is more like some sort of light-weight cross-over hybrid than a "real" classical composer. If I were a juror, I think "Goodness knows, there is a vast range of more appropriate stuff to play, so why choose Kapustin?"

And, of course, there's no telling of how it might play out in their markings if a juror thought Kim might somehow trying to pander to Hamelin by playing the Kapustin.
Originally Posted by kcostell

For the solo recitals, the only requirement was that the preliminary round include the commissioned work by Hamelin. For the semifinals, they had a list of 8 Mozart Concertos to choose from. For the finals, they had a list of four piano quintets to choose from, and a "free choice" concerto that could in theory be any work for piano and orchestra (though in practice pianists gravitate towards warhorses they can be sure the orchestra already knows well).


I wonder how free the free choice of concerto really is - the choices have to approved by the Cliburn, which could say no to anything. Of course, it is a smart move to play something the conductor and orchestra (and jury) know. But what if a competitor wanted to stand out by doing something really quite different that they had a strong feeling for?

I was thinking, for example, of what might happen if a competitor submitted the Ginastera 1st concerto. I know that Slatkin has conducted it in the past, so it wouldn't mean he had to learn a new concerto from complete scratch. But I understand it's pretty challenging for the orchestra, and they can't be expected to take their parts home and woodshed just one competitor's concerto, I don't think. Based on that alone, Slatkin might say "No way", even if he liked the idea.

Anyway, I suspect the free choice is not really all that free in reality.
IIRC, Sean Chen's Bartok 2 was vetoed in 2013 and he had to substitute Rachmaninov 3. Since the competitors only get an hour to put it together, more extreme concerti are at a disadvantage (not to mention how spotty the FWSO is).

Regarding Dasol and rep, I don't think that Kapustin was the issue, nor playing it between Mendelssohn and Schubert (both of which were expertly done). Teo also played Kapustin, as did Claire Huangci in 2013. Let's also not forget that some of the programming has been far more extreme (both of Favorin's Liszt selections, lots of Shostakovich). I'm honestly at a loss as to why he didn't advance.

Easy answer: one of my old teachers, when asked by students why they didn't advance in competitions would always say "because you didn't get enough votes." Harsh, but true.
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not saying that there's any conspiracy, but it seems that Sunwoo has played a number of two-piano concerts with one of the jurors, Anne-Marie McDermott:
https://bachtrack.com/concert-listi...rmott-duo-recital/15-december-2016/20-00 .
Interesting. Can't help but wonder if the jurors were made aware of this and/or whether it would have made a difference one way or another. Probably a non issue. We'll never know.


Shouldn't it just be assumed that this was known by the jury and any necessary steps taken? If I were a competitor in this competition, I wouldn't want to read this negative speculation on this forum....particularly while it is ongoing. frown
I'd like to assume that - however, I don't honestly know what the "necessary steps" would be in this type of situation other than asking the juror with the "perceived" conflict to abstain from voting for the particular candidate. And it should be the juror's responsibility to raise the issue in the first place. But no matter how it was handled, what's done is done.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Teo also played Kapustin...


And he also was out. Probably it has nothing to do but I wondered if maybe some don't like Kapustin. I personally find it perfect in the middle of other pieces! But I am aware I like variety, maybe too much.
I felt that Teo had some issues in the rest of his program (particularly in the Ravel and Kapustin, the piece notwithstanding) and that the other competitors simply did better. Who knows...
I can't imagine that playing one short Kapustin piece((out of 3+hours of playing)could negatively affect a competitor. I think Kapustin is extremely popular with audiences and pianists and considered by most to be a terrific composer. Audiences, in particular, almost always seem to love a good performance of a Kapustin work and his music seems to be steadily gaining in popularity/recognition.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I can't imagine that playing one short Kapustin piece((out of 3+hours of playing)could negatively affect a competitor.


This.
There were two competitors playing Kapustin (Teo and DKim) but I was left with an impression that neither listened to the recordings by the composer himself.

There was excessive rubato in both, and they both lacked a sense of an ensemble: if you look at the score carefully, there are clearly delineated distinct voices that correspond to various instruments: guitar, bass, horns, etc. Both failed to articulate the colors embedded in the score.

Most disappointing was that both "corrected" jazz chords to be more "classical." The effect was somewhat akin to Prokofiev without dissonance. The rich colors from parallel chords, extended chords were absent.

Kapustin's music is wonderful, and I'm quite intimately familiar with both pieces presented. I still believe that Kapustin's music will be featured at competitions, but I find most performances to be rather half-baked.

However, I don't think they would affected the outcome much, anyway.

Intermezzo, Op.40 No.7, to me, is a burlesque show. The free but brief 4-measure piano-solo introduction prompts the previous act to clear off the stage, while waiters in the club take order for drinks. Then, the swing band joins in, and the burlesque dancer walks onto the stage. The dancer teases and seduces, and little by little, her voluptuous body is revealed. In the coda, the last piece of her outfit is removed to a raucous audience, then the dancer makes an exit.

The variations, Op.41, is a history lesson of sort. In each of the variations, it explores different styles, from swing, ballad, bebop, and everything in between. There really is no room for much rubato, since a band wouldn't do it, except in the slow ballad. The ensemble consists of a piano, electric guitar, electric bass, drums, and horns. It's not quite a big band, popular in the former Soviet Union well into the 80s, but it certainly mixes a wide range of styles, and is quite aggressive and progressive, much like the Concert Etudes, Op.40 and Sonata No.1, Op.39.

The ballad variation should evoke a smokey club, where you hear hushed whispers of the audience, and clinking of glasses and silverware. Here, the original Latvian ? tune used in Le Sacre is presented, implying nostalgia.

I don't know, these are the things that I kept in my mind.
Ken, thanks for your very interesting input. I'm not very familiar with jazz at all, so I'm curious what you mean when you say both performers used "corrected" jazz chords. What's an example of that?
Nice viola. Enormous viola!
Lovely Dvorak quintet so far. Broberg is perfectly balanced but very energetic when required. The viola and cello in particular sound great in the quartet.
An overall very reputable and enjoyable performance of the Dvorak. Excited for Favorin and Franck, my favorite quintet.

Let's see about those first movement arpeggios. laugh
Originally Posted by Brendan
An overall very reputable and enjoyable performance of the Dvorak. Excited for Favorin and Franck, my favorite quintet.

Let's see about those first movement arpeggios. laugh


How did the arpeggios go? The stream started buffering for me right when they started. cry

So far Favorin sounds terrific to me. This Franck first movement is so lush and atmospheric.
He freaking nailed it. Broberg did great, but this is in a different category, IMO. Nice to see our guy benefitting from the "performer 1/performer 2" bounce. smile
I admire Broberg greatly, but another case of one setting up two?

Favorin was tremendous in the Franck. The jury will lap that up!
I would not be surprised at all to see split prizes this year. The standard here is just so damn high.
For some reason I could watch Anderson and Roe run through a maze and order fried pickles for hours.
Great. Some yeehaw Texan stereotypes. No wonder people abroad legitimately believe most of us ride horses around everywhere.
Good on them for the primer on concert etiquette.
....uhhh, are you serious about the first movement repeat??!?
Aren't the upper strings less edgey and wirey for Sunwoo's Dvorak?

(Gotta get that summer rosin right! laugh )
Yeah, they're warmed up and are playing more sympathetically than they did for Broberg. Sunwoo has a good sound, this is the "accepted" tone and balance for chamber music. I still prefer Favorin's edge, though.
...and yet, they continue to applaud between movements.
Maybe it's now too underbalanced in the second movement? It's not really cutting through even in melodic passages.
Favorin and Sunwoo are both reprising the quintets they prepared (but didn't get to play) in 2013. Sunwoo is sticking with his 2013 concerto, Rach 3 (he had also prepared Beethoven 5), Favorin is playing Prok 2 but had prepared Rach 3 for 2013 (and also had prepared Beethoven 5).
Originally Posted by vers la flan
...and yet, they continue to applaud between movements.


Some did not have their hearing aids turned up during the announcement.
Good God, outburst of tubercular coughing.
The ensemble and intonation in Broberg's performance might not have been as tight as it is now, but I prefer it to this. Everything feels so low energy.
Agree completely. Though Sunwoo's rendition would probably be considered more refined and "proper" it just didn't really hold my interest. I admit that I'm not a particular fan of the work itself.
Originally Posted by Brendan
The ensemble and intonation in Broberg's performance might not have been as tight as it is now, but I prefer it to this. Everything feels so low energy.


Hum. My impression is upper half Favorin and Sunwoo. Lower half Broberg. Tomorrow's chamber performers will shuffle themselves into this standing, going into the big concerto round. Then, jury will pull a "Sultanov," and Hsu will win on raw youth and verve with his Tchai. whome

I know what you mean about Broberg vs. Sunwoo in the Dvorak, but I liked Sunwoo better.
Personally, I really enjoyed Broberg's playing this evening. His Dvorak had so many colors and characters. His balancing and voicing was unique/individual and I think it was quite successful.
Originally Posted by Brendan
IIRC, Sean Chen's Bartok 2 was vetoed in 2013 and he had to substitute Rachmaninov 3. Since the competitors only get an hour to put it together, more extreme concerti are at a disadvantage (not to mention how spotty the FWSO is).



I had forgotten about that Bartok 2 denial. And it's almost standard rep these days.

Sometimes I even wonder about the wisdom choosing the Rach Pag Variations, just because of all the tempo and mood shifts.

Quote


Regarding Dasol and rep, I don't think that Kapustin was the issue, nor playing it between Mendelssohn and Schubert (both of which were expertly done). Teo also played Kapustin, as did Claire Huangci in 2013. Let's also not forget that some of the programming has been far more extreme (both of Favorin's Liszt selections, lots of Shostakovich). I'm honestly at a loss as to why he didn't advance.

Easy answer: one of my old teachers, when asked by students why they didn't advance in competitions would always say "because you didn't get enough votes." Harsh, but true.


Well, I'm of the opinion that everything potentially counts (otherwise, why play it?). And if a juror found the Kapustin to be problematic, that could enter into their assessment, I'd think, even if it wasn't the single determining factor. It has also occurred to me that a juror might feel that they weren't really qualified to be judging jazz, even fake jazz like Kapustin's, and might be less than thrilled at being asked to do that in the context of a classical music competition.
Originally Posted by CP73
Personally, I really enjoyed Broberg's playing this evening. His Dvorak had so many colors and characters. His balancing and voicing was unique/individual and I think it was quite successful.
Ditto...and it had a certain energy and crispness that I found quite appealing.
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not saying that there's any conspiracy, but it seems that Sunwoo has played a number of two-piano concerts with one of the jurors, Anne-Marie McDermott:
https://bachtrack.com/concert-listi...rmott-duo-recital/15-december-2016/20-00 .
Interesting. Can't help but wonder if the jurors were made aware of this and/or whether it would have made a difference one way or another. Probably a non issue. We'll never know.


I was fairly certain I'd seen the McDermott connection mentioned back when I first looked over the competitors' bios at the Cliburn website. A little web sleuthing shows that the bio below is what I had read on their site at that time. But, interestingly, that last phrase, the one that includes the reference to McDermott, is now gone. Regardless of the actual reason they removed it, it looks kind of questionable.

Earlier bio - "Yekwon Sunwoo earned his bachelor’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music and his master’s at The Juilliard School, and also studied with Richard Goode at the Mannes School of Music. He currently studies under Bernd Goetzke in Hannover. Mr. Sunwoo won first prize at the 2015 International German Piano Award in Frankfurt, the 2014 Vendome Prize held at the Verbier Festival, the 2013 Sendai International Music Competition, and the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Competition. He has performed with the Juilliard Orchestra under Itzhak Perlman at Avery Fisher Hall, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, Houston Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. His has given recitals at Carnegie Hall, Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo, Wigmore Hall in London, Radio France and Salle Cortot in Paris, and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. Mr. Sunwoo has been featured on WQXR’s McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase, and has performed chamber music for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with Ida Kavafian and Peter Wiley as part of Curtis On Tour, with Roberto Diaz on the Bay Chamber Concerts, and with the Jerusalem Quartet, Gary Hoffman, Anne-Marie McDermott, and Michael Tree."
Originally Posted by wr
[ I was fairly certain I'd seen the McDermott connection mentioned back when I first looked over the competitors' bios at the Cliburn website. A little web sleuthing shows that the bio below is what I had read on their site at that time. But, interestingly, that last phrase, the one that includes the reference to McDermott, is now gone. Regardless of the actual reason they removed it, it looks kind of questionable. .
They would have been better off just leaving it alone as the larger bio can easily be found on other websites.
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by musica71
I have sort of lost interest since someone like D.Kim does not advance. So very amazed!

That's kind of where I'm at as well. But, of course, life isn't always fair, and this is just another competition.


As someone said on Twitter - Dasol Kim doesn't make finals, yet stumbling through the Hammerklavier at practice tempo gets Favorin in?

It makes absolutely no sense to cut by far the most polished and interesting competitor. Very curious decision on the jury's part. I'm done watching for the season.
Originally Posted by Think Schifferent
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by musica71
I have sort of lost interest since someone like D.Kim does not advance. So very amazed!

That's kind of where I'm at as well. But, of course, life isn't always fair, and this is just another competition.


As someone said on Twitter - Dasol Kim doesn't make finals, yet stumbling through the Hammerklavier at practice tempo gets Favorin in?

It makes absolutely no sense to cut by far the most polished and interesting competitor. Very curious decision on the jury's part. I'm done watching for the season.


To be fair to Favorin, while he hasn't proven to be the most consistently on-point competitor, his highs tend to be very high. I will submit that his semifinal recital--even if the Hammerklavier were to be performed exceptionally--wouldn't have been a particularly audience-friendly program. The Beethoven is a sprawling, dense work that I, for one, still haven't been able to really truly understand or appreciate even after all my years of listening, and the Shostakovich is inscrutable in a very different way. And yet, I maintain that his quarterfinal recital was probably the most entrancing recital I've ever heard in a competition.

One must understand that these odd omissions and inclusions are part and parcel of the competition experience. Though I will say, the present instance with the cut of Dasol Kim feels particularly egregious and brings to mind such previous instances as Frederic Chiu from the 1993 Cliburn or even Ivo Pogorelich from the 1980 Chopin.

Personally, I don't consider Yuri to be the affront here. There are other competitors in the finals whose inclusion, in my estimation, are far more questionable.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
I would not be surprised at all to see split prizes this year. The standard here is just so damn high.



According to Jacques Marquis, "That will not happen."
Originally Posted by Think Schifferent
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by musica71
I have sort of lost interest since someone like D.Kim does not advance. So very amazed!

That's kind of where I'm at as well. But, of course, life isn't always fair, and this is just another competition.


As someone said on Twitter - Dasol Kim doesn't make finals, yet stumbling through the Hammerklavier at practice tempo gets Favorin in?

It makes absolutely no sense to cut by far the most polished and interesting competitor. Very curious decision on the jury's part. I'm done watching for the season.


From the OP, which seems to address the issue at hand more than I initially expected:

Quote

Predictions and Predilections
My personal hope is that Yury Favorin makes it to the finals (I like his playing and rep choices). Based on success in other competitions, my guess is that Jurinic, Tchaidze, and Khozyainov will make it at least past the first round. Who knows. What's guaranteed, though, is that someone who you really, really, like will be eliminated at some point in the competition. Or, they might win.


It's the nature of these things and sucks that Dasol was eliminated. As someone mentioned earlier, he said still in the running for a number of special prizes. He'll almost surely get a discretionary award and hopefully the audience and commissioned piece awards, too. Plus, he's already doing some top-tier gigs and gained a lot of important exposure from this.

Still bummed about not hearing his Tchaik, though.
Honestly, I think it's very possible Dasol might do better without the Cliburn win. I really question whether the overexposure brought on by winning a competition is the best thing for a career. I think it's hard to escape the competition association and avoid being the flavor of the month so to speak. While I don't necessarily imagine it's preferable to have a very slow rise alla Bolet or Hamelin, I think there could definitely be an element of slow and steady keeps a career. grin
Originally Posted by Brendan
From the OP, which seems to address the issue at hand more than I initially expected:
Quote

Predictions and Predilections
My personal hope is that Yury Favorin makes it to the finals (I like his playing and rep choices). Based on success in other competitions, my guess is that Jurinic, Tchaidze, and Khozyainov will make it at least past the first round. Who knows. What's guaranteed, though, is that someone who you really, really, like will be eliminated at some point in the competition. Or, they might win.


It's the nature of these things and sucks that Dasol was eliminated. As someone mentioned earlier, he said still in the running for a number of special prizes. He'll almost surely get a discretionary award and hopefully the audience and commissioned piece awards, too. Plus, he's already doing some top-tier gigs and gained a lot of important exposure from this.

Still bummed about not hearing his Tchaik, though.


The OP (you) actually made some very insightful statements in that initial post. Thanks for attempting to put things in perspective before the festivities began !! You even anticipated the Schumann discussion !! thumb
I have a theory that there are six basic types of pianists. A competition with six finalists will tend to reflect these six types. What do you think?

Six Types of Pianists
Very solid start from Tchaidze. You can hear a little fatigue in the upper strings, though.
Tchaidze is doing Prince George arm thows, again. yippie ha
I thought that was more piano-centric than collaborative, like Broberg's approach.
In the last movement, sure. I thought the first three were actually pretty well-integrated.

Cheung seems too laid back for the Brahms. Or maybe the piece is too heavy for her?
Originally Posted by Brendan
In the last movement, sure. I thought the first three were actually pretty well-integrated.

Cheung seems too laid back for the Brahms. Or maybe the piece is too heavy for her?


Well she did destroy that Prok 6, so I doubt that's it.
True. It could be fatigue, then.
Great finish on that first movement. Nothing like a big fat F minor chord ending.
Not fully prepared, IMO.
I enjoyed it. It was a decidedly classical approach. Textures were kept crisp and clean. Def not a full fat take, but that wouldn't fit the Brentano's sound anyway.
Originally Posted by Brendan
Not fully prepared, IMO.


I got that sense as well, from both soloist and ensemble.
Tchaidze was clearly the best tonight. Hsu is playing fine in the Franck, but it doesn't have the intensity that Favorin's did yesterday.
So, Favorin and Tchaidze get the chamber bounce going into final; Sunwoo and Broberg hold steady; Hsu and Cheung fall back a little.

Three ties for gold, silver, bronze. laugh

And Dasol Kim and Han Chen become stars. thumb
Favorin ought to crush the Prokofiev 2nd! I hope so, and that his chamber performance eradicate the miscalculation in the Hammerklavier's Adagio.
At this point I predict the following:

Gold: Tchaidze
Silver: Sunwoo
Bronze: Favorin, tied with Broberg

Audience Award: Cheung
Best Chamber Music: Tchaidze
Jury Discretion Awards: Tchaidze, Dasol Kim, Favorin
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
At this point I predict the following:

Gold: Tchaidze
Silver: Sunwoo
Bronze: Favorin, tied with Broberg

Audience Award: Cheung
Best Chamber Music: Tchaidze
Jury Discretion Awards: Tchaidze, Dasol Kim, Favorin


That sounds about right for the medals (although it's possible that Sunwoo might take it, it seems like he's being set up for success based on the schedule alone). The Discretionary Awards typically go to people who don't advance beyond a certain round. So in this case, it might be Dasol, Jurinic, and Yang. I'd guess that the Audience Award will go to either Broberg or Dasol.
I don't know about
Originally Posted by Brendan
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
At this point I predict the following:

Gold: Tchaidze
Silver: Sunwoo
Bronze: Favorin, tied with Broberg

Audience Award: Cheung
Best Chamber Music: Tchaidze
Jury Discretion Awards: Tchaidze, Dasol Kim, Favorin


That sounds about right for the medals (although it's possible that Sunwoo might take it, it seems like he's being set up for success based on the schedule alone). The Discretionary Awards typically go to people who don't advance beyond a certain round. So in this case, it might be Dasol, Jurinic, and Yang. I'd guess that the Audience Award will go to either Broberg or Dasol.


Good point about the discretionary awards.

RE: Audience awards though, the finalists all have the advantage of being in the poll for a few extra days compared to Dasol, so I'd say Broberg or Cheung would take it.
Another blog about the Cliburn ( https://www.fwweekly.com/blotch/around-fort-worth/ ). He is quite on the negative side laugh but for some reason seemed to like Han Chen's last performance:

Quote
And then Han Chen throws me a silk cord and pulls me along into his version of the 21st Piano Concerto. His interpretation is intelligent, with just the right amount of tension and resplendent in its beauty. He writes his own cadenzas, and they’re my favorite of the whole round, bursting with ideas and riotous colors. I feel refreshed by his performance. I don’t know that anybody has had a better semifinal round than this young man.
https://www.fwweekly.com/2017/06/05/blogging-the-cliburn-semifinals-day-5/
Here we goooooooooo!
Meh. Very heavy and at times muddy cadenza. So much pedal and so little structure. Disappointing!
Orchestra sounds like it's dragging.
Again, a very slow and heavy second movement when a lighter touch à la Yuja would have worked better. He was also rushing those sixteenths in the middle of the movement.
It's definitely rocking as of the second movement. First was good, and the cadenza was acceptably messy. laugh
Messy cadenza and no mystery or lyricism in the first, heavy slow joyless second, boring third, at least this fourth movement sounds ok.

Not a fan. frown I had high hopes
How much of the issue is with the orchestra, though? To me they sound curiously muted and diffused throughout.

I'm wondering if it might be a mic placement issue.
Originally Posted by valarking
Messy cadenza and no mystery or lyricism in the first, heavy slow joyless second, boring third, at least this fourth movement sounds ok.

Not a fan. frown I had high hopes


Couldn't have said it better myself.

Favorin reminds me again just how astoundingly good the Yuja/Dudamel (live!) recording is.
Damn it seems like they aren't moderating the comments tonight. People are going in on him tough
Wow. Couldn't sync the G octave at the end either. I don't see a medal for Favorin. Very disappointing performance.
I have to disagree and say that this was a great performance totally worth the finals of this competition. Its easy to point out messy the cadenza is, but having worked on this piece, it's impossible to get everything to come out cleanly (I even heard Bronfman clusterbomb it). I admired his extreme control in every movement, especially in this most stressful of situations!
I've heard many live performances of this (Haochen Zhang, Boris Berezovsky, among other high profile pianists), and none have sounded so mechanical and devoid of shape the way Favorin played it tonight.

Also it doesn't require working on the piece to know how it could or should sound like. All one needs is a score and good ears.
Originally Posted by Brendan
I have to disagree and say that this was a great performance totally worth the finals of this competition. Its easy to point out messy the cadenza is, but having worked on this piece, it's impossible to get everything to come out cleanly (I even heard Bronfman clusterbomb it). I admired his extreme control in every movement, especially in this most stressful of situations!


And Bronfman is the guy who says you have to play all the notes right!
I have to admit that I didn't find it particularly successful either, but again, I wonder how much of the issue was with the orchestra. For Favorin's part, I felt that he was keeping time very squarely and a shade on the slow side (perhaps as a concession?) and the orchestra still kept falling behind.
And...we're back to making music again. Broberg for the win.
Broberg off to a great start so far, very extroverted.
Man, this whole "performer 1/performer 2" thing is fairly ridiculous....
Such sensitivity to tone colour and the orchestral parts. This is great.
Pretty amazing cadenza variation! This is a top 2 performance.
Goorgeous transition into Var. 18. There's no doubt there's a medal for Broberg.
Really enjoying this.

One side effect of the "Mozart in semis, other concerto in finals" is that it really feels like competitors have to play it safer with their one finals concerto, so we get an endless cycle of Mozart 20/21 and then the "big concerto" choices. Not as much variety. This current performance excluded.
I'm guessing it's silver for Broberg. Still think Tchaidze and Sunwoo are more consistent and mature.
LOVED the way he cutely phrased the motive at the end

This man is a master.
Mr. Slatkin liked it!
I'm excited for Sunwoo. And I don't even really like Rachmaninoff.
Concertmasters had class piano in music school to know how to plonk an A for tuning! ha
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I'm excited for Sunwoo. And I don't even really like Rachmaninoff.



We've got a blasphemer over here!!
Fairly metro outfit... laugh
This is so articulated in the 1st mvt. that it's "Bachmaninoff."
The orchestra ensemble work is much tighter in the two Rach pieces so far.
Not really enjoying this - very histrionic, seems like Diet Lang Lang.
Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
Originally Posted by Eduard Hanslick
I'm excited for Sunwoo. And I don't even really like Rachmaninoff.



We've got a blasphemer over here!!


Trust me, I'm holding back.....trying to be as polite as possible after those cruel accusations of snark!
I feel like I shouldn't like this, but I can't turn away. For a piece that I usually run away from, I say that's a good thing. *shurgs*
God, this is extremely harsh. frown
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