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Cliburn finalists announced!

Posted By: Brendan

Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/04/01 08:48 PM

Stanislav Oudenitch, Uzbekistan - Tchaikovsky 1st and Mozart #21 (C major)

Oleksiy Koltakov, Ukraine - Rachmaninoff 3rd and Beethoven 2nd (b-flat major)

Olga Kern, Russia - Rachmaninoff 3rd and Mozart #27 (b-flat major)

Wang Xiaohan, China - Rachmaninoff 3rd and Mozart #23 (a major)

Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Italy - Prokofiev 3rd and Mozart #23 (a major)

Maxim Phillipov, Russia - Rachmaninoff 3rd and Mozart #21 (c major)

That's four Rachmaninoff 3rds...talk about playing to the trend.

My predictions:

Oleksiy Koltakov, first place
Stanislav Ioudenitch, second place
Antonio Pompa-Baldi, third place

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Posted By: Dan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/04/01 09:46 PM

Hi Brendan,

I haven't finished listening to the finalists yet, so no vote from me.

I was really hyped on Alessandra Maria Ammara and was sure she would make it thru to the finals, but she blew her recital! All of her playing up to the recital was marvelous, but when she got to Chopin's Op 28, she rushed thru everything. While there was certainly emotion shown in her playing of these Preludes, to me the phrasing didn't sound sincere. It's almost like she was looking for some material to fill out her recital, and someone said "Why not play the Chopin Preludes?". So she learned them, but she didn't understand them and so couldn't play them expressively.

Anyway, I'd love to be able to play 1/10th as good as she can, and I would certainly make a great effort to see her perform if I ever had the chance. Nonetheless, I can understand why she wasn't chosen as a finalist.

Oh well, back to the music!

Posted By: ryan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/05/01 01:40 PM

The Chopin preludes are very difficult to pull off, especially as a set. There was another wonderful pianist who played them at the last Van Cliburn who had enough trouble with them to keep her out of the finals. I think of the set of preludes as a "heavy" concert work, not one to take lightly. Certainly not one to throw together at the lass minute for some filler, which is just looking for trouble smile

Actually, when listening to the last Van Cliburn, there were a few wonderful pianists that had blow-ups in the semis. Really surprised me. One guy had already pulled off Bach's 4th Partita and Ravel's Mirrors, but blew up in the middle movement of Schumann's Fantasy (another VERY risky work). It's unfortunate, but it happens. Not to compare myself to the caliber of these pianists (I'm nowhere near), but I have had a few spectacular blow ups of my own smile

Posted By: Brendan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/05/01 03:16 PM

I was wondering where you were, Ryan...welcome!

I don't know if it's just Pollini's recording of Petrushka that's ruined it for me, but I haven't heard a single performance of this piece at the VC that has done anything for me. I think that most people went about it too heavily.

I couldn't ever dream of doing that competition, though, so I guess that I have no room to talk. I would walk out there and just faint. eek eek eek eek eek eek

Posted By: ryan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/05/01 05:25 PM

Thanks for the welcome, Brendan! I took a week off to work on finishing my basement. Glad to see everybody here at the new site.

I agree about Pollini's recording of Petrushka - I haven't heard any other recording that I thought came close. It seems like people play it too heavy and crashy, and they try to play it faster than they can. Pollini is so amazingly clean and articulate that it probably sounds faster than he actually plays it.

As an aside, Ioudenitch performed Petroushka and the Spanish Rhapsody at the last Van Cliburn. I'm interested to hear how he did with them this year.

After writing my earlier post about Chopin's preludes, I had another thought. Competitions like this require the pianist to have so much music learned that it seems like it would be a real challange to keep it all at competition level. It seems like pianists that haven't worked up their reperatoire over the years have a real disadvantage. Do you focus more on the first round pieces, trying to make it to the second round with the risk of not doing as well there? Or do you focus more on the second round pieces in case you do actually make the cut?

I'm with you, though. If I actually made it to the piano, I'm not sure I could make my fingers engage!

Posted By: Brendan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/06/01 12:27 AM

Juggling repertoire is a rough thing that we all have to deal with. The thing is that with competitions like this, these pieces have most likely been in their repertoire for years and don't require much maintenance work as a newer piece. I really doubt that anyone would play a piece for the first time in something as big as this (which is why most people screw up the commissioned work).

Which is also why Ioudenitch programmed the same repertoire this time as he did last - they're warhorses for him by now.

Then again, just because you've played it 1,000 times before doesn't mean that you aren't prone to a bad performance, especially under conditions as stressful as the VC puts on a pianist. I missed Allessandra's performance (her program didn't look to interesting to me), but I plan to listen to everything once I get some more time.


[ June 05, 2001: Message edited by: Brendan ]
Posted By: Dan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/06/01 02:54 AM

Brendan, you should definitely listen to Alessandra's Preliminary round, and her Chamber work. I would be really interested to get the opinion of someone who knows more about the music and the making of music than I do. To me, she was wonderful in those two areas.

As for the recital, I admit I didn't listen to all of it. I went looking for the Chopin, and listened to those first because I've been trying to play a couple of them. I was so disappointed after listening to them, that I didn't listen to the rest of her recital program. Perhaps it's really good, or maybe it isn't.

Anyway, I've really enjoyed listening to this years competition.

Posted By: ryan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/06/01 05:28 PM

I have not listened to Allessandra's performances yet either. I am slowly working my way through round one. The quality of playing seems to be very good so far. How about Oleksiy Koltakov? Wow! I haven't listened to Ioudenitch's performances either, but if they are better than the last Van Cliburn he has to be a favorite to place in the top three. I think he might have had a good chance to place last time if he hadn't been injured just before the finals. I don't blame him at all for keeping some of the same program.
Posted By: Dan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/06/01 08:03 PM

Yeah, I really enjoyed Koltakov also. I don't know what it was about Alessandra's performance that made me perk up my ears. It just seemed so expressive. I haven't listened to Ioudenitch yet either. I've gotta get focused on listening to these performances!

Posted By: Brendan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/06/01 09:37 PM

I'm actually going to scrap my winners prediction and say that Ioudenitch has got it. It seems to me that's he's had it since the moment that he applies for thsi competition - there's TONS of press about him and his recovery, and he is definitely the audience favorite.

I don't know who said it, but they usually have the winners picked by the time the finals begin. This last round is just a confirmation of their choices, I guess.

Posted By: Mat D.

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/07/01 08:40 PM

Please tell me where these audio clips are posted.

Thank you,

Mat D.
Posted By: Mat D.

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/07/01 09:47 PM

Posted By: Patti

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/07/01 10:02 PM

I have not been able to listen to the Van Cliburn archives today or yesterday. I can get into the site but when I click to listen I'm given an error message and it won't play. Is anyone else having this problem? Real player comes up and it tries to connect then a message says "unable to connect with the server". It's worked for me before yesterday. I'm really bummed I can't listen! mad
Posted By: wghornsby

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/08/01 02:09 AM


Are you trying to access the site from behind a firewall (e.g., from your workplace?) Streaming audio often will not work thru a firewall.

I edited this message because I see where you included that this worked for you yesterday. So I guess that makes everything I said in the 1st paragraph irrelevant, now, doesn't it?? :rolleyes:

SSS (sorry so stupid)

[ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: wghornsby ]
Posted By: Mat D.

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/08/01 03:28 AM

I've been listening off & on all day (recital archives) and so far I like Antonio Pompa-Baldi (Italy) best. Very musical & polished!

My prediction: Mr.Antonio Pompa-Baldi takes first prize. He reminds me of Pollini --so clean & organized, but with plenty of guts!!
His tone production is also superior to most of the others IMO.

Mat D.

[ June 08, 2001: Message edited by: Mat D. ]
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/08/01 03:21 PM

Pompa-Baldi is really, really good. His Scriabin in the first round was fantastic, but I felt that his Chopin was a little too pushed for my tastes. I can't wait to hear his Prokofiev 3rd tonight. If anyone is the wildcard in the competition, it's surely him. It all depends on tonight, I guess.


I just finished listening to Ioudenitch's chamber music, the Franck Piano Quintet. Unbelievable...I'm so glad that I discovered this work; really one of the most beautiful things ever written.

[ June 08, 2001: Message edited by: Brendan ]
Posted By: ryan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 06/08/01 03:44 PM

I am in the middle of listening to Pompa-Baldi's first round performance. I think it is the best playing that I have yet heard in this round in terms of tone, phrasing, expression, style, flow. His technique and accuracy are also top notch. He may turn out to be my favorite as wll, but it's difficult to say if he will win. Last time my favorite pianist was Avarim Reichert, but apparently his choice of Prokofiev's 3rd (which was fantastic) didn't measure up to Nakamatsu's choice of the Rach 3. Kasman also played the Rach 3, and while I thought he played everything way tooooo fast without much thought to pacing or structure, they still awarded him second place. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 12/28/12 04:14 AM

Found this old-old thread, one of the very oldest on Pianist Corner. Interesting to see these posts about the '01 Cliburn competition, not just because several of the contestants have since become renowned but especially because I've gotten to know three of them from their being judges in the amateur competitions: Kern, Ioudenitch, and Pompa-Baldi who didn't get one of the gold medals but was a favorite of much of the audience.

(Thanks to ChopinAddict for mentioning that it's possible easily to click on these oldest pages. I hadn't noticed.)
Posted By: Brendan

Re: Cliburn finalists announced! - 12/28/12 02:00 PM

Yes, thank you for bumping this ancient thread.
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