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Not a good day for Gadjiev. Excellent technique but not at his best.

Excellent and solid performance by Garcia Garcia, though I think technically he is not quite at the level of Gadjiev, but today was his day. He played much better than in the 3rd round, but I am not too much in tune with his style, the larghetto is finely played but could be more expressive . I am not sure it will be enough to bring him within the top 3.

Also excellent performance by Gevorgyan, which I found gave a very personal version of the concerto, less brilliant but more intimate. Very solid technically, I found her at her best in the cantabile passages with a very nice romance.

The top 3 looks very open this year.


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The first prize might not be awarded at all.

Maybe a tie for second prize between Sorita and Armellini.

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Why wouldn't the first prize be awarded? One would think that with such a record-breaking field of outstanding candidates this year, that the need to acknowledge their incredible achievements is stronger than ever...?

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Ouch! That fumble in the Rondo might have just cost Kobayashi a prize, with such a crowded Finalist field this year.

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The Brahmsian dark first and second mvts should be enough for her not to win a prize.
She has no clue about this concerto.

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I wouldn't go as far as you did there, but I thought Kobayashi was clearly a few notches below the likes of Sorita/Garcia Garcia/Armellini. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see those three winning the medals. But let's see later today, Lee and Liu have both been exceptional as well.

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I liked her color in the first two movements, but yes, the Rondo suffered. She's a great musician no matter what.

Clear front runners are still Sorita, Armellini, and GG (if you notice from his video, the jury applauded enthusiastically after his performance while remaining still for most of the other contestants).

Watching Kuszlik now and my overall impression is that he trained to do this competition and this competition only.

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If you are Samson Francois or Cortot or Paderewski etc. you can impose your own style and do whatever you want at that moment, otherwise stick to the score and respect the composer.

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Kuszlik secured a prize , IMO. Whether it will be 4th, 5th or 6th depends.

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He bored me to death though. A very uniform, secure, proper and school exam-winning performance with nothing particularly wrong with it. Also nothing particularly captivating. Middle of the road solid playing. Seeing from Facebook comments, the Polish audience loved it very much.


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Sorta will be one of very few world class pianists who was a late starter - He did not start piano until 11 years old. I wonder if there was anyone like him before.

All other Japanese contestants from the 1st rounds started piano at 2-6 years old. As you know, kobayashi has been well known as a child prodigy. It is remarkable how he developed himself. Some of his music high school friends were like, “wow I did not remember he was that good”. Incidentally Kobayashi and Sorita were in the same high school class.

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I remember a video from the Cliburn competition where the conductor was rehearsing with a pianist without the orchestra through the score.

He indicated on the score where he wanted to hear the left hand low bass notes.

Lee would have benefited from such a session.

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RE: FarmGirl's point about Sorita: Ingolf Wunder, second prize winner from the 2010 edition, didn't start piano until he was 14.

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Originally Posted by Mati
He bored me to death though. A very uniform, secure, proper and school exam-winning performance with nothing particularly wrong with it. Also nothing particularly captivating. Middle of the road solid playing. Seeing from Facebook comments, the Polish audience loved it very much.

Same - nothing to write home about, but impressive that he could play securely under this kind of stress. He seemed awkward onstage afterwards, too.

Listening to Liu now and am having the same reaction.

So, I'd say it's still Sorita, Garcia, Armellini for the top 3 (any order), followed by Eva, Kuszlik/Hao Rao, and Liu. Aimi probably goes home again empty-handed.

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Orchestra got tired. The winds are suffering.

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Liu decided on quite a juicier tempo here. I'm curious if he'll keep up in the 3rd movement to put attention to everything there. I'm quite enjoying the liveliness, to be honest.


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Originally Posted by Spaetensonaten
RE: FarmGirl's point about Sorita: Ingolf Wunder, second prize winner from the 2010 edition, didn't start piano until he was 14.

He was playing On violin since 4, so 99% he was playing piano too, it was his secondary instrument. In most of the music schools in the world piano is obligatory as second instrument. I know people who could easily play Chopins Polonaises while their main focus was violin or different instrument, and were doing it for fun.

Going back to top 6 - Eva, Sorita, Armellini, Liu, Garcia Garcia, Aimi, rest I do not care.

3 years Kuszlik was not even sure whether he want to be a pianist, or something of that matter.

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How did Lee do? I caught him at the end of the 3rd mvmt. The audience seemed to like him a lot.

Listening to Liu - seems a bit rushed to my taste.

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I'm betting on Armellini, Sorita and Garcia Garcia for top 3, and Liu, Eva and Hao Rao for the rest of the six. My heart would like to see Aimi there, but I have doubts she can make it now.

I'm quite sure there will be surprises though.


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Liu is going well in the 3rd. Pushing the tempo to climb up. At least maybe a 4th prize.

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