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The pause between rounds today gives us a moment to reflect on a week of extraordinary talent, and speculate on the excitement to come.
After the 8 semi-finalists were announced last night, ClevelandClassical.com was surprised to be mostly in accord with the jury’s choices. We’re taken with Dmitri Levkovich, fresh off the heels of winning the Iturbi (Los Angeles), he’s pumped for a second win this year in a major competition. Four of the eight semi-finalists came from group 3–no surprise there. This group was a happy coincidence of the draw for listeners, a real treat! We’ll admit surprise that Japanese contestant Kyoko Soejima did not advance, and that Korean William Youn did, though we’re eager to hear him perform (and prove us wrong) in the next round.
Share your thoughts: Surprises? Disappointments? Who’s moved you so far? What will you be listening for this week? Do tell, let’s use this thread for discussion.
UPDATED Here’s a little more food for thought… Daniel Hathaway’s round up of CIPC Rounds 1 & 2 on ClevelandClassical.com.
Suppose you have something around half an hour’s time to show yourself off to an audience and jury in the best possible light. Perhaps you really have only five minutes to grab people’s attention at the beginning, then you can spend the rest of your allotment making good on that first impression. How would you organize your time?
So far, there’s been a clear demarcation between contestants who strategically managed their slots (mostly the older pianists) and those who just seemed to be filling the requirements with no particular plan. The first group treated the opportunity as though it were actually a mini-recital; the second as though they were playing for a jury in a conservatory.
As we noted earlier, one of the abidingly wonderful aspects of CIPC is that everybody has a second chance to prove themselves. Now that we’ve reached the second round and returned to the top of the batting order, it’s time to revisit our first impressions and see whether our original thoughts have changed after a second hearing. On Friday afternoon, the original six players lived to perform again.
Friday, July 31
1:00 pm – Anna Shelest (USA): Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E flat Minor, WTC I: 8, Chopin’s Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58. 1:40 pm – Hoang Pham (Australia): Beethoven’s Sonata in E flat Major, Op. 7, Chopin’s Etude in G flat Major, Op. 10, No. 5 (Black Key), Adès, Darknesse Visible (1992). 2:20 pm – Olga Kozlova (Russia): Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17, Ligeti’s Etude No. 13 (L’escalier du diable). 3:15 pm – Jae Weon Huh (Korea): Scarlatti’s Sonata in F Major, K. 17, Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Op. 16. 3:55 pm– Yekwon Sunwoo (Korea): Ligeti’s Etude No. 10, (Der Zauberlehrling), Brahms’s Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5. 4:35 pm – Kyoko Soejima (Japan): Bach’s Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829, Vine’s Sonata No. 1 (1990).
7:00 pm – Dmitri Levkovich (Canada): Chopin’s Barcarolle in F sharp Major, Op. 60 Scherzo No. 2 in B flat Minor, Op. 31, Vine’s Sonata No. 1 (1990). 7:40 pm – István Lajkó (Hungary): Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata, Nos. 1-3, 7-10 Etude No. 10, (Der Zauberlehrling) Chopin’s Fantasy in F Minor, Op. 49 Waltz in A flat Major, Op. 42. 8:20 pm – Maria Masycheva (Russia): Haydn’s Sonata in E Major, Hob. XVI: 31, Brahms’s Seven Fantasies, Op. 116. 9:15 pm – Sean Chen (USA): Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Op. 16, Carter’s Caténaires (2006). 9:55 pm – Chun Wang (China): Schumann’s Fantasy in C Major, Op. 17, Messiaen’s Le loriot (Catalogue d’oiseaux, Book I: 2).
This analogy is going to break down soon, but I’m discovering that the opening rounds of a tennis tournament and a piano competition have a lot in common. You get to witness the strengths and weaknesses of new players (he’s going to have trouble with his serve; she’s having problems balancing the voicing on this piano…) and you have the opportunity to see how grace operates under fire (who’s going to clutch and doublefault at match point; who’s going to lose control of the tempo in the final presto). And you get to hang out in a temporary village of enthusiasts that also resembles a medieval jousting tournament. As the crowd assembled at the Play House this afternoon, we saw a lot of people we knew we’d find here, and it was fun to catch up on inside talk.