Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Dispatch from Warsaw, October 19, 2021

Canadian J. J. Jun Li But played a songful and ardent first concerto tonight. Unfortunately, he was playing all by himself, leaving the orchestra to follow, which they did magnificently, no easy task at all. In the third movement, he was rushing so much that the whole thing became an athletic contest, which was unfortunate, as he has some very good ideas for this movement. At this point, he is still very much a child relishing in his own pianistic abilities.

Alexander Gadjiev chose to play the F minor concerto, but his performance suffered from square phrasing and a lack of breathing room for the music. Right at the piano entrance of the first movement, he missed the rhetorical nature of the music. The return of the second theme in the recapitulation was done quite beautifully. The second movement fared much better, the sound was very good, and there was considerably more poetry. It was too bad that at the beautiful bassoon solo, he was somewhat detached from the melodic line. The third movement was lively, but the dance element of the music was missing.

The highlight of the evening was Martin Garcia Garcia's performance of the F minor concerto. There was lyricism, flexibility in phrasing, and considerable poetry. He listened to the orchestra, and there was a variety of sounds in his tone production tonight, although the loud passages sounded sometimes strident. In the slow movement, he succeeded in drawing us into Chopin's emotional world. The many runs in the right hand were ravishing, and the duet with the bassoonist was enchanting indeed. Garcia Garcia succeeded in highlighting the dance element of the third movement, the passagework was really breathtaking, and the sound of the solo piano was very much alive and rhythmically alert with the col legno string accompaniment. It was a brilliant and original performance of this somewhat underplayed (at least for the Chopin Competition) concerto.

The very talented Eva Gevorgyan played a pianistically perfect first concerto tonight. It was, however, a performance akin to someone highlighting a very beautiful work of art, rather than an intensely emotional experience. 

We have four more artists performing tomorrow evening, and then the jury members will be left with the very difficult decision of deciding who the best man, or woman, would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment