Hearing Chopin with Fresh Ears
no-image, Hearing Chopin with Fresh Ears
Coming with fresh ears to the competition's 2nd Stage, it was exciting to be immediately confronted by Peng Cheng He's Scherzo in B flat minor, a commanding performance that inhabited the piece spaciously and explored its range of colours...
John Allison, photo: Chopin ExpressComing with fresh ears to the competition's 2nd Stage, it was exciting to be immediately confronted by Peng Cheng He's Scherzo in B flat minor, a commanding performance that inhabited the piece spaciously and explored its range of colours
Nothing else he played quite matched it, and his waltzes and mazurkas turned a little heavy. After his concluding Polonaise in F sharp minor, it was provocative of Miroslav Kultyshev to open with the same work in a much more interior, introverted performance. This Russian pianist proved himself to be an individualist, with two very dreamy nocturnes and four lilting mazurkas. Perhaps a little short in the bel canto department, he nevertheless showed a big musical imagination in the Barcarolle. Hyung-Min Suh, by contrast, seemed more rigid, but let's face it - it takes guts to play mazurkas to a Polish audience! He did best in the Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante, which is also where Leonard Gilbert rounded off the morning. This account had glittering brilliance, and Gilbert brought strong attack to the Scherzo in B minor. But some of the carol's innocence was missing in the middle, and his thick-textured mazurkas let him down. Perhaps Gilbert is more one of nature's Brahmsians than an instinctive Chopinist.
Author: John Allison (Editor of Opera Magazine, Chief Music Critic of the Sunday Telegraph)
The eminent music critic John Allison, who has written about Polish music for many years, has joined the Chopin Express team. John flew in from London on Friday. He will review auditions until the end of the Competition.
The article comes from the Chopin Express gazette published for the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition
by Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Gramophone.
View the audition recitals online at chopin2010.pl/en/competitions/xvith-chopins-competition.html
Other articles of interest in Chopin Express No. 10:"Ready But Still in Progress" - Anna Skulska talks to Jan Ekier about Chopin National Edition