Poetry and Emotion
no-image, Poetry and Emotion
Will Tuesday be remembered as the evening that produced a winner, or simply the night that the National Philharmonic Hall’s lights failed on national television? Opera Magazine's John Allison conveys the sights, sounds and emotions of the first day of final auditions...
John Allison, fot. "Chopin Express"
Will Tuesday be remembered as the evening that produced a winner, or simply the night that the National Philharmonic Hall's lights failed on national television?
Probably both, but it got off to an underwhelming start with Nikolay Khozyainov's account of the E minor Concerto. A well-schooled performer, this youngest of the finalists conveyed little emotional involvement, but deserves credit coping when the stage was plunged into near darkness halfway through the first movement. Everyone played on. A similar problem struck in the first movement of Yulianna Avdeeva's E minor Concerto, and she coped well too, but had already displayed the most mature musicianship yet heard in the final stage. Presenting a distinctive conception of the work, she created magic in the Romance and quieter passages of the outer movements. She took care over tone, and played with sparkling poise, also finding room for freedom in the finale that seemed to come from the security of her technique- not that she was flawless.
Standing room filled up for Ingolf Wunder, indicating that is now the audience's favourite. It's not hard to see why, and his E minor Concerto had authority right from the opening statement. Wunder has a way of capturing an audience's attention with poetry and emotion; his playing is about sound, not just notes, and in that respect was in a league of his own here. The slow movement cast a spell like a bel canto aria, and the finale had Mozartian elegance and a dancing lightness that was never exaggerated. With the exception of Wunder, none of the finalists so far has been as exciting as in the earlier stages, sounding as if they are not free to give their best under the official weight of the Warsaw Philharmonic. Can that be right? Is there a case for creating a special competition orchestra?Author: John Allison
This article comes from the current edition of the "Chopin Express" gazette, published by the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, in coooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Gramophone magazine.
Other articles of interest from the first edition of Chopin Express:
"From the Heart" - Interview with Competition Juror Fou T'song