Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tchaikovsky Competition Finals

In the final round of Tchaikovsky Competition the six violinists were required to perform his beloved concerto with one other of their choosing. This is my simple ranking of these admirable worthy young musicians.

   Haik Kazazyan has the highest musical ideals, if he cannot yet quite completely realize them. The audience's favorite, he was mine as well. (Sibelius)

   Yu-Chien Tsang performed honorably if there were no revelations. He owns a beautiful sound, and undoubtedly plays a magnificent violin. He does not play well with others. (Sibelius)

   Bomsori Kim played safe. She is accomplished enough to afford risks. (Brahms)

   Alexandra Conunova is most interesting, if not ready. She is one I look forward to hear again. (Sibelius)

   Clara-Jumi Kang gave a delightful and racy Tchaikovsky 3rd movement; it was really fun! Maybe, though, do not choose to compete with the Beethoven again.

   Pavel Milyukov's night was not this one. There is time. It will come. (Shostakovitch 1)


Monday, June 29, 2015

Fasten Your Seatbelts...It's Going To Be a Bumpy Night.


   Vowing, after the Indianapolis Violin Competition never to listen to such a thing again, the Tchaikovsky was not even in my crosshairs. However, a dear friend intimated my observations might be amusing. Incapable of surviving 25 24th Caprices and 23 Chaconnes, a dozen hour long recitals seemed possible, if as many Mozart Concertos were not. This disqualifies me to suggest any ranking, yet I do thank all the musicians for their dedication.


     In the violin recital round of the Fifteenth International Tchaikovsky Competition there was some commendable playing and much that was puzzling. 

   The outstanding performer here was Yoo Jin Jang from South Korea, who offered a confident tumultuous Corigliano Sonata with a superb unidentified pianist who had the good grace to dress formally. If her Schumann A minor Sonata was a bit reserved, though earnest, her Schnittke A Paganini solo was vividly colored and played with aplomb.

    This dreadful work was delivered less convincingly by the Russian Pavel Milyukov who seemed unwilling to grapple with the obscurities of this music. His Beethoven Seventh Sonata if at times sweet was slow and small, and his Tzigane was effortful. He has not yet learned to bow, and, why didn't he tuck in his shirt? 

   Another plainly dressed youth was the Norwegian Christopher Tun Anderson who seemed caught unawares, offering uninspired readings of Paganini's Nel cor piĆ¹ variations, Brahms' Scherzo, the Shostakovitch Prelude in C# minor and the Grieg C minor Sonata.