Sunday, 28 February 2010

2008 Sydney Winner KONSTANTIN SHAMRAY to début in Singapore

First prize-winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition 2008 KONSTANTIN SHAMRAY makes his Singapore début at the University Cultural Centre on Sunday (28 February 2010) at 8 pm. His programme includes:

BACH Partita No.4 in D major
BEETHOVEN Sonata No.32 in C minor, Op.111
PROKOFIEV Sonata No.8 in B flat major, Op.84
and shorter works by SCRIABIN.

Here's a recap of what I wrote about him at the competition in Sydney:

The tall and gaunt Konstantin Shamray (Russia) looks like the pianist to beat... A magnificent Wagner-Liszt Isoldes Liebestod which opened dramatically and unfolded gloriously till his fatal conclusion, and the Rachmaninov Étude-tableau in E flat minor (Op.39 No.5), whose pathetic quality could hardly be bettered. Shamray is born to play Rachmaninov.

Konstantin Shamray pulled off that Russian warhorse, the Taneyev Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor (famously recorded by Ashkenazy), with such amazing pianism that there is little more to say. The fugue is simply one of those torture devices regularly inflicted on piano students at the Moscow Conservatory. His Debussy Ondine (from Préludes Book 2) showcased wide contrasts of dynamics, and how the castanets clicked away in the Ravel Alborada del gracioso (from Miroirs), with some outrageous glissandi at the end to match.

Konstantin Shamray has a stainless steel clad technique yet is totally musical. He opened with that quirky Shostakovich Prelude & Fugue in D flat major (Op.87 No.15, which could be sung to We Wish You a Merry Christmas) and its wild, atonal fugue. A very good performance... His Mozart Sonata in F major (K.533/494) on more on the technical side, and its “music box” rondo could have a certain childlikeness. I’m just been finicky here, but I totally loved his choice of Schumann’s Fantasiestück Op.111 No.2, which has full, gorgeous sound and resounded like a well-delivered sermon followed by a benediction. With the fearsome Schumann Toccata (Op.7), he couldn’t have had a better finish.

may be heard on the SIPCA 2008 CDs (ABC Classics) performing:
MOZART Sonata in F major, K.533/494
TANEYEV Prelude & Fugue in G sharp minor
BEETHOVEN Sonata Op.106 "Hammerklavier": 1st movement
WAGNER-LISZT Isoldes Liebestod
MOZART Piano Concerto No.27 in B flat major, K.595
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.16
with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

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