Friday, 31 May 2013

Direct from THE CLIBURN / Preliminary Rounds (Phase Two) 30 May 2013 Recital 1

Preliminary Rounds
Day 7 Recital One (11 am)
Thursday 30 May 2013

I felt that SARA DANESHPOUR (USA) played better today, opening with Haydn’s Sonata in F major (Hob.VXI:23), a very polished performance with wit and humour. The slow movement was crafted with a beautiful velvety sonority that made one wish it could continue for longer. The mood changed for Granados Love and Death (La amor y la muerte) from Goyescas, which was dark and brooding, captured with a style that is wholly appropriate. Her Prokofiev Seventh Sonata had less power that Garritson’s (Daneshpour being of far slighter built) but it was subtler in certain ways. The tolling bells of the second movement were memorable, and even if the Precipitato finale did not race off the tracks, it built up to a sufficiently big climax before closing in a flourish. Standometer: *1/2

My view: A better show today, but that may not be enough.

After all the glorious music making that has come before, it appears that GUSTAVO MIRANDA-BERNALES (Chile) has arrived at the wrong party. If this were the Gottschalk-Guastavino Carmen Miranda Piano Competition, he would be pronounced its champion in an instant. He plays with a distinctly unpleasant sound, apparent immediately in a Chopin Mazurka and Gabriel Faure’s Second Valse Caprice, both dances infected with an irritating beat of his own making. It gets worse in Schumann’s Fantasie Op.17, with conscious posturing posing as profundity, attention-grabbing accents, funny eyes and extreme facial grimacing. While Deljavan’s faces come across as genuine, Miranda’s looked like faked orgasms. And he comes from Juilliard? Standards must have fallen, I’m afraid. After this, I’m off to Ojos Locos for some real eye candy. Standometer: **1/2

My view: Adios, please.

The second recital of JIE YUAN (China) consisted of 27 short pieces, beginning with three rhythmically interesting numbers from Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata (Nos.3, 6 and 10), each based on the same number of notes as its numerical order. So each piece gets more complex as the numbers rise from 3 to 10. It does not take a mathematical genius to enjoy his account of these. There was little to separate Yuan’s magnificent performance of Chopin’s 24 Preludes Op.28 from the earlier one by Ruoyu Huang. Technically, it was beyond secure, and that is when the true music making starts. Each piece flowed into the next seamlessly, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Standometer: **1/2

My view: His stock has further risen, and hopefully we’ll get to hear more.   

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