Sunday, June 7, 2009

Van Cliburn Competition - sixth (and final) concert

I've only got a few minutes to collect my thoughts about the six concert in the final round of this competition. Nobuyuki Tsujii gave the recital portion with pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt. He did very well (especially considering that a Japanese TV crew just stopped in as well as more Japanese press and his university colleagues), but seemed to be unable to get some of the spontenaity and joy that some passages in the Liszt.

Haochen Zhang played the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 with technical perfection. He was really with the orchestra. I'm still not sure about his emotional range.

Di Wu played the trumph card, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, and it was dynamite. She was in her element and gave everyone the ride of their lives with full dynamic range. She is back in the running for a medal.

I don't envey the jury in trying to figure out how to score all of this. I've got Vacatello at the top with Tsujii and either Son or Wu in second or third. We'll find out very soon what the judges say.

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