by Mike Telin
First up was Nima Mirkhoshhal (17, Germany) who brought to life the creatures who come out at night in Bartók’s “The Night’s Music,” from Out of Doors. Next, during Scriabin’s Etude, Op. 42, No. 5 Mirkhoshhal played with a rich, dark sound, never losing track of the musical line. His interpretation of Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 31 was explosive in the best way possible.
Victoria Wong (17, Canada) played a second-round program consisting of three pieces in minor keys. In Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 28, a single-movement work in sonata form, she brought out the piece’s great mood shifts, with technically clean and well-articulated accents and scale passages. Never overplaying in the many percussive sections of Chopin’s Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1, her performance was memorable for its well-balanced and beautifully-shaped lyrical lines. An emotional performance of Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 clearly confirmed her love of Chopin, and his music suits her well.
Angeni Wang (15, Canada) began her set with Liszt’s Concert Etude No. 3 in D-flat Major (“Un Sospiro”), playing with sensitive melodic lines. Her performance of Tchaikovsky’s Dumka, Op. 59 was well-balanced. Wang was in her element during Ravel’s “Ondine” from Gaspard de le nuit. The performance was thoroughly engaging and full of color. She ended her segment with an explosive and technically secure performance of the first movement of Ginastera’s Sonata No. 1, Op. 22.
Yuanfan Yang (18, United Kingdom) began with a pairing of two works by Chopin. He opened with a nicely-paced, beautiful performance of the Mazurka in C-sharp Minor, Op. 50, No. 3, followed by a technically clean rendition of the Etude in A Minor, Op. 25, No. 11 (“Winter Wind”). His playing was well-balanced between the fast and furious right-hand scale passages and the left-hand theme. Yang continued with a beautifully-voiced “La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune” from Claude Debussy’s Préludes, Book II, VII, which he paired with one of his one compositions, Waves. It was a perfect match for the Debussy and he played it brilliantly. An outstanding performance of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15 in A Minor brought his recital to an outstanding conclusion.
The final session of the Second Round Senior Division began at 1:00 pm, and the final six contestants’ performances probably made the jury’s job even more difficult.
Chaeyoung Park (17, South Korea) possesses a full, dark sound which served her well during Chopin’s Etude in C Major, Op. 10, No. 1. She followed with an exquisite performance of Liszt’s “Feux Follets,” from Études d’exécution transcendante. The remainder of her program was devoted to Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 35. Performing with secure technique throughout, she played with nuance and a wonderful sense of line. The third movement, “Marche funèbre,” was a highlight.
Giorgio Trione Bartoli (18, Italy) began his program with a delightful performance of the first movement, “Praembulum,” from Bach’s Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829 and followed it with a wonderful rendition of the opening “Allegro” movement from Brahms’s Sonata in C Major, Op. 1. Bartoli’s abundant technical prowess was on full display during Ligeti’s Etude No. 4 (“Fanfare”), and his interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s Études-Tableaux, Op. 39, No. 3 was full of dynamic contrasts and personality. The concluding Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20 by Chopin was stunning.
Muzi Zhao (16, China) begin with an impressive performance of Mendelssohn’s Fantasie in F-sharp Minor, Op. 28. Zhao’s articulation was clean and precise during Vladigerov’s Humoresque, Op. 15, No. 3, and he tossed off the harmonically and rhythmically thorny Etude in Minor Seconds, Op. 68, No. 1 by Nikoli Kapustin like a walk in the park.
Evelyn Mo (16, USA) gave a delightful performance of Mozart’s Sonata in D Major, K. 576. The opening “Allegro” was well-shaped, the “Adagio” was lyrical and the final “Allegretto” was beautifully-articulated. Her interpretation of Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 was well-balanced and sensitive.
Evren Ozel (15, USA) began his segment with a perfectly-balanced and well-phrased performance of Schubert’s Impromptu in B-flat Major, D. 935, No. 3. His engaging playing sounded as though he were making it up on the spot. Ozel made easy work of the complicated Interlude II by Leon Kirchner, and Debussy’s Étude VII: pour les degrés chromatiques was superb. The concluding Etude in B Minor, Op. 25, No. 10 by Chopin was explosive. From beginning to end, this was a satisfying program to hear.
Kyubin Chung (17, South Korea) opened his impressive program with a very clean and thoughtful performance of Mendelssohn’s Variations sérieuses, Op. 54. During Schumann’s Novelette in F-sharp Minor, Op. 21, No. 8, one simply wanted to sit back and enjoy. He brought a big sound and secure technique to the concluding Suggestion Diabolique, Op. 4, No. 4 by Prokofiev.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com May 18, 2015.
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