by Cait Winston
Bowen Li (24, China) opened this round of the CIPC with Bach’s French Suite No. 5 in G. He maintained an engaging pace throughout the piece, skipping through melodic passages with grace and levity, while making sure to give appropriate emphasis to emotional moments.
Li showed thrilling virtuosity in Chopin’s Etude in F, Op. 10 No. 8, flying up and down the keys with both agility and clarity, and using his flawless technique to fluidly shift the mood of the piece from excited to intense.
In Haydn’s Sonata in b, Roman Lopatynskyi’s (27, Ukraine) meticulously crafted phrasing contributed powerfully to the work’s dramatic narrative. He highlighted complex, condensed textures without convoluting the sound, and handled lighter, more intricate material with elegance and tenderness.
In Samuel Feinberg’s transcription of the Scherzo from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Lopatynskyi was able to bring out strong melodic material from dense textures, and balanced the piece’s wild, excited energy with steadfast control.
Martín García García (24, Spain) began with Chopin’s buoyant Etude in a, before moving on to Liszt’s Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este, where he created a dreamy atmosphere despite the complexity of the piece’s texture.
In an explosive performance of Rachmaninoff’s Étude-tableaux in E-flat minor, the pianist showcased his impressive technique and thoughtful musicianship through high-speed passages and flexible, emotionally engaging phrasing. The fiery energy was maintained in Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3 in a, where he kept masterful control over fierce, running material.
An air of mystery was created through light articulations, delicate tones, and carefully constructed phrasing by Svetlana Andreeva (32, Russia) in Scriabin’s Sonata No. 10. Each note in the piece was perfectly controlled, allowing her to taper the tempo and dynamics at the ends of her phrases for a stunning dramatic effect. This skill translated to Chopin’s Etude in a, where Andreeva conveyed clear musical shapes even in highly intricate, virtuosic passages.
Andreeva had a triumphant finish with Bartók’s Etude, Op. 18 No. 3, where she travelled through complex, layered melodic lines with magnificent power and control.
Byeol Kim (31, South Korea) closed the event with her set, beginning with Debussy’s La plus que lente. She played with exquisite tenderness and an appreciation of the color imagery in the piece. Her tempo was elegant and her dynamics swelled beautifully, and while the piece lived mostly in the middle range, she made sure to highlight moments in which the music soared up to the high register. The Debussy was contrasted by Scarlatti’s Sonata in D, where Kim conquered the complex rhythms of the piece’s running passages.
Chopin’s Etude in G-sharp minor was brooding and intense. Kim expertly controlled the dynamics and tempos of wild ascending and descending passages, showing her musicality as she contrasted tight harmonies with beautiful moments of consonance. Her set ended with Granados’ Los Requiebros, where her acute technical skills and attention to melody brought out a variety of emotions.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com July 12, 2021.
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