by Daniel Hathaway
On Friday, May 15 at 7:00 pm Round Two of CIPC’s Young Artists Competition got underway at Baldwin Wallace University’s Gamble Auditorium. The evening featured five talented pianists ranging in ages from 12 to 15.
Yerin Yang (12, South Korea) started things off with impressive technique — and graceful, fluttery runs during the first movement, “Allegro,” of Mozart’s Sonata No. 18 in D Major, K. 576. She exhibited these same musical qualities during the second movement, “La Leggierezza,” of Liszt’s Trois études de concert. Yang showed a nice sense of pace in Shostakovich’s Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, Op. 87, No. 2 and displayed some fine hand-crossing in Schumann’s Abegg Variations, Op. 1.
Xuehong Chen (15, China) was all business during his impressive performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5. He brought a nice, dark tone and confident pacing to Chopin’s Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1. His interpretation of “Scarbo,” from Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit, was well-shaped and expressive.
Xiaoxuan Li (13, China) produced a big, rich tone during Rachmaninoff’s Études-tableaux, Op. 39, No. 5, and brought an expressive sense of line to Chopin’s Etude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 25, No. 6. Li concluded his program with three movements (“I. Presto,” “III. Allegro moderato,” and “IV. Presto feroce”) from Liebermann’s Gargoyles, Op. 29, playing with a good sense of color contrast and clear rhythms.
Elliot Wuu (15, USA) began his program with Rachmaninoff. The Prelude in D Major, Op. 23, No. 4 was dreamy and expressive, and the Prelude in A Minor, Op. 32, No. 8 was technically clean and brilliantly shaped. Wuu exhibited an excellent sense of rhythm during Menotti’s Ricercare and Toccata on a Theme from “The Old Maid and the Thief.” His performance of Chopin’s Etude in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 12 (“Revolutionary”) was wonderfully controlled and full of transparent textures and contrasts.
Leonid Nediak (12, Canada) may be tiny, but he plays with restrained power. His performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1 was well-paced with shapely lines. Rachmaninoff’s Lilacs, Op. 21, No. 5 was just lovely, and Nediak’s rendering of the composer’s Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12, was well-controlled. He played the final work, Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 28, with powerful accents and with a fine sense of voicing in the second section. He was so involved at the end that he nearly fell off the bench.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com May 19, 2015.
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