We asked for details a bit late, but wanted our readers to know that WCLV, 104.9 FM, will be re-broadcasting the concerto performances of the Final Four this week on the station’s Big Work at One series. Here’s the schedule:
Tuesday, August 11 at 1 pm: fourth-place winner Evgeny Brakhman in Rachmaninoff’s third concerto.
Wednesday, August 12 at 1 pm: third-place winner William Youn in Brahms’ first concerto.
Thursday, August 13 at 1 pm: second place winner Dmitri Levkovich in Rachmaninoff’s second concerto.
Friday, August 14 at 1 pm: first-place winner Martina Filjak in Rachmaninoff’s second concerto.
Any remaining time before two p.m. each day will feature Martina Filjak in solo performances from earlier rounds of the competition.
Inevitable comparisons: in a competition, you want to listen to every performance as if you’re hearing both the piece and the performer for the first time, but with two versions of Rachmaninoff’s second concerto scheduled on two adjacent nights, what’s a listener to do but think about each of them in relation to the other. Both are still ringing in the ears.
Croatian pianist Martina Filjak made an immediate impression with her carefully wrought crescendo and intensifying coloration of the famous opening chords and bass punctuation that begin Rach 2. Same conductor, same orchestra, but when the other hundred or so musicians on the stage joined Filjak in her musical odessey through this engaging score, it was clear that the soloist was seeing it through a different lens.
The winners of the 2009 Cleveland International Piano Competition:
Fourth Prize – Evgeny Brakhman
Third Prize – William Youn
Second Prize – Dmitri Levkovich
First Prize – Martina Filjak
Other prizes will be announced at the ceremony on Sunday afternoon.
Junior Jury Prize – Martina Filjak
Audience Prize – Dmitri Levkovich
Baroque Prize – Hoang Pham
Beethoven Prize – Martina Filjak
Cairns Family American Prize – Sean Chen
Chopin Prize – Soo Yeon Ham
Contemporary Prizes – Evgeny Brakhman and Martina Filjak
Mozart Prize – Evgeny Brakhman
It’s a dream come true for Rachmaninoff fans: three concertos (well, two different ones) performed on two adjacent evenings at Severance Hall — followed by a Brahms chaser.
Dmitri Levkovich (30, Canada) and Evgeny Brakhman (28, Russia) both speak Russian not only linguistically but musically. The first round of the CIPC Finals gave these fine young pianists the opportunity to show off their interpretive skills in collaboration with Jahja Ling and the Cleveland Orchestra.
In the orchestral hierarchy, concertos don’t get much rehearsal time compared to symphonic works. In this case, there was even less time to be had: each of the two soloists spent about an hour with the orchestra earlier in the day, after a seance with Maestro Ling on Thursday to talk things through. Every detail can’t have been worked out under those circumstances, but there are hundreds of recordings in circulation that have nothing on what we heard from these two pianists, who were obviously pumped for the occasion. It was quite an evening.
Yesterday CPIC kindly made the four finalists available for a photo op and interviews. We conversed in pairs to get to know the off-stage personalities of these gifted pianists. You will find Dan Hathaway’s interview with tonight’s finalists, Dmitri Levkovich and Evgeny Brakhman, on ClevelandClassical.com, here.
Tuesday afternoon with Levkovich and Brakhman was a guy’s session featuring two very fine, comparable performances. Tuesday evening was the women’s turn, but what a contrast between the equally excellent pianists Pallavi Mahidhara (USA/India) and Martina Filjak (Croatia).
The field is getting smaller, the audiences are getting larger and the performances are getting longer this week at the Bolton Theatre as we move into the four semi-final rounds.
In this leg of the competition, the requirements become simpler, with only two imperatives. Competitors must include a work or group of works by a French impressionist composer and a Romantic composer, then they can choose to play any other work of their choice. The French requirement is a vestige of CIPC’s ancestor, the Casadesus Competition, and it brings an entirely new challenge into play.
As the original order of the draw is being preserved in the Semi-finals, Dmitri Levkovich of Canada and Evgeny Brakhman of Russia were the featured acts on Tuesday afternoon. Each player crammed as much music as possible into his 55-60 minute allotment.
Tuesday, August 4
1:00 pm – Dmitri Levkovich
Haydn: Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI: 48
Debussy: Pour le piano
Rachmaninoff: Preludes, Op. 32, (Nos. 4, 13, 5); Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor, Op. 36 (with elements from 1913 and 1931)
2:15 pm – Evgeny Brakhman
Messiaen: Cloches d’angoisse et larmes d’adieu (Préludes, No. 6) lle de feu I (Quatre études de rythme, No. 1)
Debussy: Pour les arpèges composés (Douze études, Book II: 11) L’Isle joyeuse
Rachmaninoff: Études-tableaux, Op. 33, Nos. 8, 2, 3; Op. 39, Nos. 1, 2, 9; Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor, Op. 36 (1931)
Tonight, following the conclusion of Round 2, the CIPC jury will vote, selecting 8 contestants to advance to the semi-final round. The announcement is expected around 11:00 pm Eastern. Check back later for the decision and the semi-final round schedule.
UPDATED The Semi-Finalists in performance order: