by Daniel Hathaway
The pianists who remained on the bench after the rather brutal cut on Wednesday evening in Cleveland Piano’s Virtu(al)oso Competition (the field was reduced from 30 to 6) played virtual 30- to 35-minute programs in the Final Round on Friday and Saturday, pre-recorded at international Steinway locations at the same time as their First Round performances. Here are some impressions.
Friday, August 7 — Session 1
Tamila Salimdjanova (28, Uzbekistan) brought two works to the session: Debussy’s Estampes and Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7. She gave the three-movement Debussy (“Pagodes,” “La soirée dans Grenade” and “Jardins sous la pluie”) a fluent performance, but the scenes offer more color possibilities than she exploited, and an abundance of dynamic details that went overlooked. Salimdjanova played the Prokofiev masterfully, but the outer movements needed more sheer brutality to reflect the Sonata’s Stalinist context and to offset the sentimental slow movement. [Read more…]