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#1212912 - 06/06/09 05:11 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Drunk3nFist Offline
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Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
His hands are shaking. Bless the fellow.
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#1212920 - 06/06/09 05:28 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Theowne]
signa Offline
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Registered: 06/06/04
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Loc: Ohio, USA
it's not the best Rach 2 for sure, partly because of the orchestra. the 2nd movement was the best, lovely played by Tsujii. but he has the limitation of dynamic range for Rach 2, especially the 3rd movement.

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#1212922 - 06/06/09 05:33 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: signa]
Drunk3nFist Offline
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Posts: 640
Loc: London
For a blind person, Tsuji done very well. I wouldn't be surprised if he actually wins the competition.
_________________________
Ravel - Une Barque Sur l'Ocean
Kapustin - Etude No. 7
Bach/Busoni - Chaconne

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#1212924 - 06/06/09 05:35 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: signa]
pianoloverus Online   content
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If Tsujii has any dynamic range limitation, I think it's because he cannot afford to ever lift hands more than the smallest amount off the keys. Probably because it would be too hard to find his way around the keyboard. That's one reason his playing "looks" so much easier than it is...his hands are incredibly quiet.

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#1212927 - 06/06/09 05:38 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Theowne Offline
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Loc: Toronto, Canada
I agree that Tsujii has a limitation on dynamic range due to his blindness. Conlon was urging once, I think, for more powerful bass hits during some sections, but that's not possible for Tsujii during fast sections, because he constantly must position his fingers, he simply cannot do those grandiose keyboard strikes. Which also means that he doesn't possess a certain "flair" that many pianists do because he must always keep his fingers steady on the keyboard. In the end, I think performers each have distinctive traits that draws people to them, and while people might see Lang Lang for his extroverted behavior at the piano, Tsujii has his own individuality due to his blindness and accomplishment that will draw audiences, even if he cannot be as flippant and virtuosic in appearance.

However, I place a lot of blame on Conlon/orchestra for the disastrous opening. The bass notes immediately prior to the entrance are a clear indication of the tempo, and Conlon shouldn't have tried to "speed up" the piece to his own liking, particularly during the actual performance, with a pianist who cannot take cues as easily as others. Thing is, he kept doing it later on.....I don't want to keep harping on about this, but I can't even imagine how nerve-wracking it must have been for the pianist at that moment.


Edited by Theowne (06/06/09 05:41 PM)
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#1212930 - 06/06/09 05:47 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: pianoloverus]
signa Offline
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Loc: Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If Tsujii has any dynamic range limitation, I think it's because he cannot afford to ever lift hands more than the smallest amount off the keys. Probably because it would be too hard to find his way around the keyboard. That's one reason his playing "looks" so much easier than it is...his hands are incredibly quiet.

i agree. i noticed that he always has to position his hands first before striking keys. so, it would be very hard for him with fast jumps. he certainly can do it, but just has to put hands really close to keys, which therefore limits his sound range.

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#1212934 - 06/06/09 05:51 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: signa]
Horowitzian Offline
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Originally Posted By: signa
it's not the best Rach 2 for sure, partly because of the orchestra. the 2nd movement was the best, lovely played by Tsujii. but he has the limitation of dynamic range for Rach 2, especially the 3rd movement.


That was the movement I heard the most of. Quite nice! I missed the 3rd movement. From what I heard of the first movement, I must say I thought that Maestro Conlon was not as sympathetic to the needs of the pianist as he could have been. I'd say Tsujii did well in spite of everything.
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#1212939 - 06/06/09 06:00 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Horowitzian]
Horowitzian Offline
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I am looking forward to Bozhanov's Rach 2 tonight. It will be interesting to see of Conlon attempts to speed things up or otherwise force things in his own direction.
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#1212944 - 06/06/09 06:18 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Horowitzian]
Theowne Offline
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Undoubtedly, it will be a lot more....uh..."visual" than the one we just heard.
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音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#1212953 - 06/06/09 06:36 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Theowne]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Theowne
Undoubtedly, it will be a lot more....uh..."visual" than the one we just heard.


I think Bolzhanov did a lot more of those hand motions in his finals recital compared to his two earlier recitals. I found it quite silly after a while.

But there are certainly those, including professionals, who only think the music counts. So I don't really know what to make of it.

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#1212960 - 06/06/09 06:50 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: pianoloverus]
Brendan Online   content



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5229
Loc: McAllen, TX
That opening was pretty blatantly Conlon's fault. What the hell is his problem? It's the final round of a marathon competition, and it seems to me like he purposely torpedoed Tsujii's performance because he didn't like the tempo.
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#1212971 - 06/06/09 07:13 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: pianoloverus]
Numerian Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1071
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If Tsujii has any dynamic range limitation, I think it's because he cannot afford to ever lift hands more than the smallest amount off the keys. Probably because it would be too hard to find his way around the keyboard. That's one reason his playing "looks" so much easier than it is...his hands are incredibly quiet.


Very good observation. There is no reason Tsujii cannot build a career based on composers and compositions that suit his style and his particular limitations. That means more Chopin or Debussy, and less Liszt, but so what? Most pianists limit themselves, especially as they get older. Brendel in his last two decades could no longer lift his hands to perform the Hammerklavier. Perhaps Tsujii should not have programmed the Rachmaninoff if the judges are looking for a powerful "Russian" performance, but he shouldn't be criticized for performing it his own way, even if the conductor insisted on not collaborating with him.

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#1212976 - 06/06/09 07:30 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: pianoloverus]
Numerian Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1071
Quote:
by pianoloverus:

The orchestra doesn't need a conductor or you just don't like Conlon? Since he has had to conduct up to 5 concerti on some days in either rehearsal or performance, I don't really mind where he rests his butt unless he fall backward into the piano if the lid falls down.


I just don't like Conlon. While I appreciate the devotion of the orchestra to assisting so many pianists and having to repeat many of the concertos, it seems Conlon is not interested in helping the pianists appear at their best.

Quote:
Are you suggesting only pianists without already established careers should be allowed to win? If you check the pianists eliminated in the prelims, I think you'll find of them already have good careers also.


I think so. What is the purpose of these competitions otherwise? Why not just have a conclave of all the best young pianists under 30 if established professional artists can participate. The problem here may be that the competitions haven't changed while the music industry has. It is harder even for the most famous pianists to fill a concert hall these days or get a recording contract. Fewer and fewer can create a touring career if they don't have independent means of support. Consequently the definition of a concert performance career has changed and been downscaled to include most of the things these competitors already are doing: performances in venues grand and small, at major and minor festivals, and with professional and less professional orchestras. Do these competitors need the Van Cliburn to be able to continue with the more modern and modest career path?

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#1212982 - 06/06/09 07:44 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Numerian]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Originally Posted By: Numerian

Quote:
Are you suggesting only pianists without already established careers should be allowed to win? If you check the pianists eliminated in the prelims, I think you'll find of them already have good careers also.


I think so. What is the purpose of these competitions otherwise? Why not just have a conclave of all the best young pianists under 30 if established professional artists can participate. The problem here may be that the competitions haven't changed while the music industry has. It is harder even for the most famous pianists to fill a concert hall these days or get a recording contract. Fewer and fewer can create a touring career if they don't have independent means of support. Consequently the definition of a concert performance career has changed and been downscaled to include most of the things these competitors already are doing: performances in venues grand and small, at major and minor festivals, and with professional and less professional orchestras. Do these competitors need the Van Cliburn to be able to continue with the more modern and modest career path?


I would think that if someone wins or gets one of the top three slots in the Cliburn they would then have a chance for a much bigger career than they would otherwise have.

I'm not sure if any of the finalists have, for example, ever played in Carnegie Hall or another big NYC hall. Although I'm very into piano, I had never heard of any of the finalists before seeing them in the competition.

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#1212985 - 06/06/09 07:49 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: pianoloverus]
babama Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/08
Posts: 800
Loc: Netherlands
I heard 'Gaspard de la Nuit' for the first time, so I have nothing to compare to, but I feel that performance by Zhang was pretty amazing.

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#1212986 - 06/06/09 07:54 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Numerian]
rrb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 212
Loc: Bend, USA
Originally Posted By: Numerian
Do these competitors need the Van Cliburn to be able to continue with the more modern and modest career path?


I tried to start a thread on the issue of 'competitions' several weeks ago, but it was not 'popular'. In my opinion, many of the comments in this thread support the notion that these days van Cliburn entrants are treated not awfully different from those of 'American Idol'.

Personally, I think this is a tragedy, but I have observed from the manner in which posters have responded to the competition that not everyone would agree with this.

In particular, the promotion of this obviously absurd 'competition' by the moderators of this forum gives me considerable disquiet.
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#1212990 - 06/06/09 08:05 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: pianoloverus]
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1071
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


I'm not sure if any of the finalists have, for example, ever played in Carnegie Hall or another big NYC hall. Although I'm very into piano, I had never heard of any of the finalists before seeing them in the competition.


Quite a few have played in major halls. Di Wu just had her debut NY recital at Alice Tully Hall, which if it was the main hall seats 2,000+. Tsujii performed more than ten years ago at Carnegie Hall's adjunct recital hall, Weill Hall. This facility seats several hundred and can be rented out by any pianist who wishes to claim they played in Carnegie Hall, but it is still a highly respected venue.

It seems to me the competition judges look for precisely such professional or quasi-professional careers before selecting someone for the preliminaries.

Speaking of Di Wu, she gave a choppy performance the other night of the Beethoven 2nd. This will probably put her in 6th place but I bet anything she was playing on a cooked piano, by which I mean the action had swelled up making the instrument difficult to control. Her starting time was 9:45 p.m. and there have been consistent comments/complaints about the very hot lights on stage. That piano had been under those lights for four hours before she got to it. I wonder if the judges take that into consideration. Despite the lousy performance, she got a standing ovation and the local audience really seems to like her performance. I wonder if that too goes into the judges' consideration. I think it would be fair to give Tsujii and Wu extra points for audience response.

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#1213001 - 06/06/09 08:32 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Numerian]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Numerian
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


I'm not sure if any of the finalists have, for example, ever played in Carnegie Hall or another big NYC hall. Although I'm very into piano, I had never heard of any of the finalists before seeing them in the competition.


Quite a few have played in major halls. Di Wu just had her debut NY recital at Alice Tully Hall, which if it was the main hall seats 2,000+. Tsujii performed more than ten years ago at Carnegie Hall's adjunct recital hall, Weill Hall.


Well that's really at most one out of six(I don't think Weill recital hall counts as CH or a major venue). And Alice Tully Hall is not as major as Avery Fischer Hall.

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#1213009 - 06/06/09 08:58 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: pianoloverus]
Ralph Offline
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Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
As far as facial contortions go, none are worse than Andre Watts. I saw him in Philadelphia back in 1975 and I was totally distracted. Have never been able to watch him since. Lang Lang gets bashed a lot around here, but there have been many pianists with that problem. Glenn Gould, whom Im a huge fan of, was pretty bad too.

I think Conlon may be a self rightious pompous a**.

Di Wu just had a very luke warm response from the audience.
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#1213012 - 06/06/09 09:06 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Ralph]
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Conlon makes me mad. His attitude makes me sick. We really need Victor Borge here saying "Please, don't touch the piano" and "Hands off please"



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVIHyfvPceo&feature=PlayList&p=58EF05D54B382E35&index=0


laugh

Di Wu isn't as sharp tonight...

Matt

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#1213014 - 06/06/09 09:14 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: LiszThalberg]
signa Offline
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Registered: 06/06/04
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Loc: Ohio, USA
she's just not very interesting to listen to, and i never feel moved by her playing in this competition, and tonight it's even so.

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#1213016 - 06/06/09 09:20 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: signa]
Brendan Online   content



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5229
Loc: McAllen, TX
Ditto.

I feel that her sound is so UGLY.
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#1213018 - 06/06/09 09:22 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Brendan]
Horowitzian Offline
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Registered: 09/18/08
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And as usual, that announcer Simmons has nothing but good things to say...smokin Though I suppose she can't say anything bad.

I disliked the performance as well. frown
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#1213021 - 06/06/09 09:25 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Horowitzian]
LiszThalberg Offline
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Registered: 03/13/06
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Do they usually tune the piano right before like that? What's the purpose of that? Surely that piano must have been tuned very very VERY recently in this kind of competition.

Matt

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#1213023 - 06/06/09 09:27 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: LiszThalberg]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
One performance is all it takes to degrade a tuning. Especially a performance featuring Schoenberg and Gaspard. Performance instruments are tuned prior to each use.
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1213035 - 06/06/09 09:50 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Horowitzian]
Theowne Offline
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Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Bozhanov really rushed that orchestra entrance..(in my opinion)
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#1213036 - 06/06/09 09:50 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: Horowitzian]
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Is Bozhanov rushing this opening?

What does everyone think of that side of the 2 for the low F at the beginning?

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#1213037 - 06/06/09 09:51 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: LiszThalberg]
LiszThalberg Offline
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Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
His rehearsal with Conlon was pretty rough. They kinda disagreed on the ending tempo for the first movement. It's going to be very interesting to see how that turns out in the next few minutes.

Matt

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#1213039 - 06/06/09 10:00 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: LiszThalberg]
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Update us on how it turned out, as I didn't watch the rehearsals..

Wrong notes littered about (to be expected) and the soft sections didn't move me that much. However, he definitely can generate excitement in the louder portions. Let's see how the 2nd movement goes (which was Tsujii's best movement in my opinion)
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
音楽は楽しいですね。。。

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#1213040 - 06/06/09 10:02 PM Re: 2009 Van Cliburn Competition Megathread [Re: LiszThalberg]
Ralph Offline
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Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1293
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
How can a conductor disagree with a pianist during a competition? He should do whatever the pianst wants and let the chips fall where they may. That's part of revealing the pianist's musicality and interpretation of the score.
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