We asked our Moscow observer Marina Evreison Arshinova for an assessment of the piano finals, the only part of the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition that has yielded big personalities and public involvement.
Here’s Marina’s report:
The second round of the Competition included 2 stages: solo program and a Mozart’s concerto. In his solo program Lucas Debarque of France absolutely won the spectators’ love. His interpretation of a rarely performed Medtner sonata was vital and fresh, and his Garpard de la Nuit was stunning. This performance was fabulous and became the high point of the competition.
Debargue plays in the legendary style of Samson Francois. Debargue’s Mozart concerto was also beautiful, beyond any comment, and deserved standing ovations. The Moscow audience was full of praise. Almost all days of the second round the hall was sold out.
Maria Mazo (32, Germany) didn’t pass to the final. She represented quite sophisticated program which included, apart from Beethoven’s and Skryabin’s Sonatas, Igor Stravinsky’s Danse infernale de tous les sujets de Kachtchei, Berceuse, and Finale from The Firebird, transcribed for piano by Guido Agosti. Her playing was impeccable in many respects, she was one of the prospective finalists and was liked by many listeners.
George Li (19, USA) is the pianist of post Lang Lang’s era: he adds such new dimensions to piano playing as fantastic brightness, feeling of endless possibities. ‘His innovative attitude to piano structure made it sound like in the new сoordinates,’ wrote Rossiyskaya gazeta. At the same time, it’s quite distant stylistically and aesthetically from the respectful format of standard European music’s practice.
Lukas Geniusas and Daniel Kharitonov remain among the race’s leaders, although Geniusas’ playing in the second round satisfied neither himself nor his numerous fans. His performance was perfect but rather cold. By contrast, 16-year old Kharitonov seems to be full of spontaneous enthusiasm. He possess splendid technique. He is a real artist, immersed in his work, if still immature.
(c) Marina Evreison Arshinova/Slipped Disc