The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (221): A double winner

Mikhail Bouzine won the Orléans piano competition under nerve-wracking Covid conditions this week.

His performance of the Weinberg second sonata is absolutely stunning – record speeds in the first movement and real feeling in the second.


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  • Ah, youth. A new firebrand and at least he has good posture. Nice to get acquainted with an unfamiliar work stunningly played, and from memory. Impressive.

  • Two points in reply.

    (1) Apart from the exigencies of getting to the venue and observing social distancing etc, what makes Covid era competition more nerve wracking than normal competition? If anything, I’d have thought that not having to perform in front of a large audience in addition to the judges would make the experience less nerve juggling, not more?

    (2) Are you familiar with Boulez‘s dismissive comment, which I don’t necessarily agree with, that Shostakovich is the troisième pression (in olive oil terminology) of Mahler? If that’s true, then Weinberg in turn is the troisième pression of Shostakovich, which I suppose would make him the sixième pression of Mahler. I have tried. I’ve listened to some of the symphonies on YouTube, and I heard the Piano Trio last year in Warsaw (which I liked) and saw the Pountney production of the Passenger (which I so wanted to be moved by), and I just don’t find enough there to want to go any further. I see why his tragic biography almost demands people to see him as a great composer, but I just don’t. What are other people getting that I’m not?

    • Other people afraid to tell that the King has no clothes. MW “Moldavian rhapsody”‘s eggrigeus, that time stolen from G.Enescu. There no more tragidy in his life than his Polish Jews compatriots. He escape in time to USSR: Minsk and than to Tashkent and survived Holocaust. He music was published, performed. Later he used Jews themes in his creations. MW converted to Christianity 3 month before death and burried next to his Russian mother-in-law.

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