Saturday 15 September 2012

Leeds International Piano Competition 2012. The Finals Part 1.

After all the preliminary rounds during late August and early September 2012, we now come to the finals of the Competition.

Last night (Friday, 14th September 2012) saw the first three of the finalists give their concerto performances with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra whilst the remaining three perform tonight, (Saturday 15th September 2012).

On Friday, Louis Schwizgebel, from Switzerland chose to play Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 in a performance of crystalline purity. There was always an underlying emotional tension right throughout. This was a performance of poetry, poise and depth.

China’s Jiayan Sun performed Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16 in which he showed the fantasy in this work. There was clarity of phrasing and, in the final movement cadenza, some wonderful colouring. This was an entrancing performance.

After the interval we heard Jayson Gillham, from Australia, in Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73. Gillham’s directness of approach produced some lovely sounds and in the slow movement there was playing of fine sensitivity. Whilst there were individual touches in the last movement I would have preferred a little more individuality overall. Nevertheless this was a very enjoyable performance with many fine moments.

Overall, the performance standard in this first half of the final was extremely high and we still have the three remaining finalists to hear tonight, Latvia’s Andrejs Osokins in Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3, Italy’s Federico Colli, playing Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5, Op. 73 and the USA’s Andrew Tyson, performing Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 3.

If you can’t be present at Leeds Town Hall then BBC Radio 3 are broadcasting the second half of the competition live at 6.30pm tonight.

See also:

Leeds International Piano Competition 2012. The finalist’s recitals.

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