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Three finalists set for the Grand Finale within the 2022 Liszt Competitors – Seen and Heard Worldwide


Netherlands Liszt Utrecht 2022 [1] – Pageant Section: Liszt, Schubert, Schubert/Liszt, Wantenaar: Lea Hausmann (violin); Judith Wijzenbeek (viola); Samuel Shephard (cello); Roberto di Ronza (double bass); Viktoria Baskakova, Minkyu Kim, Yukine Kuroki, Tamta Magradze, Matyáš Novák, Yeon-min Park, Leonardo Pierdomenico, Vitaly Starikov, Derek Wang, KaJeng Wong (piano); Bernadeta Astari (soprano). Hertz Corridor, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 22-24.9.2022. (LV)

The three finalists at Liszt Utrecht 2022: Derek Wang, Yukine Kuroki, Yeon-Min Park © Allard Willemse

SchubertAdagio and Rondo Concertante, D.487; Piano Quintet ‘Trout’, D.667 and different works
Schubert (Liszt transcriptions) – Schwanengesang, S.560; Winterreise, S.561 and different works
Liszt – Totentanz, S.525; Les Préludes, S.511a and different works for solo piano; ‘Elegies’ 1 and a pair of, S.130 and S.131; ‘Romance oubliée’, S.132; ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’, S.382 for cello and piano
Mathilde Wantenaar – ‘Wandrers Nachtlied’

In an exhilarating, illuminating check of girls, males and pianos, the semi-finals of Liszt Utrecht 2022 concluded with the announcement of the three finalists: Yukine Kuroki, Yeon-Min Park and Derek Wang. Chosen by an excellent worldwide jury from a subject of ten semi-finalists, Kuroki, Park and Wang will compete for high honors on 29 September on the TivoliVredenburg. Along with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, every will carry out Liszt’s transformation of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy for solo piano into an enormous symphonic piano concerto on their alternative of a conventionally cross-strung piano by Yamaha, Steinway and Fazioli or Chris Maene’s straight-strung live performance grand made in collaboration with Daniel Barenboim. The winner will play the Fantasy once more on Sunday on the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Along with presenting ten immensely gifted younger pianists, every with credentials, approach and ambition, and every intoxicated and impressed by Liszt’s energy and legend, Liszt Utrecht has been a chance to re-evaluate Liszt’s transcriptions of Schubert’s songs and piano music in homage to the 225th anniversary of the latter’s birthday. Specifically, the track cycles Winterreise and Schwanengesang, summoning spirits of the lifeless and coping with the large emotional points raised by Schubert in his outwardly smaller varieties, turned out to be harrowing pianistic experiences as massively profound as Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.

Yeon-Min Park, finalist at Liszt Utrecht 2022 © Allard Willemse

The enjoying of every of the ten at their finest made you are feeling that the pianist had fallen underneath the music’s spell as a lot because the viewers or, as a critic as soon as mentioned, you’d purchase a ticket to listen to them. There have been two Schwanengesang I might have purchased a ticket for. On the primary night time, the lyrical readability with which Yeon-Min Park introduced out the vocal line within the midst of Liszt’s phantasmagorical expressive and technical gadgets was the stuff goals are manufactured from. She was pressing, passionate and incandescent by flip, and through the lengthy arcs of silence she usually left between the songs not a breath might be heard within the corridor.

On the fourth night time, Derek Wang sang Schwanengesang so generously that the voices of Schubert and Liszt merged into one magical spirit. At all times enjoying inside himself, with consummate virtuosity when wanted, he discovered moments of just about insufferable simplicity within the gradual actions and luxuriated within the music’s magnificence with a wide range of contact and tone that was pure poetry.

Derek Wang, finalist at Liszt Utrecht 2022 © Allard Willemse

Though Yukine Kuroki selected to play six shorter items, her potential to challenge emotive movement allowed her to not solely discover however inhabit the emotional complexities of the Allegretto from the Mélodies hongroises. And whereas her contact was beautiful as velvet in ‘Auf dem Wasser zu singen’, she ripped into ‘Erlkönig’ with measurement and coronary heart.

The excellence and depth of the musical expertise all through the 5 days of recitals, for each the gamers and the audiences, has been no accident. Director Rob Hilberink structured what was previously the Worldwide Franz Liszt Competitors (based in 1986) right into a classical music occasion geared toward creating an expertise for the pianists that might be ‘much less about competing and comparability, and which higher resembles precise live performance apply’.

Yukine Kuroki, finalist at Liszt Utrecht 2022 © Allard Willemse

Every pageant day consisted of 4 recitals starting at midday and lasting till 10.30pm. First was an all-Liszt recital on a Yamaha. Subsequent got here a chamber music recital on a Maene throughout which every pianist carried out both totally different actions of Schubert’s Trout Quintet or his Adagio and Rondo Concertante (chosen by lot), and one in all Liszt’s 4 not often heard items for cello and piano. At 5 within the afternoon, the pianists accompanied the beautiful soprano Bernadeta Astari on a Hamburg Steinway in songs by Liszt, Schubert and a haunting commissioned work by Mathilde Wantenaar set to Goethe’s ‘Wandrers Nachtlied’. At eight within the night, maybe the day’s most consequential recital happened: Liszt’s Schubert transcriptions on a Fazioli.

The chamber music recitals have been a very pleasurable break for the change in musical textures and repertoire in addition to offering an opportunity for the pianists to indicate how effectively they understood working with different musicians. Essentially the most profitable performances have been Liszt’s chic little rhapsodies for cello and piano, performed with uncanny precision and real lyrical heat by Samuel Shephard, and whereas the pianists had little to say they did so in revealingly delicate methods.

The passel of beloved ‘Trouts’ was a scrumptious blended creel of concepts, vitality and enthusiasm from the pianists and unflappably wonderful ensemble from the strings. When one contestant unleashed a ferocious Lisztian torrent of sixteenth notes within the first motion, violinist Lea Hausmann responded with out lacking a beat. Essentially the most persistently pleasant performances have been these of Schubert’s little piano concerto, his Adagio and Rondo Concertante, though solely Minkyu Kim supplied a bridge to the second motion the place he additionally improvised a cadenza that was splendidly within the spirit of Liszt.

The ‘finest’ moments weren’t restricted to the finalists. A mainly immobile Vitaly Starikov centered all his vitality into the sounds of Winterreise and held the viewers rapt with its colours, breadth and sublimated sexuality. Tamta Magradze summoned up epic musical adventures with each be aware she performed, throwing grand gestures off with informal virtuosity like a coloratura soprano. There have been numerous different such moments, many too many to checklist right here, due partly maybe to the chance the ten needed to ‘advantageous tune their performances’ with Leslie Howard and Andrew Bonatta throughout an academy in June.

After the concerto performances on the Grand Finale, the worldwide jury (consisting of Suzana Bartal, Frederic Chiu, Janina Fialkowska, Nino Gvetadze, Michael Lewin, Mūza Rubackytė, Wibi Soerjadi, and Mariangela Vacatello) will award the prizes: €25.000 to the winner and €10.000 to the runners-up, plus an Viewers Award of €2500). For a interval of three years, Liszt Utrecht will collaborate with and act as artist/agent for the three prizewinners (with over 300 live shows in 35 international locations), mentor (with skilled teaching and various workshops) and publicize (branding, web site, press-kit, cds, movies and extra).

And simply think about: the planning is already underway for Liszt Utrecht 2026.

Laurence Vittes

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