Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition: Day 2

Day 2. In which two cellists did the unexpected and transformed Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata into something quite extraordinary, and I entered into a nerd’s dream world about bows and the constructions of cellos.

Not only that, I succeeded in predicting 5 out of the 6 cellists who made it through to the next round of the Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition.

My predictions are in this video.

First Round Results

So, the six cellists who have made it through to the second round are:

Mon-Puo Lee (ESP/TWN)
Fedor Amosov (RUS)
Rustem Khamidullin (RUS)
Hyejin Kim (KOR)
Chae-Won Hong (KOR)
Jonathan Swensen (DEN)
Vasily Stepanov (RUS)

Two things have really impressed me over the past couple of days. First, those participants who listened to one another in the performances – that showed an openness and willingness to learn from contemporaries (or was it cunning?) And second, those players who started their 40 minute recitals with Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capprocioso. It is a tricky work that has caused some to come a cropper, so to speak. 

And as we move away from Bach (after two days of wall to wall Bach it really does feel as though we’re saying goodbye to an old friend) the thing that surprises me the most is how in some of the decorative passages, I’ve felt momentarily transported to somewhere in Greece. There’s a hint of the kind of chants you’d hear in an orthodox church in some of the suites. Odd. 

About the videos

Thanks for the feedback on the video from yesterday. It is much appreciated (and prompted the recording of number two at the Tchaikovsky School earlier this evening). They do take a bit of time to make and as a result its the second night I’ve skipped a meal with the judges. So I’m thinking I might publish the next one early the morning after the day its meant to document. 

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