The biennial Eurovision Young Musician competition got underway yesterday. 18 musicians slogging it out for the top prize, the final at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Thursday next week.
I watched Semi-Final 2 and 3 back on YouTube this morning. One definite finalist emerges from this semi-final. See below.
Slovenia – Nikola Pajanovic, violin
Paganini Caprice no 7
Kreisler Tambourin Chinois
Ysaye Sonata for violin solo No 3
Very strong player; most convincing in Paganini. Unfussy playing, great precision, solid. Different colours. Taut. Performing unaccompanied in the Paganini underlines his confidence, ability, and determination. Struggled a little in the middle with the spiccato section – intonation slipped towards the end. Creates a heartfelt sweet voice in the lyrical sections in the Ysaye. Dynamic shifts are confidently delivered. Utterly compelling watch. maturity. Definite finalist.
San Marino – Francesco Stefanelli, cello
Penderecki Violoncello Totale
Brahms Allegro vivace from Cello Sonata No 2
Britten Moto Perpetuo from Sonata for cello and piano
Penderecki – a crazy piece – a daring opener too setting expectations very high. Cellist is a world away from anything we’ve seen on BBC Young Musician. Towards the end I wondered whether some of the focus had slipped. Standing to cue the applause at the seems a little precocious at the end. Brahms is OK though some of the lower registers are a bit muddy; not enough growl for ms. Sometimes the cello is lost in the piano accompaniment – that could be the TV mix. Lacks attack. Britten – ambitious; ensemble rocks a little; just leaves me a bit cold.
Poland – Marta Chlebicka, flute
CPE Bach Hamburger Sonata in G
Popp Rigoletto Fantasie
Bach – delightful musicianship; some tuning issues in the last movement. Popp – relaxes more during this – far more demonstrative. I enjoy watching her more than the cellist.