Eurovision Young Musicians 2018: Semi-Final 6 – Sweden, Norway, and Croatia

The final set of semi-finalists perform in Edinburgh for the 2018 Eurovision Young Musicians competition.

Sweden – Johanna Ander Ljung, harp

Mathias Improvisations for Harp, Op 10
Loeillet Allemande from Suite No 5 in F 
Tournier Féerie – Prelude et Dance 

The toughest job for a harpist to cut through the more powerful instruments we’ve heard in this competition so far. This was an elegant, precise and assured performance throughout. The Tournier was especially gorgeous and the highpoint of the running order. 

Norway – Birgitta Elisa Oftestad, cello

Shostakovich 1st mvt from Cello Concerto No 1
Schumann Adagio and Allegro

This performance was the real surprise of the competition. Birgitta has an incredible focus – steely, perhaps. The Shostakovich was chilling. She displays great maturity when she plays. It lacked the edge commonly expected from Shostakovich’s famous work for cello, but there was still something incredibly compelling about her cool committed approach. The Schumann was ravishing. Beautiful playing. Heartfelt. Still. Makes me wanted to lean in. Intonation slips during the faster sequences but she still maintains that incredible presence. Loved it. Finalist. 

Croatia – Jan Tominić, saxophone

Demersseman Fantaisie sur un thème original
Françaix Cinq danses exotiques
Bozza Aria
Milhaud Brasileira from Scaramouche

This lacked a little energy throughout. Pieces came to an end almost with an air of surprise on the face of soloist and piano accompanist. Spot on playing but lacking electricity. The demonstrative playing sometimes seemed distracting.

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