Thursday, September 14, 2006

Another night, another concert...

First night of the 'Virtuosi Planet' concert series in Kiev. Sponsored by no less than UNESCO, and the world music festival association, together with JVC. The series is part of a deal giving young prizewinners opportunities to give concerts. Old people don't play virtuoso concertos, mostly....

So it was a long evening, Paganini violin No1, Beethoven piano 4, Mozart Clarinet concerto and Tchaikovsky violin concerto (which I missed). Yukie Manuela Janke, described as Japan, but I think she and her violinist brother are German, gave a very powerful performance of the Paganini; every note in the right place. The middle movement could have been a bit more 'schmaltzy'. Paganini really is not good at writing music for orchestras, is he? A bit like Bashmet, except Bashmet gets other people to write music for him, and as for his virtuosic abilities.... He does play Paganini, but only a very slow and careful piece. Not sure that he would cope with the sonata for the gran viola.

After that a Chinese pianist Rachel Choun Vay Chin (transliterated from Chinese into Ukrainian and into English), looked 12, was in fact only 15 and played the Beethoven fourth very nicely; again, there could have been more softness, more lyricism than there was.

Finally for me Olivier Pater, France, with a seemingly very long clarinet (or am I usually not as close as that to the stage); a beautiful rendition of the Mozart clarinet concerto. Occasionally the sound was a little rough (instrument trouble) and it felt as if the orchestra was not giving its best. The cellos in particular seemed to be struggling with sound quality, as did the violins with togetherness. But Mozart is always hard. I tried to identify the place where, whilst playing the first violin part in a concert, I enjoyed the clarinettist's playing so much that I forgot to continue playing the orchestra part.