Originally posted in ‘Great-Pianist’ Yahoo Group:
I just finished watching the Semin-Final of the 7th Liszt
Competition, and I am now feeling disturbed, digusted and annoyed. I
know that opinion on art is subjective and all. But one sure knows
that Horowitz’s recording of Heroic Polonaise is better than mine.
What I am saying is, among the 3 finalist: Christiaan Kuyvenhoven,
Anton Salnikov, SUN Yingdi. To be honest, except Salnikov, the other
2 should not be in the final. There are many more talented pianists
got eliminated. Especially Sun Yingdi, he is plain and blatant, I
have wathced the whole competition till now. Sun Yingdi has to be
the most unimaginative, dry pianists in the whole competition, his
Motiv von Bach has to be one of the most stupidified playing ever.
Only the several beginning measure he has tell the truth
that : “Look at me!!! I have technique!! I can PLAY ALL THE
NOTES!!! BUT I DON"T KNOW ONE SINGLE TINY BIT ABOUT THIS MUSIC.
HAHAHAHA”. And also his Liszt Sonata in b, he completely butchered
this piece, not technically, and rest to be sure, all other pianists
who have more techqnieu than he does doesn’t show off as obviously
as he did. His Liszt sonata is like a bunch of notes, with no
connection, no thematic modification, no dramatic buildup. It’s just
Forte and Piano, fast and slow. A bunch of notes that are not
related. It’s digusting. (If u have any doubt, I can upload the
clip, hell, i can upload other pianists too, just to see how
ridicuolous this is, I have captured all the broadcast.) How in the
world he got thru is beyond my imagination. Sun Yingdi has got to be
one of the worst contestant in the semi-final. A lot of Chinese
pianists are much better than Sun. (If u think I am judging on this
because I am racistly-biased, to tell the truth, I am Chinese too.)
And Christaan, my friend actually is a good friend with him, a
ambitious young man with a lot of ideas and hardworking. But even my
friend said he shouldn’t have gone thru the final. He is just not up
to the standard among everyone in the semi-final. Unlike Sun Yingdi,
he is well-deserved to be in the semi-final, but just not the final.
(I like his Furneillas and Mazeppa actually).
Anton Salnikov is the only one that deserves to be there, his LIszt
sonata are most energitic, it’s like one telling a really scary
story of Faust. (Which Liszt sonata is actually Faust-insipred). His
melodic and harmonic changes thru the piece, also the understanding
of this piece is just shocking. Also his formidable techinqie to go
with. His Wagner/Liszt and Legend are superb too! BUt i am just
drooling over his Liszt sonata.
I have been following the Liszt competition for a long long time.
First Cioni’s elimination in the 2nd Premiliary round has got me a
bit upsetted already. Now, just look at the phenomenal 16-yrs-old
Chinese Contestant Zho Zhang, she picked to play Liszt sonata and
Don Juan, which played with such bravuea style, it’s scary to think
she is only 16. Also Rufus Choi, who played the PE 1,2,3 in the 2nd
Pre-round, then the PE4,5,6 in the semi-final. Played with such
fire, fury, power and accuracy also the calmness need to execute
these scary pieces, his Sonata is among the best too. Other pianists
to be mentioned are Sofya Gulyak, a Ukraine female contestant, who
has won my heart over in her 2nd-Pre round performance of the Chasse-
Neige, her Semi-final performance is top-notch, and her Erlkonig is
worth listening to. Pavel Raykerus’s insane performance of mephisto
waltz in the 2nd Round has got me sitting on the edge of my chair.
These are the pianists, who drew everything from their hearts, mind,
try to reach for the height of artistry, and present it to everyone,
not just the judge, but also the audience in the hall and people
listening in front of the computer.
And yet, most people who have seen the competition, as well as the
audience in the hall (I hear Booing when the name of Sun Yingdi and
Christaan being called out and also after the annoucement was made).
Everyone who has watched it over internet, or at lesat pay attention
knows there is something wrong about it. I feel so disgusted and
disturbed about the result. Not because the result is not what I was
expecting. It was because I felt like the dirty politics and greed
has contaminated the name of Liszt, just like it did to the name of
Tchaikovsky in the competition before. This whole thing made me
sick. While artists are giving everything in their life, sacrificing
the time to practice, giving up the oppurtunity to earn big money
like other people. They are trying to make beautiful, sophisticated
music. And these kind of competition are exactly the reason why most
people give up on listening to classical music. The
commercialization, the idea of being ‘famous’ kills the mind, kills
the ability to appreciate. I am truely fed up with all these
ridicules. Maybe that’s why Lang Lang is famous, after all.
Again, “competitions are for horses, not artists.” - Bela Bartok
- out of Frustration, SteinwayModelD