If the third time's a charm, then the third day of IVCI
prelims was charming indeed.
Petteri Iivonen, 27, equaled Sunday's Tessa Lark in musicality, virtuosity, and
beauty of tone -- the two best fiddlers I've heard to date. But running neck and neck with them on
Tuesday are Kristi Gjezi, 24, of
France and Vladyslava Luchenko, 26, of the Ukraine.
Both lacked that nth degree of tonal consistency of the
first two while displaying amazing prowess in all the other factors. Recall that each
was required to play Bach unaccompanied sonata or partita excerpts, two of
Paganini's 24 solo caprices, Op. 1, a
Mozart violin sonata (with piano) and a short, accompanied Romantic or
Deserving special mention are Ui-Youn
Hong, 27, of S. Korea. She gave Paganini's Caprice No. 5
the most dazzling account I can recall hearing. Also Luosha Fang, 25, of China,
unlike others who played it, made Paganini's most famous 24th Caprice a nuanced
tool for expression, revealing it in interesting new layers.
At this writing (provided the jurors see matters the way I
do), I think Tessa Lark, Petteri Iivonene, Kristi Gjezi and Vladyslava Luchenko
are four of the most likely six Laureates, to be announced following the
conclusion of the semi-finals this Monday. Stay tuned. Sept.
9; Indiana History Center