IVCI Romantic/Post Romantic Finals - day one


Though I know at this writing who the six laureates are and

how they'll be awarded at the Scottish Rite Cathedral Auditorium Sunday

afternoon, my view of the three Saturday concerto performances was arrived at

prior to the jurors.'  As

was the case on Friday, each finalist was joined by the ISO under the direction

of Joel Smirnoff -- at the Circle Theatre.

Saturday's concert gave us a parade of concerto chestnuts

with which to discern playing excellence: first Ji Young Lim playing the Brahms

Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77; then Yoo Jin Jang and the Tchaikovsky Violin

Concerto in D, Op. 35; and finally the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op.

47 as played by Dami Kim.

Unequivocally the best playing by far that evening was by

Yoo Jin Jang performing the Tchaikovsky.   Her tonal control was near perfect

throughout the three movements--unlike Ji Yoon Lee's on Friday of the same work.  Jang possessed none

of the defects of bowing, and her staccato work in the third movement was

spectacular, and without a single slip.  On any held note Jang eased into her

characteristic vibrato, making her reading of this work strongly reminiscent of

Hilary Hahn's CD recording (and nobody does it better than Hilary).  I thought it was

the best playing in the competition.

Lim's reading of the Brahms' Concerto (heard first), though

technically secure and musically convincing, displayed more tonal difficulties consistent

with most of the IVCI participants: an uneven

vibrato, occasional wobbliness, an intonation problem in the Joachim cadenza

she used in the first movement.  We were, however, salved by the lovely

oboe solo ISO's principal Jennifer Christian gave us opening the slow movement.  Lim seemed to

control her tonal delivery better in the third movement.  As for a perfect vibrato, she was

capable; she just often failed to deliver it.

Dami Kim started her Sibelius Concerto beautifully--right on

the mark, but began to wobble with excess when switching to her lower note

registers.  At

the 2nd movement she started a little wide, while in the finale her tone was

variable, going from white to wobbly.

At some point, it might be of great interest to the IVCI

cognoscenti as to the criteria a given juror uses on which he/she bases his/her

judgment of a given participant and the resultant assigning of a rating number

from 1 to 25 -- perhaps better done in a non-competition year when we're not so

swept up in the event. Sept 20; Hilbert

Circle Theatre


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