Concertos brought out new dimensions of the competitors
Nine cellists passed to the second round. The shadow jury made their own personal lists for the next round. The Shadow jury mostly agreed with the jury, but we had our disagreements too – in our lists we had a total of 13 names. From the people who passed, eight were also on our lists. Without knowing each other’s choices the shadow jury had chosen five from which four passed. This internal contest was dominated by the two cellists from the shadow jury. Jonathan and Lauri guessed seven out of nine right, Emma six and Eero five!
The second round was opened by Zlatomir Fung with Tchaikovsky’s Rococo variations.
Jonathan: Fung didn’t shine with the orchestra as much as in his recital.
Emma: Phrases and colours were well thought, but needed more personality. The performance left me a bit cold, even though his cellism is on a very high level. I hope that this young talent will concentrate on developing his artistic personality.
Eero: This contact was a pleasure to watch! Maybe he really was a bit nervous, because his performance was not as certain as his first round. His strongest moments were at the quietest passages and in the solo cadenza.
Lauri: comparing to the first round his playing was not quite enough for a big hall. Skilful and clean playing throughout, but today was not his day.
Second performer was Macej Kulakowski
Lauri: His playing impressed with his personality. He told his own story in the Schumann concerto and took great contact with the conductor Eeva Ollikainen.
Eero: In the beginning the orchestra was not quite together and Kulakowski seemed careful until the first orchestra transition. After the transition Kulakowski started to sparkle and the concerto became really playful and colourful. He nailed the virtuosic passages without disturbing the line and made music with the orchestra.
Jonathan: The beginnings one could heard a little nervousness, but got quickly back on his own level. After the beginning his playing was colourful and personal that doesn’t leave anyone cold in the audiences.
Emma: Sweet musician this Kulakowski! Expressive, passionate and intense. His mannered portato was disturbing the legato-lines and by relaxing his shoulders, his playing could’ve been more enjoyable to watch. But what a personality! Touching performance.
Third contestant was Minji Kim.
Emma: this was for sure the most beautiful appearance. What a dress! Fabulous, radiant performer who’s warm soloistic sound didn’t leave anyone cold. In a good balance great soloism,tenderness and playfulness. Like with Kulakowski her mannered portato was disturbing too much the legato lines.
Eero: her big sound opened immediately- she is a true soloist! The theme was line, rubato, flirt and fiery expression. From time to time her playing was a bit rough, but generally speaking truly a mesmerising performer.
Lauri: Beautiful appearance! Soloistic playing that filled the Sibelius-hall. Very enjoyable music making
Jonathan: Elegant, beautiful, feminine playing. Compliments for the fabulous staccatos in the second variations. Very impressive performance! No one until now played the octaves in the last variation in tune yet…
Fourth candidate was Ivan Sendetsky
Eero: Great soloist sound again! This was true Tchaikovsky. He took great contact to the orchestra and to The conductor. Third variation had the best line from today’s Rococo variations. Great energy after the general pause but in the last variations in my opinion too much friction.
Jonathan: Sendetsky truly understood the slavonic sides of the piece. Secure and music serving playing without unnecessary show. Small slips disturbed a little bit but otherwise very high standard playing!
Emma: Sendetsky sparkles with natural ease. He wasn’t overdoing it but was singing with his beautiful sound quality. In his performance one could hear for the first time the pain and depth hidden in the slow variations. I was touched.
Lauri: He understood the beauty of the piece with his soulful interpretation. Sendetsky’s playing touches.
The last performer of the day was Timotheos Petrin
Lauri: The longest endpin in this competition! He improved a lot from the first round. Clean and secure playing.
Eero: I was wishing for more line in the beginning now it was quite broken. Petrin was at his best in the last movements where his playing was colourful and interesting.
Jonathan: Tonight’s most professional performance. Very impressive playing from a cellistic point of view. But he wasn’t serving the music but himself with his playing. I’d like to hear more Elgar and less Petrin.
Emma: In the first round I mentioned about his “heroic cellism”. In the concerto it was much more suitable but I was still hoping for more music making and less theatre. He has a lot of intensity and skill but if every note is played with same same expression it takes a lot of possibilities from interpreting.