Second day of the first final round

Second day of the the final round was opened by Minji Kim with Haydn C Major concert

Eero: I enjoyed Minji’s playing enormously! It had colours and strong characters and very accurate from the beginning to the end. Minor intonation problems disturbed today’s performance. Minji took from time to time contact to the concertmaster and was leading with her playing well.

Emma: Great choices for dresses througout the whole competition! Overall Minji’s playing is soft and flawless. She played the tutti parts – sometimes it felt like she’s not really leading with her playing but more just playing with the orchestra.I was hoping for Haydn a bit more stylish and fresh approach and today she had for the first time some intonation problems. She took nice contact to the concertmaster.

Lauri: Kim was today again captivating and wonderful appereance on stage! She’s making music in a very natural way. In the Haydn her cello didn’t quite fill the hall in the same way she did in Lahti, but it was still enjoyable. I’m looking very much forward to her Lutoslawski concerto.

Jonathan: Maybe it’s concervative to mention, but as the only woman in the finals her playing was exuded with elegance and beauty in a different way than the male competitors. She’s singing with her cello and her playing looks easy. At time to time minor intonation problems disturbed me. Second movement was a little bit flat and in the finale she took a little bit too fast tempo which made her playing a little bit rough.

Second performer was Leonardo Chiodo

Lauri: The highlight of Leonardo’s performance was the cadenza made by Rostropovich, which he played with great virtuosity. In the slow movement he found beautiful colours. Last movement was in great control. Special thanks to the orchestra which made the situation for the soloist easy.

Eero: In this situation when there is no conductor, Chido’s introvert appereance unfortunately disturbes his performance dramatically. This is of course not a conducting competition but starting from the beginning he should’ve started to play with the orchestra instead of just moving he’s hand a little bit. He is playing lively but this kind of playing would have needed a conductor, when Chiodo is not taking any contact himself to the orchestra.

Emma: What a virtuoso! The cadenza was definetely his strongest parts in the performance – He had no problems to play all the most difficult passages. Otherwise the Haydn was a little bit straightforward and I was hoping that Chiodo would’ve brought something new about himself. Even with such secure technical level he could’ve used a few percentages of his energy to make a little contact with the orchestra.

Jonathan: I was hoping for more contact with the Orchestra. He started the beginning a little bit shy which made me wish for more soloistic style. Quickly Leonardo got back to his own level and i could feel his great technical ability. The cadenza of the first movement was the most demanding by far and he had no problems to play it. Bravo! Great performance but I was hoping for more chamber music throughout.

Last performer of the first final was Brannon Cho

Emma: Cho took the attention of the audience immediately and made the orchestra fiery like no one else before. This kind of Haydn playing i was waiting for 2 days! Especially i was impressed by Cho’s understanding of the harmony – he brought out interesting chords and bass lines and always knew when his part did not contain harmonically important material. The second movement was somewhat a competition performance: only in the cadenza did he find the freedom I had been longing for from the start. Delicate, pure playing and music makingThis brought the whole competitiona to a completely different level!

Jonathan: In all respects detailed and well-balanced playing. I could hear his hard work befind his playing – he had the fewest intonation slips. He took nice contact to the orchestra and i was hoping this kinf of communication from all the other competitiors too. Cho will have strong chances to get one of the highest prizes – His playing is perfect for competitions!

Eero: In my opinion this performance had some unneccesary show elements. Some of the mannerisms between the movements and pieces started to bother me ( Tuning, wiping off sweat from his face ad the cello and correcting his shirt). Cho takes good contact to the orchestra giving them their own space too. In the second movement he brought up with his appereance and playing long line – The pulse is coming from the orchestra and he knows that.

Lauri: Very elegant Haydn. I’ve admired his quality throughout the whole competition. Other finalists have had their good and bad days, but Cho has conviced me in each round. Today the listener could also just enjoy his art. Haydn stayed in good form and the dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra was a pleasure to listen to. The most convicing and stylish Haydn from the whole competition. Bravo!

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