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Adrian Demian

Queen Elisabeth Finals - a bland third evening

May 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM

What was Bouchkov doing in the finals? Someone, please, help me understand! He has nothing going for him: no intonation, no consistently good sound, no sense of rhythm or phrasing. Was being Belgian enough to get him so far? I was absolutely not impressed with his semifinal performance either. In 2009, Lorenzo Gato was rightfully on the podium. He showed he was an artist. Bouchkov on the other hand... blah!
Marc's Beethoven brought nothing we did not hear before. Visually, he seemed to suffer a lot, but the musical effect was sub-mediocre. He seems to know where the pitches are on the violin most of the time, but his dynamic range and expressive powers are at least limited if not altogether absent. The overall impression of his Beethoven was of a casual outdoor barbecue performance for friends without any musical training.
I gave Nikki Chooi the benefit of the doubt for the Ravel sonata because it is - I believe - impossible to play with the pianist Thomas Hoppe whom, an undiscovered Lang Lang (please, excuse my sarcasm), did never adjust his playing to accommodate a string player and kept plowing ahead fast and unconcerned without allowing the violinist any extra time to reach or linger on expressive notes.
On the other hand, Nikki did not show much anything during the two subsequent works. Another disappointing evening.

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