THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

2013 VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION


  http://www.theaterjones.com/2013vancliburninternationalpianocompetition/20130606223932/2013-06-06/Cliburn-Finals-Beatrice-Rana
Beatrice Rana in the second of two finals performances, on June 8

Cliburn Finals: Beatrice Rana

Reviews of the final concerti performances by the 20-year-old Italian in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Second performance added.



published Saturday, June 8, 2013

Concerto 1: Thursday, June 6

BEETHOVEN   Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37

With Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Leonard Slatkin

Photo: Robert Hart
Beatrice Rana in her first of two finals performances, on June 6

 

Well, this is it. The final rounds of the Cliburn. The last chance for the pianists to grab attention and prove that they are The One lies in these two concerti performances.

In previous competitions, at least in recent memory, the final round also included another recital. Personally, I feel that this is not a change for the better because it robs the competitors of another chance to show some versatility and to give the judges another close look, unencumbered by either a conductor or an orchestra—not to mention an improbably brief rehearsal. Anyway, at least they are required to play a concerto by Beethoven or one of a handful of ones by Mozart, saving us from a bombardment of over-the-top concerti. All second choices were of such stuff: Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev.

Beatrice Rana, who has marveled with her sensitive and controlled performances, started out with the Beethoven No. 3 in C minor, op. 37. The overall impression was one of caution, to the point of minimizing Beethoven’s straining at the classical bonds and the places where he broke free. It felt slow right at the start; there was a sense that Rana wanted it to go faster, but seemed to find its footing as the movement progressed. She was at her best in the cadenza and on to the end of the movement.

Photo: Robert Hart
Beatrice Rana in her first of two
finals performances, on June 6

The second movement also felt like it was on the slow side. What stood out in her performance was her understanding of the role of the piano: sometimes accompanying and other times taking charge.

The last movement is only marked Allegro, and usually goes faster than that. Rana set a good pace and was visibly more relaxed. In fact, she appeared to have some fun in the coda. There were some other nice touches, such as the way she flashed through the runs in the cadenza and added a sparkling accent at the end. In her next appearance, she will tackle Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2, which should give her the chance to set off some fireworks. Admittedly, the Beethoven is not a fireworks kind of piece, but her performance bordered on the monochromatic.

 

◊ Links to the other finalists in this session: Fei-Fei DongNikita Mndoyants 

 

Concerto 2: Saturday, June 8

PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 16

With Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Leonard Slatkin

Photo: Robert Hart
Beatrice Rana in the second of two finals performances, on June 8

 

Beatrice Rana has been on everyone’s short list from the preliminary rounds. In her earlier appearances, she played two of the standard virtuoso pieces, but they couldn’t have been more different. Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit is a haze of subtle impressionism and Bartók’s Out of Doors is rough and primitive. Her two concerti choices showed a similar dissimilarity: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37 (see above), and tonight’s astounding performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 16.

Photo: Robert Hart
Beatrice Rana in the second of two finals performances, on June 8

I have pages of superlatives in my notes on her performance, all mentions of the things that she played magnificently. This was a wonderful performance, full of power and force yet still lyrical when required. The concerto has some places that are almost unplayable, but she had completely mastery over all of it.

As far as dynamics go, Rana had control over the loudest parts so that there was plenty of steam left over for the triple forte, even though we thought that she couldn’t possibly play any louder. At the really big moments, she rose up off the bench to put her body into it. The Scherzo was quicksilver. The third movement caught the heavy and roughshod foot-stomp quality. The finale alternated big sweeping romantic passages with unbelievably difficult virtuoso displays.

This was a magnificent performance and should keep her, as previously mentioned, at the top of everyone’s list.

An aside: A string broke in the third movementthe highest “d” on the instrument. Although she delivered considerable force in the performance, this doesn’t mean that she broke it. The pianothe Hamburg Steinway, as opposed to the American onehas had quite a workout. Still, it’s a good guess that her power had something to do with it.

 

◊ Our profile of Beatrice Rana, 20, Italy

Review of Semifinal Recital and Chamber performances

◊ Review of Preliminary Recital Phase I

◊ Review of Preliminary Recital Phase II

◊ You can see quick links to the reviews of the other finalists here Thanks For Reading




Click or Swipe to close
Cliburn Finals: Beatrice Rana
Reviews of the final concerti performances by the 20-year-old Italian in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Second performance added.
by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close