Posts

18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition 2-23 October 2020

Image
A record number of applications for the Chopin Competition!


On 1 December there was a deadline for submitting the applications for the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, which will take place in 2020, organised by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. In the period given by the Regulations, the record number of over 500 applications were submitted. It is the next record number in almost 100-year history of the Chopin Competition – in every next edition, a bigger number of applications are submitted. In 2015 452 pianists applied, and in 2010 – 353.


The applications were sent by pianists from as many as 53 countries. The biggest groups of candidates come from China (over 100 applications), Japan (over 90 applications) and Poland (over 60 applications); there are strong representations from the USA, Canada, South Korea, Italy and France. The pianists applied from such various places as: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mo…

Grigory Sokolov - Warsaw Recital - 1 December 2019 - Songs of Innocence and Experience

Image
In Warsaw last night, Grigory Sokolov hypnotized the entire audience of a fully packed hall into complete silence with his conception and recreation of the joyful innocence of Mozart and the profound seriousness of Brahms. Pure music of the greatest integrity and truth reigned supreme here, quite beyond the medium of the performer and the instrument, both becoming merely a conduit to the spirit of man laid out before us, man an atom in the spinning firmament. 
Innumerable hidden details were revealed by his consummate technique and by his profound philosophical and musical penetration. I was reminded of a comment made by Arthur Rubinstein when he observed that in live performance in a concert hall in the presence of a great artist, one is affected by their 'electromagnetic vibrations' that fill the space, electrical connections that cannot be captured on a recording, the way the artist plays directly on your soul and takes hold of it. Such a miraculous phenomenon went far beyon…

All Saints Day in Poland - 1 November 2019 - A Triumph of Humanity - A Memory Recalled

Image
Click on photographs to enlarge - far superior rendition


[Polish translation of this passage is in green below - scroll down]
The original fabric of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Warsaw has almost disappeared except paradoxically among the dead at Powązki cemetery. In many respects it is an extension of the tombs at Wawel in Kraków. Particularly eminent citizens are buried there among the legions of the forgotten. An autumn funeral at Powązki is particularly moving. The mourner emerges into a chill sun from under the cupola of the cemetery church of St. Charles Borromeo. The last leaves of summer flutter down like flakes of gold from an azure sky. One follows the coffin drawn by men dressed in eighteenth century livery of gilded black behind the priest and swaying cross along far-reaching allées to the waiting vault.

On this day Poles not only honour departed members of their own families but all who have contributed to the national identity – in politics, the military, the arts and …