The chamber music performances just seem to be getting better and better. Deljavan is, I'm told, an experienced chamber musician, and it certainly shows in his performance of the Brahms quintet. I would have thought his tone and temperament were better suited to the Schumann or the Dvorak, but he's excellent in the Brahms. His dynamics (volume, to readers who are less familiar with classical music) are always spot on, and the piece has a constant forward momentum that it didn't when Ran Dank was playing. In a spot like the opening of the second movement, where the piano has to lead the string players, Deljavan is smooth and confident. It seems like he's been practicing with the Takacs for years, not hours.
I've mentioned the difficulties of pianists adjusting to a chamber setting, but it's difficult for audiences and judges to evaluate the pianists, too, because these works are supposed to be collaborative efforts with every musician playing an equal part, delivering accompaniment or melody as needed. Yet in the context of this competition, we're supposed to focus on one player, no matter what their role is at any given time. I'm still working out how to keep both the overall quintet's performance and the pianist's individual performance in sight. I just hope the chamber performances tomorrow and Sunday are as good as the ones we've had lately.