Friday, May 22, 2009

Natasha Kudritskaya

The Ukrainian pianist, a very thin woman, came out in an interesting ensemble that included a black top, brown pants, and lace-up Adidas shoes. (Were they sneakers? Looked like it.) She took some moments spacing out before she started each piece, seemingly trying to get her head in the right place.

She played Chopin's Second Piano Sonata and Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, and she was excellent when it came to the lyrical parts, but in both pieces she lacked power. I don't think this is a gender thing; I've seen tiny women produce huge volumes of sound from the piano before, but Kudritskaya couldn't produce the kind of sound necessary to both pieces. Gaspard (unbelievably, this is the only rendition of it we're scheduled to hear in the first round) didn't have that edge of menace that the piece is supposed to have. It's supposed to be dripping with evil.

She did much better with the Scriabin waltz at the end. That was played with delicacy and lightness of touch. This contestant definitely has some talent. I think she could have chosen her pieces better. If she makes it to the next round, her semifinal program might show her off in a better light.


  1. I just heard Kudritskaya playing Erik Satie Op. 44 and Ravel Op. 61 here in Kuhmo, Finland, and my cockuson is that she is probably the best at her instrument despite me sharing your critique of her lack of Fortefortissimo and beyond. It doesn't matter. She has the best combination of sensibility, lyric and dynamic way to treat her instrument that I've ever heard. Fantastic!