The Chinese pianist was the last contestant this Saturday night, and she came out in a good-looking red dress and played another Haydn sonata. I notice that this year there are more pianists playing Haydn than are playing Mozart in the first round. Haydn's music is a bit pricklier and more humorous than Mozart's piano sonatas, and it hasn't been thoroughly picked over the way Mozart's music has been. Anyway, Zuo played it with a lot of sparkle, as she did with her other pieces, including Liszt's "Feux Follets" ("Will O'the Wisp") and Chopin's Etude Op. 10, No. 7, which she performed better than Nobuyuki Tsujii did.
Still, she had to prove that she could do more than just glitter, and that hung on the piece anchoring her program, Liszt's Sonata in B minor. It was a gamble that paid off. Her rendition wasn't galvanizing, but it was a lot more listenable than Varvaresos' performance of this piece. She took time over it and produced a performance that made sense from beginning to end. This just might be enough to get her to the semis.
Fans of the Liszt Sonata can rejoice, because there's another performance slated for tomorrow afternoon, and there may be even more depending on who qualifies for the later rounds.
I'm going to get some sleep before tomorrow's session. Special thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday.