Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mariangela Vacatello (Concerto II)

The Italian bounces back with a performance of Prokofiev's Third Concerto that reminds me why I liked her. The intelligence and clarity on display are refreshing, and even though she's playing a noisy piece, she gives an object lesson to Bozhanov on how to project sound against an orchestra without smashing the piano into splinters. (To be fair, any of the finalists could probably have given that lesson just as effectively.) She's particularly good with the composer's mischievous brand of slapstick comedy; the humorous interludes in the first two movements were grotesque without being clumsy. This wasn't an overwhelming performance, and I don't know if it'll be enough to salvage her medal hopes. However, it explodes my notion that she was running out of gas. In those instances, I'm always happy to be proven wrong.

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