In Copenhagen-- the first three this morning (I caught the last ten or twelve bars of the Eroica) and nos 4 and 5 later on; tomorrow morning, nos 6 and 7, and then in the afternoon nos 8 and 9. 1725 GMT. I'll try to listen perhaps.
Wrote in my journal earlier that I couldn't tell whether the smoke is worse, or better, or more or less the same as yesterday; having been out and about for my morning spatiamentum and the shopping, I think that the smoke is certainly no worse and that much of the stuff in the atmosphere is simply fog. A check of the machinae confirms that it was predicted to be foggy this morning.
The four finalists (two pianists, a violinist, a trumpeter) of the Concertino Praha Competition are about to begin their performances at the Rudolfinum in Prague. Judging from the photographs, they are about 10; from the video, 'teenagers' is as precise as I can get. The MC is switching between Czech, English, Russian, and German easily enough. The only judge whose name I recognize is the clarinetist Daniel Ottensamer.
A very pretty violinist has been trying to pretend that she doesn't realize that her image has been broadcast all the while the MC has been doing his work.
This is the first time I've ever watched one of these 'international competitions' so it's a pleasant event, even if the finalists give imperfect performances. Holy Mass from Saint-Eugène is at 1000 so I hope that the MC's speechifying at least is finished.
Jan Schulmeister is performing Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor op 16. (It is the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra.)
Grieg's Concerto, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto no 1 in D major op 19, Liszt's Piano Concerto no 1 in E flat major, and then the Trumpet Concerto in A flat major by the Armenian Alexander Arutiunian.
We shall see if Daniel Matejča seems likely to be a 'new Hilary Hahn', although I suppose such comparisons are pretty meaningless-- even more so when it is me doing the comparing. He is performing now. Am in fact not familiar enough with the Prokofiev to know how well this is going.
There is a concert streaming on Facebook later on from the Bayreuth Baroque Festival with the mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux performing arias from the operas of Johann Adolf Hasse, 'il divino Sassone'. Something tells me that it is going to happen while Mass is streamed from Paris, tsk.
Alexander Rublev and the Trumpet Concerto of Alexander Arutiunian now.
Male teenagers in the Czech Republic and Russia seem to be laboring under the impression that the more voluminous the masses of floppy hair the better.
Vselovod Zavidov is about to perform the Liszt Piano Concerto; I'll hear the first fifteen minutes or so. More masses of floppy hair. These fellows could go into the wig-making business if their musical careers fail to provide sufficient satisfaction.
I wonder what the identities nonsense laws are like in the Czech Republic; doubtless there were young women in competition at the semi-final and preceding stages.
The beginning of Mass is delayed for some reason, so have returned for a couple of minutes to M. Zavidov. I will say that it looks like he is pleased, having fun, perhaps, at some level; the trumpeter, too, had that look. The violinist and the first pianist were laboring mightily in their respective vineyards-- which is certainly a good thing so far as it goes. He has finished and I hope he wins, if only because of his embarrasment at the end when bouquets were brought out for the conductor, concertmaster, and someone else: he was momentarily unsure whether one was for him. Seriously, and have never given this much thought, but how does one judge these performances? Do you give the musician points for this and that? Keep a scorecard to mark all of it on?
The video of the Mass has begun but the sound isn't happening, tsk. And it is a Solemn High Mass, too, meaning that the lessons will be chanted, which I don't like to miss. The good people at Saint-Eugène, usually Fanny and Cyprien or one or the other of them, resolved whatever the issue was by the time the Kyrie was sung. Béni soit le nom de Marie, Vierge et Mère.
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