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Young Concert Artists Trust recitals,
reviewed by BILL NEWMAN


The Young Concert Artists Trust, launched in 1984 to identify, nurture and promote young classical artists and ensembles from the start of their careers for a three year period, has now joined with Landor Records to support and fund their ongoing releases.

Three live recitals on 4, 5 and 6 June 2008 respectively, paid tribute to winners of Landor Competitions -- Libor Novacek in Haydn's Sonata in F, Hob XVI No 23, Brahms 8 Piano Pieces, Op 76 and Liszt's First Book of Annees de pelerinage, Suisse on the first of these dates, then Evelina Puzaite in works by Clara and Robert Schumann -- Clara's Variations on a theme by her husband Robert (Opus 20) and Robert's much better known Davidsbündlertänze Op 6 that formed the first part of her live event the next evening. Her second half consisted of Falla's Fantasia Betica, ten pieces from Prokofiev's Opus 12 and Piano Sonata 3 in one continuous movement.

These events have attracted considerable publicity, and launching of the 'Abstract Securities Landor Competition' has identified differences between recorded and live performances. What I have heard already of their CDs has impressed me, but the Wigmore Hall concerts have conversely shown various assets and interpretive weaknesses that prompt me to state that early-day promises and promotions might lead to incorrect assessments. With a glut of instrumentalists of all kinds and persuasions, much better and far wiser to instigate progress and on a lengthier period where young artists are more likely to mature at their own rates, which includes changes of judgement, introducing their own secondary options and opinions in their professional plannings, and so on. To assess from a critical standpoint at the present stage should be delayed accordingly, and I don't wish to discuss, say, my preferences for Novacek's way with Liszt compared, say, to his Brahms, or the lovely Puzaite's glittering pianism but lack of differentiation in a variety of repertoire. Commercial recording is a different art form, and there's no basis for comparison. Let's please just wait and tread carefully!

Daniel de Borah, selected by YCAT in 2005 and 2007 after winning the Royal Over-Seas League Competitions, is for me 'a natural', meaning that I was able to identify immediately with his musical portrayals of Beethoven (Rondo in G), Prokofiev (Piano Sonata No 8) and Chopin (Polonaise-Fantasie, 3 Etudes Op 10, 2 Nocturnes Op 62, Scherzo No 4). Over many years of reviewing, I've listened to these pieces and to much other repertoire, played by many performers, past and present. Daniel de Borah is a rare talent.

Copyright © 28 November 2008 Bill Newman, Edgware UK


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