The postponement of the events of the Beethoven year offers a glimpse into the future of young pianists on a passionate stage
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic put Beethoven’s Anniversary at risk. After a year, Massimo Zanetti and the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra lit the fire and, like Prometheus, planted the meaning of Beethoven in the hearts of music lovers.
The Event called <Five for Five>, was a project in which five young pianists born around 2000 performed all Beethoven’s Piano Concerts in three different concerts. Also the Ouvertures, the two Romances for Violin and Orchestra and the Symphony n. 7, which Zanetti performed together to the Concertos, went much beyond the need to add Beethovenian works to fill up the programs but rather the intent to present the philosophy of the conductor and the orchestra on playing Beethoven.
On April 26, at the first stage of the series held at the Lotte Concert Hall, the pianist Yul Sun who performed Concerto No. 1 appealed to the audience with his natural beautiful tone. Rather than Beethoven’s characteristic strong and rough parts, were well expressed the lyricism in its most intim side, through a softer and smoother sound.
Listening his performance, in addition to Beethoven, I felt the desire to hear him playing composers like Chopin, Ravel and Debussy.
The pianist Chung Ji-won, who performed the Piano Concerto No. 2, showed exceptional concentration and perseverance: he knew how to push and pull against his formidable opponent named Beethoven. After a serious and determined interpretation of the 1st movement and a dark and poetic 2nd one, the 3rd movement was released gaily.
Thanks to the two openings works of ” The Creatures of Prometheus” and “Coriolan”, it was a performance that deeply touched Beethoven’s spirit.
On May 2nd, in the second stage held at the Aram Nury Hall in Goyang, the pianist Yoon Ain performed the Concerto n.3. She was accompanied by a passionate conductor like Massimo Zanetti, but Yoon Ain sitting at the piano, she looked herself like another conductor. She was expressing music with her whole body. With a fortissimo that sounds like steel, a pianissimo that sounds like lips biting and a huge dynamic range, she suppressed the volleys of anger and created a meandering drama. The sound was different when she pressed the keys. It was an adrenaline rush. As if to calm her excitement after the performance, Yoon Ain performed Chopin Waltz Op.69-1 as an encore.
The Fourth Piano Concerto was performed by pianist Jaehong Park, who represented it from the high of his stature and through his big hands.
In the introduction of each Parts, Hanah Chung performed the Violin Romances No. 1 and n. 2 as an overture. The warm and thoughtful playing of the violin showed Beethoven’s generous and gentle side.
The final phase of <Five for Five> took place on May 7 at the Concert Hall of the Seoul Arts Center. Pianist Joo-hee Lim performed the Concerto no. 5 “The Emperor”: It has been her best and most complete performance on the stage I had ever seen.
In the second part Zanetti and the Gyeonggi Philharmonic performed the Symphony Nr 7 . Compared to Beethoven’s other symphonies, it is a work that has been played and listened to many times and therefore it is a work that might make feels fatigue and numbness.
The Barenreiter edition was fresh, a new interpretation of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic, where Massimo Zanetti worked his magic, made me fall in love again with the charm of its music.
During the curtain call, pianists Sun Yul, Chung Ji-won, Yoon Ain and Park Jae-hong, who took part to the first and second concerts, walked in and greeted with Lim Joo-hee side by side.
It seemed like everyone was telling the story of a project they really did together, so a smile came to mind. <Five for Five> was a significant stage where Massimo Zanetti and the Gyeonggi Philharmonic presented the pianists who will dominate our country and the world in the future. Through this stage, we could glimpse the promising future of young pianists who performed with passion. After the piano, I would like to hear and see introduced players from other instruments and continue to see them grow together.
Written by Taehyung Ryu, Music Columnist