Music review: Scottish International Piano Competition Final
Scottish International Piano Competition final ****
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
In third place came Tbilisi-born Luka Okros, who despite his fearsome focus seemed rather inward-looking, strangely reserved, struggling to project his solo part in Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto above the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s rich orchestral backdrop, finely detailed in conductor Thomas Sondergard’s hands. That orchestral backdrop felt very much like an accompaniment to an intensely personal account of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto from Romanian-born Florian Mitrea, delivered almost as if it were a solo piece. The very bright sound of the Fazioli piano, chosen by all three finalists, only served to emphasise Mitrea’s bright, percussive playing – brilliantly articulated, but with some wayward accents and rhythms in the closing movement.
The contest’s clear and deserving winner, however, was Ankara-born Can Cakmur, who dared to be simple in Beethoven’s lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto, and to let the music speak for itself, in a wonderfully luminous, graceful account that felt entirely sincere and heartfelt. His touchingly low-key post-results-announcement encore of the slow movement from Schumann’s Second Piano Sonata only confirmed his disarmingly unaffected, very special talents, at once naive and highly sophisticated.