#6: Sparks will fly

  • #Clarinet

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In a fierce fought semi-final the remaining six clarinet competitors provided a masterclass in musical collaboration and nuance in the details; as each successively took on four movements of the Weber Clarinet Quintet in Bb Major Op 34. Whilst contestants were clearly being judged on their own performance, the ability to integrate seamlessly and create chemistry in a new chamber ensemble is an interesting element of this competition, since aspiring instrumentalists usually aim for one of three prized areas of professional success: the solo career, the chamber music group, and the top orchestra job.

In this case, they succeeded or fell in partnership with the Dahlia Quartet, who brought tireless, individually responsive energy to repeat performances of a taxing work. Strikingly coherent, polished performances came from all the semi-finalists, and all deserve high praise. Competitions after all, come down to the specialism of the judges. Whilst our judges have been sphinx-like in their deliberations, juries cannot fail to look for themselves in the young contestants. The finalists shone out early in the competition and have delivered consistently, growing in stature throughout. In the Weber they outdid themselves. They are Aron Chiesa (Italy), Víctor Díaz Guerra (Spain), and Blaz Sparovec (Slovenia). One thing is certain, come the final, sparks will fly!     

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