- Sensational piano recital by Sofya Gulyak in Wroclaw Philharmonic
It happens that the piano art of this class can be encountered only a few times in a lifetime. Often, the biggest emotions cannot be guaranteed by pianists publicized in the media and recording dozens of albums, but by artists who do not seek the publicity, and even explicitly avoid general interest.
Sofya Gulyak won several prestigious competitions (eg. Busoni in Bolzano and in Leeds), but it is difficult to talk about her today only in the context of those triumphs. In the meantime, a great personality was born; a mature artist who works on her name regardless of winning competitions, which, as we well know, is very rare. Many remain slaves of prizes, or, as in the case of the Chopin Competition, slaves of one composer. Such a scenario does not apply to Sofya Gulyak. She expands her repertoire consistently (the day before the recital she read through Prokofiev's 2nd Piano Concerto); she dreams to play more music of Bach and Schubert.
After Tuesday's evening (organized by the Liszt Society) in Wroclaw Philharmonic and performed encore of phenomenal Adagio from Bach's Concerto in D minor BWV 981 it is known that not only she may play the Leipzig cantor, but she simply must play him. But I will remember her recital primarily due to the mini-recital of Liszt, because she devoted the entire second part of the concert to the Hungarian composer. I have not heard such moving Liszt interpretations even during this year's festival in Duszniki Zdroj, although Liszt was played, because of the bicentennial of his birth, really a lot.
Yet the stunning 2nd Rhapsody performed by Gulyak cannot be compared to those heard in the Chopin's Manor House. The Russian thought through the piece in every way and read out and deployed accents in completely different manner. She made the first part very reflective, serious, and the second one treated not seriously (or mockingly, as many pianists), but to some extent tragically, showing drama hidden beneath the grotesque content. The study "Chasse-neige" (snow blizzard), the penultimate in the series of transcendental studies, proved to be a true masterpiece. In terms of articulation and dynamics it could be a model for students of all music academies. Leading the theme emerging from the "blizzard" of sounds and chromatics was never disturbed, and the phrase was shaped in an amazingly harmonious way.
However, the true mood of reverie and the heavenly peace came with Liszt's Consolation, especially the third, being a kind of epitaph for Chopin and written in the style of the friend. So amazingly natural beauty will not be found in recordings of many contemporary pianists feted in the world's auditoriums.
Sofya Gulyak's encore proved also that she perfectly understands the opera. "Liebestod" from Wagner's drama "Tristan and Isolde" in Liszt's transcription under her fingers was a great love song.
- The 5th International F. Liszt Piano Competition in Wroclaw in 2011 is cancelled !
Despite multilayered, long-term endeavours to acquire financial means needed to realise the Competition, we are forced to cancel this jear`s Competition due to financial reasons.
We still lack half of the money for statutory prizes and approx. 40% for other expenditures of the competition.
Basic financial means for the previous editions of the competition came from three sources: Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Lower Silesian Province and the Commune of Wroclaw (the highest subsidies). This year (Year the 200-th anniversary of F. Liszt's birth !), in two following tenders for offers for public projects in terms of culture organised by the Commune of Wroclaw, we were refused to receive any subsidies. Further endeavours resulted in hope of acquiring only about 40 % of expected and necessary funds.
It happened at the time when the Minister of Culture and National Heritage granted 50 000 PLN out of 190 000 PLN we applied for, and the last year's preparatory works (printing and disseminating prospects and posters, and other information activities) were financed by the Self-government of the Lower Silesian Province and Association of Performing Artists STOART in Warsaw.
Currently, the money for prizes in artistic competitions organised by societies cannot come from budgets of communes and provinces, and yesterday we received another negative answer from potential sponsor (a bank) of some statutory prizes.
The situation cannot be saved even by a wonderful gesture from the Association of Performing Artists STOART, whose Board funded a non-statutory prize for best performance of a piece with the orchestra in the amount of 15 000 PLN.
Those who already sent their application for the competition will receive their documents and fee back.
Juliusz Adamowski, President of F. Liszt Society and Competition Director
10 May 2011.r.
- Liszt Evenings in the nationwide cultural programme of the Polish Presidency in the EU Council
Program Board for Cultural Affairs of Polish Presidency in the EU Council included "Liszt Evenings" in the Silesian Piast Dynasty Castle in Brzeg in the 2nd half of this year in the cultural programme of the Polish Presidency in the EU Council.