at the XVth International Tchaikovsky Competition‏ – Yuri Favorin

by richibi

Yuri Favorin

Yuri Favorin


if it doesn’t make you shiver, quiver,
throb even, after the first two numbers,
as far as I’m concerned, forget it, and
that’s being generous

Yuri Favorin flubs his introductory
Bach, losing too often the strict
Baroque tempo markings, notably
in the overlapping fugal* play of
both hands, required of Bach, for
consistency, world view, the clock
being the image of a fundamental
and prophetic order

but once the Romantic Era takes off,
he is transcendent, he made me
hear the Beethoven opus 22 all over
again, Beethoven’s 11th Sonata, and
that’s something, Beethoven can be
pleasant early on, decidedly
entertaining, even inspiring, but not
as profound as he later became, I
like profundity

his Tchaikovsky, his Chopin, are
melting, revelatory, who knew about
Tchaikovsky and “Nocturne’s, or ‘d
even thunk about it, or ‘d heard so
wrenchingly recently the dramatic
change of dynamics from
tempestuous to nearly stopped,
vulnerable and innocent, then
back again, in Chopin, as a device
in his music, in stark and
representative contrast, incidentally,
to Bach’s rigid Baroque framework

Liszt dots the “i” of transcendentalism,
something I refer to often, but which is
formally even expressed in his title,
“Études transcendentales”, an age in
which music aspired to be formally
much more than just music, attempted
to touch beyond the stars, define, even,

so when I say things are transcendent,
I’m not kidding, some things let you in
on the voice of deities, divinities, the
ineffable, the wonder, the miraculous

this guy, Yuri Favorin, is transcendent,
and he hasn’t even won yet


* fugal is the superimposition of
the same musical line alongside
the original one, but at a different
place along that line, we used to
call it singing in canon when it
applied to song