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The Friday concerts were marked by generally strong playing all the way around. Thursday night we had, in my estimation, two good performances and one disappointing one. Tonight we had two that were very good and one that was so outstanding I had to stop taking notes and just listen.
Mr. Sakata is not a demonstrative performer (a rarity in this group, it seems), choosing to express himself entirely through his music.
Unlike Mr. Sakata, Mr. Chen is not shy about playing to the audience. This is neither good nor bad as long as it serves the music, which (mostly), it did.
The third concert of the final round is tomorrow night (Saturday, June 8). It will feature Mozart’s 20th again (with Nikita Mndoyants), Beethoven’s 4th (Fei-Fei Dong), and Prokofiev’s 2nd (Beatrice Rana; I’m very much looking forward to that one).