Ivan the conqueror…… Ivan Krpan at La Sapienza University Rome
Hats off to the University of Rome for inviting year after year the winners of the Busoni Competition to their Concert season in the Aula Magna of La Sapienza.
With the magnificent frescos of Manzu overlooking the scene, this season alone includes Roberto Cominati (1993),Alexander Romanovsky(2001) past winners and the most recent winner in 2017: Ivan Krpan.
It also includes the Cremona Quartet who so valiantly performed in the semi final stage in Bolzano with the contestants and awarded their own prize to Anna Geniushene, who was invited to give concerts with the Quartet throughout Italy.
Chloe Jiyeong Mun(2014) was invited to the Sapienza IUC series in the previous season
The Keyboard Charitable Trust via their founders have been supporters for many years of the Competition that is held in Bolzano.
For some years a career development prize has been offered by the Trust to the most talented pianist from each competition.
They are invited to perform in London and elsewhere helping them on their long journey to establishing a career.
Michail Lifits (2008) ,Alexander Romanovsky(2001),Chloe Jiyeong Mun(2014) have all benefited from this and now it is the turn of Ivan Krpan.(2017)
Ivan recently played in London the same programme that was heard in Rome today ……….here are my thoughts on this unexpectedly mature musician.
Three encores by great demand for a public completely convinced by this young musician just as the enlightened jury of the Busoni competition had been two years ago.
The same Bach Busoni choral prelude as in London but then a crystal clear account of the Praeludium from Bach’s first Partita.
Such an intelligent reading of great colour and clarity it had us all wishing we could hear the entire work.
That will be next time for sure.
The last encore was by Chopin: a Prelude from op. 28 , which he has recently recorded together with the Schumann Fantasie op. 17 for the Busoni Foundation.
The prelude op. 28 n.15 (Raindrop) played with such a beautiful liquid sound.
Seemingly all the time in the world given to the ornaments as a great singer would do.
The time taken at the end was of such beauty and timelessness he had the audience hanging on to each note.
The long silence at the end was only broken by someone wishing to be heard on the Vatican Radio recording.
No doubt the same person who had interrupted the flow at the end of the Busoni Second Sonatina and with great authority was hushed by our young knight in shining armour.
Talking to this young man one is struck by his authority and conviction not only in his interpretations but also of the programmes that he has so carefully crafted together.
The Busoni Sonatina led imperceptedly (except for one!) into Liszt’s extraordinary “Pensee des morts” which in its turn became the “Dante Sonata.”
The two Beethoven sonatas taken from his last six sonatas of thirty two.
But the two sharing the same tonality of E .
The little two movement E minor op 90 with its seemingly innocent Schubertian second movement contrasting with one of Beethovens’ greatest statements of a theme and variations in op 109.
A fascinating journey from a real thinking musician.
I had asked Ivan if he did not find it tiring to play the same programme over and over again.
His reply was the same as Sokolov: that every time there was something new to see and this way he could delve deeper into the heart of these great works.
It was certainly not boring but totally stimulating!
For us too dear Ivan …….and thanks to an enlightened jury in Bolzano and the Keyboard Charitable Trust the world is a little closer to embracing a great interpreter.