Cliburn aspirant recreates Beethoven’s mastery

Posted Friday, May. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Beethoven’s Sonata 32 was among his last compositions for piano, a masterwork in only two movements. Nikita Mndoyants played it on Friday night, and in the breathtaking second movement, in extended passages of pianissimo, silence filled the hall, and the young Russian’s playing had the audience leaning forward.

“This is his last sonata and I think it is his most important because in some ways it is something like universal, this music,” Mndoyants said backstage afterward. “It’s very important that there is two movements. It’s impossible to have something after these slow mystic variations.”

Mndoyants, 24, is a second generation Cliburn competitor. His father, Alexander, was a finalist in 1977. The father would have been proud on Friday.

Nikita Mndoyants said he could feel the connection with his Bass Hall audience.

“There was silence in the hall,” he said. “I hope it was a good connection. It is very important for me that the audience felt it, not only me. It shows it can work.”

Tim Madigan, 817-390-7544 Twitter: @tsmadigan

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