Ivan Krpan – mastery and simplicity at the service of music
The winner of Busoni in 2017 just proves that a jury with musical principles held high can choose a young artist of talent that matures into the great artist that we had before us today. The transcendental control of sound in Schubert’s ‘Reliquie Sonata’ was quite extraordinary. A Sonata that even Schubert had realised that after a first movement of such heavenly length to continue further would not be possible in this world. It was written three years before his untimely death and was paired with the large scale A minor Sonata. It preceded the last great trilogy of Sonatas that Schubert miraculously penned knowing that his time on this earth was coming to an end. There was real weight and authority from the very first notes with a rich orchestral tone palette never hard but rich and full. It contrasted so well with the magical second subject that was played with such delicacy over a gently murmuring bass. This was a true ‘tour de force’of technical control of sound on a not easy piano. The fluidity of the melodic line with it ravishing heartrending outpouring of mellifluous poetic murmurings was something to marvel at indeed. There were extraordinary contrasts that he brought to this monumental first movement. It was played with an aristocratic architectural sense of line that made one realise that even Schubert could not have continued. Lasting over twenty minutes it contrasted with the relatively short Andante that was simple and playful where again Ivan found simple beauty in Schubert’s unending outpouring of melodic invention.