The jury chose Cecino, self-confident and master of his own
Two Venetian pianists got through the finals at the 36th Premio Venezia at Teatro La Fenice: Giovanni Bertolazzi, 21 from Soave who graduated Summa cum laude at Benedetto Marcello Conservatory of Venice and Elia Cecino, 18 from Casale sul Sile (Treviso) who graduated Summa cum laude as well at Bruna Maderna Conservatory of Cesena. The jury, headed by the composer Fabio Vacchi, awarded Cecino also for his programme which was more complex and more involving for the audience. Bertolazzi had bravely chosen a Sonata by Haydn and a short Intermezzo by Brahms, quite unusual for a final, trying then with a phantasmagorical transcription by Guido Agosti of the Firebird by Stravinskij to show off his technicality.
While waiting for the final results from the jury we carried out a survey among the public in the foyer and most people preferred Cecino. However, when Bertolazzi walked on the stage to get his second prize, long and warm applause showed that he had a remarkable number of supporters as well. He is a mature interpreter and he will surely make it.
Cecino performed a well-conceived programme: Variations Sérieuses by Mendelssohn, the Transcendental Étude Chasse Neige by Liszt and the Sonata in B flat minor by Chopin. He was appreciated for his self-confidence and his self-control, his balance and the neatness of his phrasing, the clear and round sound. The compact variations by Mendelssohn were performed with impulse eluding any caesura and differentiation with wide romantic inspiration. The full of difficulties Étude by Liszt, once stripped of any extramusical suggestion, has been successful thanks to his well-trained manual skills. Well appreciated the opening of the Sonata by Chopin with an involving contrast between the anxiety of the first theme and the nobility of the second. Some venial slips in the Scherzo have been forgiven for the intimate interpretation of the Marcia Funèbre. The murmuring of the Presto Finale has become an abstract study.
The long prize giving ceremony, of one of the richest musical contests known, was presented by Barbara of Valmarana, chair of Amici della Fenice that has been promoting this contest for more than 30 years. Rich prizes have been given, ranging from Euro 12,500 for the Fifth prize to Euro 41,500 for the first who will also benefit a cospicuous number of concerts in Italy and abroad.