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Yundi Li – Chopin: Scherzi / Impromtus (2004/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Yundi Li – Chopin: Scherzi / Impromtus (2004/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 53:10 minutes | 855 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download  | Booklet, Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Yundi Li is being groomed for superstardom. He’s got the looks, youth, and keyboard athleticism to fill that role, but on the basis of this all-Chopin disc (and his previous Chopin and Liszt recitals), he still lacks the interpretive maturity that translates into staying power. His B minor Scherzo, for example, comes off as excessively sectional, and its central section lacks poetry. Other works here fare better, but his attention appears focused on pianistic fluency and dazzling finger work, often at the expense of a full measure of emotional communication. The Impromptus, lovely as they are in places, tend to blandness. Li compensates for his lack of depth and spontaneity with a beautiful tone, remarkably even runs, and precise articulation at high speeds, attributes which should be sufficient for many. If you’re looking for the rhetorical, probing grandeur of an Arrau or the emotional directness of a Rubinstein you’ll look elsewhere. But if you’re in tune with Pollini’s detached, objective Chopin and enjoy hearing a skilled pianist perform impressive technical feats on the instrument, you’ll want this disc.

„Ah, youth. It’s youthful energy and enthusiasm that abound in Yundi Li’s performance of Chopin’s Scherzi and Impromptus. He flies with the greatest of ease over the keyboard, making an inspiring display of his technical abilities. Musically, he’s not bad either, if a little theatrical. In the faster outer sections of the Scherzi, he is fleet fingered and clear. In the Scherzo No. 2, he keeps the chords and figures of the opening section tight and short, making the contrast with the right-hand arpeggios stand out. Even though he plays the Scherzi for their theatrics, he still manages to find and bring out the melodic figures, even if they are only three or four notes long and buried in ornamental ruffles. Li handles the Impromptus more simply, without as much drama. Impromptu No. 2 is delicate and quiet in the outer sections, while he keeps the more forceful central section in proportion. In the coda, he brings out the melody in the left hand, allowing the listener to focus on that rather than the dazzling right hand, splendid as it is. All of this indicates that although it’s Li’s energy and technique that stand out in this Chopin, there is a chance that his technique and musicality will balance out as he matures.“ (Patsy Morita, AMG)

01. Chopin: Scherzo No.1 In B Minor, Op.20
02. Chopin: Scherzo No.2 In B Flat Minor, Op.31
03. Chopin: Scherzo No.3 In C Sharp Minor, Op.39
04. Chopin: Scherzo No.4 In E, Op.54
05. Chopin: Impromptu No.1 In A Flat, Op.29
06. Chopin: Impromptu No.2 In F Sharp, Op.36
07. Chopin: Impromptu No.3 In G Flat, Op.51

Yundi Li, piano


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