Chopin: Scherzi, Impromptus

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
For many young pianists, Chopin's music is a calling card, and Yundi Li is no exception. But this may be the only respect in which Li is unexceptional, as his third solo recital disc for Deutsche Grammophon suggests. Chopin's four Scherzi are among the composer's most challenging works, making great demands on technique and interpretive skill. From the opening moments of the dynamically charged First Scherzo, with its arrestingly resonant chords followed by demonically fleet fingerwork, Li's performances grab the attention and don't let go. Li can proudly stand among the many eminent interpreters of this music ranging, in recent decades, from headstrong Ivo Pogorelich ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
For many young pianists, Chopin's music is a calling card, and Yundi Li is no exception. But this may be the only respect in which Li is unexceptional, as his third solo recital disc for Deutsche Grammophon suggests. Chopin's four Scherzi are among the composer's most challenging works, making great demands on technique and interpretive skill. From the opening moments of the dynamically charged First Scherzo, with its arrestingly resonant chords followed by demonically fleet fingerwork, Li's performances grab the attention and don't let go. Li can proudly stand among the many eminent interpreters of this music ranging, in recent decades, from headstrong Ivo Pogorelich to the more conventional excellence of Maurizio Pollini, especially in his ability to meld note-perfect, crystalline clarity with forceful reserves of dramatic energy. Chopin's first three Impromptus make a perfect foil after the dizzying heights of the Scherzi, lowering the emotional and technical temperature a few notches. Li has already programmed the Fourth Impromptu, or Fantaisie-Impromptu, on his debut recital. Other pianists may be tempted into effusive excess by this music's improvisatory character, but Li brings a more straightforward and carefree touch to the rippling melodies. Many listeners may agree that Li's unaffected approach is at least as valid as the more aggressive showmanship of his equally talented countryman and labelmate, Lang Lang. But comparisons aside, there's no question that Yundi Li is one of the more promising musical talents to emerge in the 21st century thus far, and that we'll be following the course of his career with immense listening pleasure for some time to come.
All Music Guide - Patsy Morita
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.
New York Times - Anthony Tommasini
There is plenty of white-hot virtuosity in [Li's] accounts of the scherzos. In the hell-bent opening of the Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Mr. Li takes off in a bolt of demonic energy and doesn't let up until the somber second theme. The notes whiz by with uncanny clarity, yet Mr. Li brings out bass lines and inner voices beautifully. He uses Chopinesque rubato liberally yet tastefully. His expressive nuances are balanced by a generally cool temperament.

There is plenty of white-hot virtuosity in [Li's] accounts of the scherzos. In the hell-bent opening of the Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Mr. Li takes off in a bolt of demonic energy and doesn't let up until the somber second theme. The notes whiz by with uncanny clarity, yet Mr. Li brings out bass lines and inner voices beautifully. He uses Chopinesque rubato liberally yet tastefully. His expressive nuances are balanced by a generally cool temperament.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/11/2005
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028947451624
  • Catalog Number: 000388702
  • Sales rank: 178,883

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Scherzo for piano No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, CT. 197 - Frédéric Chopin & Fred Munzmaier (9:34)
  2. 2 Scherzo for piano No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31, CT. 198 - Frédéric Chopin & Fred Munzmaier (10:06)
  3. 3 Scherzo for piano No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39, CT. 199 - Frédéric Chopin & Fred Munzmaier (7:52)
  4. 4 Scherzo for piano No. 4 in E major, Op. 54, CT. 200 - Frédéric Chopin & Fred Munzmaier (10:39)
  5. 5 Impromptu for piano in A flat major, Op. 29, CT. 43 - Frédéric Chopin & Fred Munzmaier (4:04)
  6. 6 Impromptu for piano in F sharp major, Op. 36, CT. 44 - Frédéric Chopin & Fred Munzmaier (5:39)
  7. 7 Impromptu for piano in G flat major, Op. 51, CT. 45 - Frédéric Chopin & Fred Munzmaier (5:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yundi Li Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Yundi Li is a major talent to watch and excells in this program.

    I have followed Yundi Li since I first found his early cds and he is amazing. I have all of Chopin's works played by the best performers--Rubinstein, Rachmaninoff, Azkenazy, Horowitz, and many others, and Li fits in nicely with this select group. The works here are thrilling and yet performed with great taste and maturity, surprising in such a young performer. I recommend his other cds just as much as this one.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews