Yundi Li Plays Lisztby Yundi Li
Two new star pianists are hot on the scene, both Chinese and in their early 20s (and both DG artists, as it happens). Lang Lang, with his ever-smiling baby face, spiky hair, and exuberant personality, appears the quintessential whiz-bang wunderkind. Yundi Li, on the other hand, comes across as something of a Byronic figure, with flowing locks and a soulful, poetic sensibility. Li has virtuosity to spare, as one would expect, and he thunders through the octave passages in Liszt's music with aplomb. It's in the quieter moments, though, that his special gifts come to the fore, not only because his pianissimo playing is so breathtakingly beautiful but also because he shapes the phrases with such improvisatory flair. The well-known Liebestraum No. 3 builds to a passionate climax, for example, and the inward passages in the B Minor Sonata are rapt. This is a pianist who clearly has the Romantic style in his fingers. Perhaps there's some youthful impatience here and there -- call it impetuosity, if you will -- though what else would one expect from such a swaggering figure? Certainly, it's the kind of personality one wants in Liszt's music, and while it's likely that he will refine his interpretation of the Sonata in years to come (he's only 20, after all), this is an exciting recording that all lovers of great Romantic pianism should hear.
- Release Date:
- Deutsche Grammophon
- Piano Sonata in B minor, S. 178 (LW A179)
- Études d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini (6), for piano, S. 140 (LW A52): No. 3. La Campanella (Allegretto)
- Widmung (Liebeslied), transcription for piano (after Schumann, I & II), S. 566 (LW A133): ("Du meine Seele, du mein Herz") d'après Robert Sc
- Liebesträume, notturno for piano No. 3 in A flat major ("O Lieb, so lang du lieben kannst"), S. 541/3 (LW A103/3)
- Tarantella, for piano (Années, suppl. to II/3), S. 162/3 (LW A197/3): No. 3. Tarantella. Presto - Più vivace - Canzona n
- Rigoletto: paraphrase de concert (after Verdi), for piano, S. 434 (LW A187)
Performance CreditsYundi Li Primary Artist
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Maybe the finest Liszt recording in my library. This young man has the maturity and the skill to truly communicate the depth of Liszt to the listener. A "MUST HAVE"