- Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S. 124 (LW H4)
- Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47
[Li brings] to two popular works a dazzling, seemingly effortless mastery that will be the envy of many pianists. The Liszt especially is scintillating.
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Chopin, Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
That young pianist Yundi Li is an accomplished talent is a given. In a time when fortunately there are numerous young pianists gracing the concert halls, few seem to be sensitive to the repertoire they elect to perform: at times the bravado of their personas gets in the way of interpretive depth. As fine as some of the younger crew may be, some lack the profundity of soul that comes with growing into the big classics (Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, etc). It is therefore refreshing to see Yundi Li performing the showy dazzler pieces that feature technical aplomb and finesse such as the Liszt Piano Concerto he so beautifully performs here.Li recently performed the Liszt concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the wondrous acoustic of Disney Hall and was able to balance his performance with the orchestral conversations and quotations that make this old warhorse of a concerto so sustainable. He plays with extraordinary facility the fast passages and with warm poetry the slower portions, always favoring the interplay with the orchestral statements over pulling focus to his own role as soloist. The same holds true for this recording with Andrew Davis conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra: it is a give and take equality of purpose that allows the prominent partner to be Liszt. If there is a a criticism of Li's performance it is in his propensity to lay a bit heavily on the sustenance pedal, a tendency that blurs lines but that as we know was the way Liszt himself played this work.The Chopin fairs well with Li and we have heard other performances of his interpretation of the work. The coupling of the two concerti for this recording is a sound one, but for this listener the Liszt is the more exciting performance of the two. Yundi Li is avoiding the pitfalls of early stardom and continues to grow in technique and in communicative skills. He is most assuredly a young man with staying power. Grady Harp, March 07