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Vienna Recital - Scarlatti, Mozart, Liszt, Et Al / Yundi Li


Release Date: 02/14/2006 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000609002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Domenico ScarlattiWolfgang Amadeus MozartRobert SchumannFranz Liszt
Performer:  Yundi Li
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Yundi Li's direct, sharply etched, upbeat account of Mozart's wonderful C major K. 330 sonata would do any pianist proud. Its virtues particularly hit home when heard next to Lang Lang's recent, impossibly arch performance (also on DG). Given Li's formidable technical proficiency and fine musical imagination, it comes as no surprise to hear him make light of Carnaval's idiosyncratic difficulties as well as explore inner counterpoints and alternate voicings when material repeats. Yet the pianist's freedom is always tempered by good taste and that rare ability to hit upon just the right tempos (most of the time, anyway).

For example, Li doesn't moon over Reconnaissance's middle-section canon, and he keeps the often dragged-out
Read more Eusebius well afloat. By taking Papillons' dynamics on faith, the movement's quick climaxes achieve a more shattering impact than usual. There are a few nods to tradition, such as making the Chopin movement's repeat quiet and lyrical as opposed to the Agitato Schumann requests. And Aveu is unusually slow yet convincingly sustained. Had the pianist brought a wider range of dynamics and dramatic characterization to the music, we'd have a version that would rival Nelson Freire's big-hearted Decca studio recording.

Happily, Li's sonority blossoms in time for an effortlessly executed though slightly cool Liszt Rhapsodie Espagnol. It's judiciously paced and well unified, if lacking the poetic abandon and personal edge we hear from Georges Cziffra, Lazar Berman, Jorge Bolet, and Lucille Chung (to say nothing of the classic Arrau and Barerre 78-era versions). I should mention the opening Scarlatti sonatas that Li basically treats as warm-ups to the Mozart (he makes a silly ritard in the second bar of the E major sonata's opening theme that is positively, well, Lang Langian!).

A blurb on the back cover spells out Yundi Li's attraction to the Vienna Musikverein's "fantastic acoustics that allow you to achieve an incredible variety of colors." You wouldn't know it from DG's dryish, constricted, and not especially colorful engineering.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Harpsichord in E major, K 380/L 23 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Live  Vienna Music Society, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 13/L 486 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Live  Vienna Music Society, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 6 Minutes 28 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 10 in C major, K 330 (300h) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781-1783 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Live  Vienna Music Society, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 17 Minutes 57 Secs. 
4.
Carnaval, Op. 9 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833-1835; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Live  Vienna Music Society, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 29 Minutes 43 Secs. 
5.
Rhapsodie espagnole for Piano, S 254 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1863; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Live  Vienna Music Society, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 13 Minutes 58 Secs. 

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