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Chopin: Scherzi, Impromptus / Yundi Li


Release Date: 01/11/2005 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000388702   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


Comparisons between Yundi Li and Lang Lang, both young, male, Asian, aggressively hyped, and on DG, seem inevitable, and if I had to choose between them I would take Yundi Li in a minute. His Liszt Sonata was world-class, and so is this new set of Chopin Scherzos. Of course, competition in this music is fierce, most particularly from Rubinstein, Pogorelich, and in the Second Scherzo, Argerich. Naturally, many listeners will have their own favorites as well to add to this short list, but Yundi Li surely has nothing to fear in this company. In the First Scherzo he offers something of Rubinstein's lightness of touch and rhythmic suppleness, qualities he carries over into the
Read more remaining works. This permits him to integrate the huge dynamic contrasts that characterize the Second Scherzo into the music's overall flow without chopping the piece up into a series of disconnected gestures. The Third Scherzo is intensely dramatic at an aptly lively tempo, while Li's similarly kinetic response to the final piece leaves plenty of room for the grand statement (particularly toward the end) while resisting the urge to treat the music with excessive bombast.


You can find Li's take on the Fourth Impromptu on his first Chopin disc, which I found less successful overall than this one (or his Liszt)--nice try, DG! In general, there's a bit less imagination at work here. Granted, the music is admittedly smaller in scale. Li finds a very appealing mix of simplicity and dreaminess in the F-sharp minor Impromptu, but in the first and third pieces more dynamic contrast would have shaped the music's graceful contours with a bit more vividness. Still and all, this is a very distinguished recital by an artist with excellent instincts and plenty to say. Sonically, DG's recording places the piano a bit too close to the microphones, yielding a big, rich, full sound but also some brittleness in the piano's upper register. Playing with a dynamic range this big can take the added warmth of additional room ambience. But it's a very exciting sound, make no mistake, and as such an easy recommendation.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Scherzo for Piano no 1 in B minor, B 65/Op. 20 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1832; Poland 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2.
Scherzo for Piano no 2 in B flat minor/D flat major, B 111/Op. 31 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
Scherzo for Piano no 3 in C sharp minor, B 125/Op. 39 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Mallorca (Majorca),  
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 46 Secs. 
4.
Scherzo for Piano no 4 in E major, B 148/Op. 54 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 34 Secs. 
5.
Impromptu for Piano no 1 in A flat major, B 110/Op. 29 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
6.
Impromptu for Piano no 2 in F sharp major, B 129/Op. 36 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1839; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 35 Secs. 
7.
Impromptu for Piano no 3 in G flat major, b 149/Op. 51 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Yundi Li (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 06/2004 
Venue:  Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 9 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Scherzo no 3
Impromptu no 1

Sound Samples

Scherzo No.1 in B minor, Op.20
Scherzo No.2 in B flat minor, Op.31
Scherzo No.3 in C sharp minor, Op.39
Scherzo No.4 in E, Op.54
Impromptu No.1 in A flat, Op.29
Impromptu No.2 in F sharp, Op.36
Impromptu No.3 in G flat, Op.51

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