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Yundi Li|Chopin : Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2

Chopin : Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2

Yundi Li

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Pianist Yundi, formerly Yundi Li, might have several reasons for trying something new with Chopin. It was with Chopin that he became the youngest and the first Chinese winner of the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, at age 18 in 2000, and he has played Chopin countless times since then. Cynics might recall that a Yundi Chopin concerto performance crashed and burned several years ago owing to miscommunications between pianist and conductor. Whatever the case, Yundi here conducts the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra from the keyboard. This isn't a common approach with Chopin, and the world is hardly clamoring for a new recording of the youthful composer's two piano concertos, but Yundi makes it all work, even brilliantly. By conducting from the keyboard, he is able to solve the conundrum of how to incorporate the spontaneous rubato essential to Chopin's style into the piano-and-orchestra format. Of course, this can be done with a separate conductor, but Yundi takes liberties with the tempo even in the purely orchestral passages, and the results bring a strong sense of drama to these works, which too often have a by-the-numbers approach. Yundi's entrances (listen to the first movement of the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21) really pop, and the slow movements build up to passages that give an idea of the impact Chopin must have made when he first appeared on the scene in Paris. Fétis wrote of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, that "there is fantasy in these passages, and everywhere there is originality," and with Yundi, more than in the great majority of other performances, the listener understands why Fétis chose those words.
© TiVo

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Chopin : Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2

Yundi Li

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Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 (Frédéric Chopin)

1
I. Allegro maestoso
00:19:54

Yundi Li, Piano & Conductor - Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra - Frederic Chopin, Composer

© 2019 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2019 China Arts International Limited, under exclusive license to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

2
II. Romanze (Larghetto)
00:10:08

Yundi Li, Piano & Conductor - Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra - Frederic Chopin, Composer

© 2019 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2019 China Arts International Limited, under exclusive license to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

3
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11: III. Rondo (Vivace)
00:10:15

Yundi Li, Piano & Conductor - Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra - Frederic Chopin, Composer

© 2019 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2019 China Arts International Limited, under exclusive license to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 (Frédéric Chopin)

4
I. Maestoso
00:13:54

Yundi Li, Piano & Conductor - Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra - Frederic Chopin, Composer

© 2019 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2019 China Arts International Limited, under exclusive license to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

5
II. Larghetto
00:09:07

Yundi Li, Piano & Conductor - Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra - Frederic Chopin, Composer

© 2019 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2019 China Arts International Limited, under exclusive license to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

6
III. Allegro vivace
00:08:21

Yundi Li, Piano & Conductor - Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra - Frederic Chopin, Composer

© 2019 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company ℗ 2019 China Arts International Limited, under exclusive license to Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Album Description

Pianist Yundi, formerly Yundi Li, might have several reasons for trying something new with Chopin. It was with Chopin that he became the youngest and the first Chinese winner of the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, at age 18 in 2000, and he has played Chopin countless times since then. Cynics might recall that a Yundi Chopin concerto performance crashed and burned several years ago owing to miscommunications between pianist and conductor. Whatever the case, Yundi here conducts the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra from the keyboard. This isn't a common approach with Chopin, and the world is hardly clamoring for a new recording of the youthful composer's two piano concertos, but Yundi makes it all work, even brilliantly. By conducting from the keyboard, he is able to solve the conundrum of how to incorporate the spontaneous rubato essential to Chopin's style into the piano-and-orchestra format. Of course, this can be done with a separate conductor, but Yundi takes liberties with the tempo even in the purely orchestral passages, and the results bring a strong sense of drama to these works, which too often have a by-the-numbers approach. Yundi's entrances (listen to the first movement of the Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21) really pop, and the slow movements build up to passages that give an idea of the impact Chopin must have made when he first appeared on the scene in Paris. Fétis wrote of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, that "there is fantasy in these passages, and everywhere there is originality," and with Yundi, more than in the great majority of other performances, the listener understands why Fétis chose those words.
© TiVo

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