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  Deutsche Grammophon -
  474 878-2
  Chopin: 4 Scherzi, Impromptus - Yundi Li
  Chopin: 4 Scherzi, Impromptus

Yundi Li (piano)
Track listing:
  Classical - Instrumental
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 3

Review by akiralx October 17, 2004 (12 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Simply superb - Li's previous released of Chopin and Liszt have shown him fully worthy of his Warsaw Chopin competition first prize in 2000, and I reckon this is his best disc yet.

The four scherzi are oft-recorded works, and comparing these performances with other sets I have, by Rubinstein, Ashkenazy, Pogorelich and Pletnev (as part of his Live at Carnegie Hall set) - as well as individual performances by the likes of Argerich, Kissin, Zimerman and others - reveals Li as on a par with the best, and perhaps surpassing them. It's his ability to play with individuality without distorting the music that guarantees wonderfully idiomatic and satisfying results. His rubato is convincing and comes from deep conviction.

Pogorelich's CD of these four works was controversial but compelling, and while Li doesn't skirt controversy as the Yugoslav pianist did, he shows himself as his equal, say, in the cantabile section at the heart of the second scherzo. The closing page is handled wonderfully as Li recreates a live performance with a slight accelerando, to thrilling effect. Having a world-class technique also helps...

The impromptus are hardly as well-known, but Li plays them with the same power and poetry as the main works.

Sonically, this disc is phenomenal in multi-channel SACD. The immediacy, clarity and richness of the piano sound is truly wonderful. Close your eyes, and there is a Steinway in perfect condition being played in your listening room. It's as simple as that

If you love Chopin (or even if you don't) buy this disc.

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Review by enterprise January 24, 2005 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
One can argue endlessly about interpretation but this disc just sounds superb. The DG engineers have been getting very good with piano sound with SACD. Li's Liszt and first Chopin disc also have excellent sound.

One thing I noticed with Li's playing of the Scherzi is that you can hear all the notes. These are extremely difficult pieces to play but to be able to hear all the notes is another thing.

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Review by mwagner1962 May 22, 2005 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I will have to pretty much agree with the other reviews. I am not usually a big fan of DG recordings as I have alway found their orchestral material simply too closely miked.

However, I decided to give this SACD a chance as I am starting to do a much better job educating myself on piano music. And since I have always like Chopin, this was a good way to start.

I love Mr. Li's playing, and he displays some serious virtuosity and shows excellent command of the keyboard. I am not an expert in any way when it comes to piano music, but I enjoyed his playing as he shows much more musicality and depth than many of the other "wunderkind" youngsters that DG has signed over the years.

Soundwise, the miking is the typical DG closeness, but what is nice is that I can still get a decent sense of hall. But perhaps here the closeness picks up the MANY notes that are being played!!!! The sound is better (as I would expect it to be for a new DSD recording) than the RCA Living Stereo SACD of Arthur Rubinstein, and Mr. Li plays with a maturity that is close to Arthur Rubinstein, once again, a nice show of maturity. It will be fun to hear this musician as he ages!!!!

This is definitely a keeper!!! Recommended!!!!

My $.02....

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Works: 7  

Frederic Chopin - Impromptu in A flat major, Op. 29
Frederic Chopin - Impromptu in F sharp major, Op. 36
Frederic Chopin - Impromptu in G flat major, Op. 51
Frederic Chopin - Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31
Frederic Chopin - Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20
Frederic Chopin - Scherzo in C sharp minor, Op. 39
Frederic Chopin - Scherzo in E major, Op. 54