THE COMPLETE PRELUDES is one of Chopin's most loved and commercial sets of compositions, and Yundi’s first Chopin recording in 5 years. Yundi's last set of Chopin (The Complete Nocturnes on EMI in 2010) still dominates his streaming charts with his top ten most streamed tracks on Spotify all stemming from this set – getting these replaced with the Preludes is a target of the marketing campaign. The release ties in with the 15th anniversary of Yundi's legendary victory at the International Warsaw Chopin Competition in 2000. At 18 he was the youngest and first ever Chinese winner and it was the first time in 15 years that a ‘First Prize’ had been awarded.
Following his recordings on Deutsche Grammophon of music by Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, Chinese pianist Yundi Li takes on the three most popular piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, the "Pathétique," "Moonlight," and "Appassionata." Known for having brilliant technique and dynamic showmanship, Yundi plays against type in these beloved works, which call for more introspection and expressiveness than might be expected from him. Even though the outer movements of "Pathétique" and "Appassionata" and the last movement of "Moonlight" give Yundi ample opportunity to demonstrate his agility, power, and high energy, they are relatively restrained, compared to the kind of virtuosic fare that made him an international star.
Esteemed pianist Samson Francois interprets pieces by Chopin. His performance is poised, powerful and exhilarating, driven by his deep appreciation for Chopin’s works. With astounding sound quality, Francois exudes pianism at its finest. A definitive collection for any audiophile.
The disc is EMI's budget CD, but the performances included here are of highest quality. In fact I've never come across any performances that come so close to Chopin's ideal - the fragile beauty, the shimmering tone colours, the noble poetry and the heart-felt intimacy of Barenboim's playing reminds me of what Chopin's contemporaries described of his pianism. I've got dozens of CDs of 24 Preludes, but this is the one I always come back to for its radiant beauty that only comes from a self-effacing, sincere heart.
Yundi Li, winner of the 14th International Chopin Competition. Half year has passed from his vivid debut recording, and now he brings us this great collection of piano pieces. In this work he offers us a beautiful sensitiveness and a pianism overflowing with young bravura, bringing us works of Chopin and Schumman's Traumerei.This quick collection (20 minutes!) shows us the popularity Mr. Li had gained in Japan (maybe because of his La Campanella interpratation?). This is an old CD (back when Mr. Li was on DG), it can be easily found on Japanese sites but is unavailable in the international Deutsche Grammophon listing. Works of Chopin and Schumman are well accompanied by Wang's beautiful Sunflower, in a Chinese folk song spirit, and Moskovsky's Etude de Virtuosity Op72 No 6.