CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 Yundi Li 4776402

. . . Mr. Li is smoking and sparkling . . . This is an impressive CD . . .

This disc of Liszt and Chopin's and first piano concertos gives ample proof that virtuosity needn't be empty-headed or lit by candelabras . . . you can tell he has something beyound the dazzle of any new star . . . Yundi Li already know when to be subtle even when loud (crucial in Liszt) . . . Yundi Li is never reckless, there is always an artist in firm control, sculpting both tone and phrasing . . . powerful performances from a pianist who is sooooo handsome, and much more.

Mr. Li is smoking and sparkling . . . an impressive CD . . .

Technically dexterous, his performance is a tough interpretation, reminding us Chopin was no drip.

. . . a poet of the keyboard . . . the more introspective passages of both the Liszt and Chopin concertos are deliciously caressed and scented with just enough perfume . . . These thrice-familiar pieces come up sounding fresh as can be, with wonderfully responsive collaboration from Sir Andrew Davis and the Philharmonia.

Yundi Li delivers utterly persuasive accounts of the Liszt and Chopin first piano concertos. The Chopin in particular finds Li in superlative form, allying power and command to a deep, underpinning lyricism, while, in the Liszt, he shows he can light the fireworks as well as anybody.

Twenty-three-year-old Yundi Li, here making his concerto debut on disc, is a member of a new generation of superb, prize-winning keyboard autocrats . . . Blessed with impeccable credentials with a seemingly infallible mechanism, Li's style reminded me of Pollini (winner of the Chopin prize in 1960) whose performances prompted Rubinstein to exclaim, "Technically, he plays better than all of us". I remembered this hint of a proviso when listening to Li's no less intimidating mastery and performances where every note is honed to a glittering, diamond-like perfection. Try the opening of the Liszt or the final pages of the Chopin for the ultimate in streamlined brilliance and shot-from-guns bravura . . . his sheer command carries the day at virtually every point. You will search far and wide to hear a more swashbuckling yet precisely controlled Liszt . . . he has been sumptuously partnered and recorded.

This is an enjoyable disc of two popular concertos. The performances are not just technically dazzling -- the Liszt is a riot of virtuoso playing -- but also demonstrate Yundi Li's poetic side as well . . . It's the Chopin to which I'll return with the most pleasure, I think . . . the Liszt is formidable . . . , the virtuosity effortless . . . in Chopin's E minor Concerto . . . the slow movement is especially lovely. In both concertos the Philharmonia Orchestra under Andrew Davis provide alert and sensitive support. Neither of these works is short of recordings, but Li is a pianist who puts an individual (but never eccentric) stamp on both of them . . . I would certainly recommend this disc . . .

His technique, dramatic interpretations and sumptuous legato tone all marked him as a major artist on the rise . . . his flair and mastery have continued to grow. That's especially apparent in the Liszt Concerto in E-Flat Major . . . Playing it on the CD with a responsive Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis, Li embraces the work's showy, fulsome qualities and turns them to full advantage. The piece becomes a series of engaging grand gestures, exciting but attentively shaped and fused. Chromatic runs are feathery and filigreed. Trills take on a biting edge or softly shining clarity. Chordal passages summon concussive storms from the orchestra. Even the silences sound urgent in this ardent and witty reading.

The Liszt especially is scintillating. From the opening octaves Li seems to throw caution to the wind, which is really the only way to play this concerto, fusing electrifying spontaneity with meticulous control. His virtuosity is not only hugely impressive but also well proportioned. Not since Zimerman's trail-blazing recording in Boston with Ozawa -- amazingly now 20 years old -- can I recall a more energizing performance.

There is an easy muscularity and flexibility to his playing in both works, but also a fair degree of delicacy in the more filigree writing. I also like the way he captures the mischievous humour in the Liszt Concerto's scherzo section, competing against the insistent triangle, and the work's finale is suitably martial in its rhythmic crispness. These satisfying performances are complemented by alert and supportive orchestral playing from the Philharmonia, with Andrew Davis stamping his own mark on the music.

. . . Li's disc is one of his finest achievements to date . . . Li still manages to provide much to enjoy. The bravura elements are certainly all in place, and the recording . . . ensures that every nuance shines through . . .

. . . mit fantastischer Verve fliegt er durch beide Werke auf den Flügeln perlender Fingerfertigkeit, unbändig im Dramatischen ¿ ein junger Löwe fürwahr, der seine Prankenkraft indes nicht roh entfaltet, sondern mit ihr Stolz, Noblesse . . . beschreibt: ein Riesen-Selbstgefühl.

Mit dem Philharmonia Orchestra und Andrew Davis hat man ihm zuverlässige Partner zur Seite gestellt . . . Bei Chopin gräbt Yundi Li tiefer, zaubert besonders in der Romanze ¿ feinnervig von Davis getragen ¿ ohne Gefühlsduselei Stimmiges mit Herzenswärme . . .

Bestrickend in der träumerischen Versonnenheit verraten die lyrischen Buchten Klangsinn. Ein geschmackvoll parfümiertes, mit lockeren Fiorituren gewürztes Spiel prägt auch Chopins 1. Klavierkonzert, dessen Einleitung das Philharmonia Orchestra unter Andrew Davis zum dramatischen Auftakt modelliert.

Yundi Li zählt zu den erfreulichen Erscheinungen der jungen Pianistengeneration . . . Dies sind gelungene Darstellungen, aller Ehren der Musikwelt wert . . . Yundi Li [zeichnet aus], dass sich alle Elemente pianistischen Ingeniums in beinahe vollkommener Harmonie finden. Technisch bleibt Li dem virtuosen Repertoire nichts schuldig. Die Geschmeidigkeit der Läufe und Passagen verblüfft immer wieder. Viel wichtiger aber ist dies: Das Technische gerät nie zum Selbstzweck, ebenso wenig zum "Spielmaterial". Andererseits werden sentimentale Herzensergießungen bemerkenswert konsequent vermieden. Hier ist kein "Naiver" am Werk, sondern ein "frühreifer" (durchaus nicht: altkluger), verantwortungsvoller Musiker . . . In Andrew Davis und dem Philharmonia Orchestra hat Li für dieses Mal kompetente Begleiter gefunden . . .

So präzis hat die Doppeloktavsprünge zu Beginn des Liszt-Konzerts schon lange niemand mehr gemeistert, und so ebenmässig und glasklar ist das Chopinsche Figurenwerk nur selten dargestellt worden . . . bei Chopin überzeugt er nicht nur mit schönem Cantabile-Spiel, sondern auch mit seinem Gespür für harmonische Nuancen.

Il joue le Concerto en mi mineur de Chopin avec une distance expressive, une simplicité, une clarté dans le chant en tout point splendides! On dirait le jeune Pollini . . . C'est impeccable . . . La virtuosité du jeune Chinois est aussi phénoménale que maîtrisée dans le Concerto no. 1 de Liszt . . .

Il réalise la l'un de ses meilleurs disques, depuis une Sonate en si de Liszt tout à fait convaincante. Il est vrai qu'il s'avère remarquablement soutenu par Andrew Davis et le Philharmonia Orchestra, qui donne beaucoup de soin et d'énergie aux interventions orchestrales . . . Yundi Li répond par un jeu avant tout virtuose et démonstratif . . . ce CD constitue . . . un bon produit . . .

. . . Yundi Li, né en 1982, met dans le Premier Concerto en mi mineur sa technique au service de cette richesse d'invention qui caractérise les ¿uvres concertantes de Chopin . . . Il y a dans l'interprétation somptueuse . . . plus de maturité, de science du rubato, de cohérence dans la construction dramatique.

En Liszt, se produce una compleja interrelación entre el piano y los diversos solistas, constituyéndose en una obra de escritura intrincada y brillante que Yundi Li acomete con espíritu soñador. En Chopin, la orquesta es un mero pretexto para desarrollar la parte solista, en la que Li da rienda suelta a un lirismo sereno, como puede comprobarse en el tierno Larghetto, inspirado por un amor de juventud del músico polaco. Bien por Davis y la Philharmonia Orchestra.