YUNDI Chopin


Mazurkas op. 17
Int. Release 26 Feb. 2016
1 CD
0289 481 2443 5

Track List

Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849)
4 Mazurkas, Op. 17




Total Playing Time 56:00

They are coolly but compellingly dispatched, with Yundi generally passing up opportunities to score easy dramatic points in favour of taking the long view, shaping the pieces into a single span. There are plenty of thrilling moments, however -- the ending of the Ballade No 1, for example, which is almost violently stark, and the way the scales rattle crisply and unstoppably up and down in the buildup to the climax of No 4.

. . . a deeply satisfying album . . . [each Ballade] requires, and gets from Yundi, a sophisticated combination of power and poetry. I especially liked No 4, on which Yundi displays real mastery of Chopin's idiom . . . [Yundi is an infinitely subtle player and] an artist on an entirely different plane . . .

Yundi's Chopin recital surveys the epic, the poetic, and the intimate with grace and stylistic security . . . From the outset of the dynamic Ballade No. 1 in g minor, Op. 23, Yundi demonstrates a combination of virile strength and flexible, poetic introspection. The rubato Yundi employs enhances the lyric ebb and flow of the melodic, vocal line, and he does not overly-exaggerate a pregnant pause . . . The 1839 F Major Ballade presents a sentimental siciliano that serves as a folk prelude to a drama that erupts with torrential vehemence, captured in warm gusts by recording engineer Rainer Mallard . . . The masterpiece of harmonic-rhythm, Chopin's 1844 D-flat Major Berceuse, allows Yundi a salon moment of extraordinary concentration . . .

In the "Four Ballades" we have impeccable playing through the first three but "No.4 in F Minor Op. 52" is altogether different. Here Yundi moves the expressive boundaries out further based on the potential of the emotional content of Chopin's melodic material. It's a brilliant and successful choice that speaks to Yundi's maturity . . . [Four Mazurkas op. 17]: ["No.4 in A Minor" is] a powerful exploration of the rich melancholy Chopin weaves so skillfully. Yundi glides through this making the most of every possible hesitation and lingering idea. It's a magical way to end the program.

. . . exceptional technical command and accuracy . . . passagework of the Fourth Ballade's final pages is lucidly articulated . . . Yundi's millions of fans worldwide will not be disappointed . . .

. . . the G-Minor Ballade (No. 1) is really memorable. It begins quite slowly, with understated restraint, a curtain-raiser to Yundi's brilliant technical display that follows. His ability to dramatize the music comes to the fore . . . [Yundi 's performances] have presence and style . . . DG's piano sound is exemplary.

. . . the Chopin Ballades are rendered with appealing refinement and restraint . . . this solo recital has a winning simplicity and an acceptance of quietness, especially welcome in such very familiar works as the Second Ballade . . . Yundi's "Berceuse" is an effective cradle song . . . Yundi delivers these works with an engaging sense of questioning and doubt, auguring well for his future artistic development.

. . . [Yundi übersetzt Chopins Entwicklungsprozess] mit bestechender Klarheit und einer polyfonen Prägnanz, die seine hochentwickelte Technik immer präzise und durchhörbar offenlegt -- und auf jegliche Tricks wie rauschenden Pedaleinsatz verzichtet . . . Das geht, wie in der berühmten Stretta der zweiten Ballade bis an die Grenzen des manuell Machbaren, doch Yundi bewältigt auch diese Hürde mit unerschütterlicher Coolness.

Yundi Li donne une version fougueuse (malgré un choix de tempo plutot lent) des quatre "Ballades" . . . l'ensemble reste saisissant, en particulier cette fin passionnée de la première "Ballade", ou celle de la quatrième, vertigineuse. Enfin, nous applaudissons les quatre "Mazurkas". Le pianiste explore avec une grande finesse ces miniatures dansantes avec des rubatos délicats mais sans effets superflus, un jeu gracieux, une délicatesse du toucher, sachant alterner des instants enjoués et mélancoliques.