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Chopin: Scherzi/Impromptus

Yundi Li Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Price: $36.93 & FREE Shipping. Details
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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2005 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2005 $36.93  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Scherzo No.1 in B minor, Op.20 - Scherzo No.1 in B minor, Op.20 9:30Album Only
listen  2. Scherzo No.2 in B flat minor, Op.31 - Scherzo No.2 in B flat minor, Op.3110:02Album Only
listen  3. Scherzo No.3 in C sharp minor, Op.39 - Scherzo No.3 in C sharp minor, Op.39 7:46Album Only
listen  4. Scherzo No.4 in E, Op.54 - Scherzo No.4 in E, Op.5410:34Album Only
listen  5. Impromptu No.1 in A flat, Op.29 - Impromptu No.1 in A flat, Op.29 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Impromptu No.2 in F sharp, Op.36 - Impromptu No.2 in F sharp, Op.36 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Impromptu No.3 in G flat, Op.51 - Impromptu No.3 in G flat, Op.51 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Beethoven: Moonlight, Pathetique and Appassionata


“. . . the recording is fabulous. Yundi Li, the brilliant young Chinese pianist . . . has proved a technically astounding pianist who is by turns elegant and rambunctious, coolly expressive and white-hot. The surging, rhapsodic and daunting Prokofiev concerto is an ideal piece for him. He also gives a splendid account of the Ravel: crackling with energy in the first movement, dreamy in ... Read more in Amazon's Yundi Store

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Chopin: Scherzi/Impromptus + Piano Sonata 3 / Etudes / Nocturnes + Chopin: Nocturnes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0002SZVUO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,920 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Yundi Li is being groomed for superstardom. He's got the looks, youth, and keyboard athleticism to fill that role, but on the basis of this all-Chopin disc (and his previous Chopin and Liszt recitals), he still lacks the interpretive maturity that translates into staying power. His B minor Scherzo, for example, comes off as excessively sectional, and its central section lacks poetry. Other works here fare better, but his attention appears focused on pianistic fluency and dazzling finger work, often at the expense of a full measure of emotional communication. The Impromptus, lovely as they are in places, tend to blandness. Li compensates for his lack of depth and spontaneity with a beautiful tone, remarkably even runs, and precise articulation at high speeds, attributes which should be sufficient for many. If you're looking for the rhetorical, probing grandeur of an Arrau or the emotional directness of a Rubinstein you'll look elsewhere. But if you're in tune with Pollini's detached, objective Chopin and enjoy hearing a skilled pianist perform impressive technical feats on the instrument, you'll want this disc. --Dan Davis


Li is young; sterling as his Chopin is already, it may glow even more richly as he matures. -- San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16/05

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yundi Li has done it again January 18, 2005
By Wham
Format:Audio CD
I have been very excited after listening to this CD. Again, this disc demonstrated Li's virtuosity and poetic style. There are plenty of fresh and inspiring interpretations without any distortion whatsoever. From the way he had played these pieces, you know he is an artist with great depth.

Li's scherzi are more dramatic, masculine and full of contrasts if you compare him with other pianists such as Pollini, Ashkenazy, Martha argerich, Ivo Pogorelich, Dang Thai Son, Arthur Rubinstein, Samson Francois, Josef Hofmann, Claudio Arrau, Benedetti Micheiangeli, Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter and a few others. I have never heard scherzi played with so much virtuosity and contrasts before. Li had played these scherzi with rare clearity and details. He had brought out all the details not only from the outer section, there are clear details from the bass as well. You will notice at once his clear bass for bar 14, 15, 22 and 23 of scherzo No.1 which I don't hear from other pianists. I thought I had liked Benedetti Micheiangeli's scherzo No. 2 the best, but Li's scherzo No.2 is even more inspiring and masculine. The way he surged forward and slowing down, you seem to agree with every note he had played. But what you will enjoy most is the emotion Li had put in for these scherzi. Li's scherzi is full of life, youthful energy and passion. He is just the opposite to Pollini who is always too detached and clinical for me. It's exactly the emotion and virtuosity he had put in for these four scherzi that had distinguished his scherzi from others'. At the end of Scherzi No.3, Li had built up the crescendo gradually with great virtuosity and then just exploded with full emotion. I had never enjoyed scherzi so much before.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars next generation starts here February 12, 2005
Format:Audio CD
As a musician myself i take great care in reviewing others' works. I would like to start by addressing what I believe is a common "mistake" in music analysis. For example, comparing Pollini or Arrau with Yundi Li and Leif Andsnes. Just as music evolves, so does its audience. What stirred the soul in 1950 may not be equivalent today. Further, since the pieces do not change while pianists do, they are forced to play it differently if for no other reason than to avoid comparison. Today's pianist has to address today's audience. Thus, if you are buying Li's cd to hear something that sounds like Arrau or Horowitz I believe you are missing the point. In the end the pianist's appeal should rest on the individual soul.

Having said that I wish to comment on the more "academic" aspects of the work. What is striking about Yundi's playing is his sense of continuity. He seems to understand intuitively the evolution and structure of the individual piece. This is a trait that is essential in composition. Great veteran pianists possess this as well. For his age it is remarkable. Second, he has a very smooth style that combines sensitivity with a sense of effortlessness. For this reason, overall I believe his Chopin is better than his Liszt. This is not to say that he has an inadequate sense of drama. His finale to the third scherzo is rather impressive. Third, he has his own voice - a pre-requisite for a lasting career.

It will certainly be interesting to see him record something from the classical repertoire, like Beethoven. In the mean time, I would highly recommend this CD to all piano lovers. For now its four stars...hopefully the best is yet come from this very promising talent.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is the third disc released by this amazing young Chinese pianist and 2000 winner of the Warsaw Chopin prize - the first winnner of first prize there in fifteen years (contest held every five) - after the jury may have been embarrassed by who they gave it out to one or two previous times. This disc, above the other two he has released (though the Liszt is certainly very nearly worth owning too), shows a thorough command of the idiom, whereas his debut first Chopin disc did not quite. Li continues his studies in Hannover with Arie Vardi, and took a year off from making any recordings, before making this one. He's 22 and taking his time, i.e., has not made it here to Houston yet, whereas we've had five visits from Lang Lang, so at least a few of us here hope he will eventually get around to us.

Emotional connection with the music on this disc shows a little containment or a slight lack of abandon in a few spots, but he makes something very dramatic and narrative about the B-Flat Minor Scherzo, and which reveals an unusually heard grand formal scheme to this warhorse, very convincingly making something of the charnel house out of it - better than the more laidback Rubinstein (1959, RCA) mentioned below. He takes the almost enormous risk of a huge, very steeply arched crescendo toward the end of the C-sharp Minor. He also brings a special feeling of melancholy to the middle section of the fourth in E Major, as he also does in the second impromptu over very controlled rolling octaves, if he misses the little extra lightness that Rubinstein brings to arpeggi and trills in a few spots during the fourth scherzo here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin played by Undi Li
Li captures all the nuances of Chopin. I highly recommend this cd both to lovers of Chopin and to those just becoming acquainted with his music.
Published 4 months ago by Mary M. Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin: Scherzi
This music was given as a gift to a student graduating from High School. He will be guided by the good copy of this music.
Published 16 months ago by Sara Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Undeniable technical control, Missing insight with Chopin
When listening to these fabulous digital recordings DG provides, a crystal clear, grain free piano sound which emerges rich and resonant, without echoes and unwanted "ringing". Read more
Published 17 months ago by RLB
5.0 out of 5 stars Li affirms his status as a Chopin interpreter second to none
I strongly disagree with Dan Davis' professional review printed above. I have been listening to many recordings of Chopin's Scherzi and Yundi Li's offering is among the finest I... Read more
Published on September 3, 2008 by Robert L. Berkowitz
5.0 out of 5 stars Extroverted Chopin with dazzling technique, if a bit short on...
Yundi - then Yundi Li - was 22 when he made his Chopin CD, four years after becoming the youngest winner of the prestigious International Chopin competition in Warsaw. Read more
Published on October 9, 2007 by Santa Fe Listener
1.0 out of 5 stars Marketing hype?
When I read all comments, I have a bad feeling about the future of classical music. All these comparisons of Yundi Li's recordings with old masters like Rubinstein, Pollini,... Read more
Published on May 29, 2006 by Frederick Chopin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Chopin Scherzi and Impromptus from Yundi Li
Young Chinese pianist Yundi Li demonstrates yet again that he is a rapidly maturing artist of great depth and sensibility in this fine recording of Chopin's Scherzi and Impromptus. Read more
Published on April 3, 2006 by John Kwok
5.0 out of 5 stars Agree with many music critics
Fully agree with many music critics that Scherzi/Impromtus played by Yundi Li is full of original interpretations and passion which Lang Lang is always lacking of. Read more
Published on June 25, 2005 by Kee
4.0 out of 5 stars Precision versus Passion: An Early Stage of a Career
Without question Yundi Li is a pianist with the gift. At this stage in his career he is refining his technique and offers Chopin (in this recording) with technical virtuosity and... Read more
Published on June 24, 2005 by Grady Harp
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite and Sensitive Playing
"This is not just playing, but story-telling.. . He has a steely technique that always serves the music and never shows off for its own sake. Read more
Published on May 30, 2005 by Sam Pine
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