Yundi Li

Chopin: Scherzi; Impromptus

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Ah, youth. It's youthful energy and enthusiasm that abound in Yundi Li's performance of Chopin's Scherzi and Impromptus. He flies with the greatest of ease over the keyboard, making an inspiring display of his technical abilities. Musically, he's not bad either, if a little theatrical. In the faster outer sections of the Scherzi, he is fleet fingered and clear. In the Scherzo No. 2, he keeps the chords and figures of the opening section tight and short, making the contrast with the right-hand arpeggios stand out. Even though he plays the Scherzi for their theatrics, he still manages to find and bring out the melodic figures, even if they are only three or four notes long and buried in ornamental ruffles. Li handles the Impromptus more simply, without as much drama. Impromptu No. 2 is delicate and quiet in the outer sections, while he keeps the more forceful central section in proportion. In the coda, he brings out the melody in the left hand, allowing the listener to focus on that rather than the dazzling right hand, splendid as it is. All of this indicates that although it's Li's energy and technique that stand out in this Chopin, there is a chance that his technique and musicality will balance out as he matures.

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