Myung-Whun Chung

Piano

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Better known as a dynamic conductor with a large repertoire of 19th and 20th century orchestral music, Myung Whun Chung is also a noted pianist, though he is seldom heard in this capacity. On his 2013 ECM New Series release, he presents ten greatest hits of the piano, and while they may be surprisingly easy for a musician of Chung's abilities, their simplicity is deceptive. Such pieces as Debussy's Clair de lune, Beethoven's Für Elise, Tchaikovsky's Autumn Song, Schumann's Träumerei, Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor, and Mozart's Variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman!" are miniatures that are frequently heard on student recitals, though it's less common to hear them interpreted by a sensitive and skilled pianist. Chung has selected these pieces because he has strong personal associations with them, dating back to his music lessons in childhood, and the impulse to record them for his grandchildren was a strong inducement to make this album. But beyond the artistry that Chung displays, which will be attractive to many listeners, these chestnuts may not be sufficiently challenging to entice experienced fans of piano music, and may miss the core ECM audience.

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