Portrait of a piano prodigy
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Yundi Li's latest recording Portrait Yundi Li simply reminds us what an extremely talented artist this 21-year-old piano prodigy is. As the winner of the Warsaw Chopin festival at the tender age of 18, Li's latest offering is a showcase of classical music at its best - graceful, stoical and youthful.
The album includes some of Li's most popular tracks such as Liszt's La Campanella - used by mobile network 1010 as its advertising theme song - as well as Chopin's Nocturne No.2. Li's nearly flawless technique is coupled with his fearless attitude that adds a youthful and delightful temperament to these timeless pieces, which have been interpreted by so many great pianists before him.
Another of Li's outstanding qualities is also evident in this recording - the extraordinary ease in which he delivers lyrical renditions of technically demanding works with such delicate fingering that he brings to mind some of the best performances of Vladimir Horowitz.
Li's delightful recital of Wang's Sun Flower and fluid interpretation of Liszt's Concert Paraphrase on Rigoletto are wonderful musical candies, effective in delighting and impressing music lovers.
The CD's only drawback is its booklet, which offers photos of Li posing like a pop idol. While it is not necessary for classical musicians to always be conservative or pose solemnly, the pop packaging of Li is simply over the top.
Li's talent as a pianist - which is rare and transcendental - does not call for any kitschy marketing tactics, which ill-suit him.