After the hot gui­tar a cou­ple days back, I thought some more flashy solo­ing would be fun, and the world cur­rent­ly has no­body flashier, on any in­stru­men­t, than pi­anist Yun­di Li, who seems to have re­brand­ed him­self as YUNDI. But I end­ed up at this Frédéric Chopin Fan­taisie which has, yes, flash, but lots of mu­sic among and be­tween it, and Mr Li re­al­ly seems to un­der­stand Mr Chopin.

If he’s com­ing to your town, I rec­om­mend grab­bing tick­et­s; he’s ob­vi­ous­ly a re­al­ly good pi­anist but al­so a show­man. One of his gim­mick­s, which I re­al­ly like, is that when it’s time for him to play, he strides on­to the stage, plunks down on the pi­ano bench, and his fin­gers hit the key­board about 0.5 sec­onds lat­er.

Yundi Li a.k.a. YUNDI

As an au­dio geek, I feel a lit­tle ner­vous about plug­ging Chopin in gen­er­al or so­lo pi­ano in par­tic­u­lar, be­cause there are no speak­ers in the world that sound any­thing like be­ing in the room with 500kg of wood and steel be­ing han­dled by a mus­cu­lar well-practiced hu­man artist. The re­al thing has a snarl and roar that reach­es in­to your ab­domen and then won’t let go.

But if you have to lis­ten to record­ings, Yun­di Li’s Chopin: Recital is a good place to start: good au­dio, good se­lec­tion of pieces, and Yun­di Li in good for­m.

There’s a lot of re­al­ly great Chopin mu­sic, but for me it’s just the for pi­ano; the or­ches­tral stuff goes right by me. In par­tic­u­lar the Études and Noc­turnes are full of deep wells of pure plea­sure; if this se­ries goes on long enough I’ll rec­om­mend one of the lat­ter. Yeah, there’s lots of fast flashy stuff and it’s great, but there are al­so great pools of si­lence be­tween and be­hind oth­er parts of the mu­sic; Chopin knew just what he was do­ing.

The Fan­taisie has both kinds of Chopin packed in­to just five min­utes of mu­sic, ob­vi­ous­ly a good in­vest­ment of anyone’s time.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Ama­zon, iTunes, Spo­ti­fy. As for video, I ran across a cap­ture, on grainy low-rez video, of what ap­pears to be the Deutsche Gram­mophon record­ing ses­sion for Fan­taisie Im­promp­tu.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

February 10, 2018
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