Splendid DVD Shows Why Li Is Among Our Best Young Pianists
John Kwok | New York, NY USA | 05/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Deutsche Grammophon has to be commended for producing a superb documentary video which is an ample, excellent demonstration of young Chinese pianist Yundi Li's brilliant, technically refined and yet, quite expressive, playing. His performance of the Liszt Sonata in B Minor on this DVD may be better than the performance recorded on his critically acclaimed Liszt CD issued a few years ago. Without question, his thoughtful, expressive interpretation of this work demonstrates that although he is still quite young, he is nonetheless a very mature artist, whose skills will undoubtedly improve as he grows older; it is an interpretation that compares favorably to any I have heard or seen live from the likes of Brendel or Pletnev, for example. The other pieces on this DVD are also played with ample technical skill, with the right balance of expressive playing thrown in, most notably the Chopin Scherzi. When I heard Yundi Li for the first time perform live at Carnegie Hall last month, I was most impressed by the beautifully warm tones and reluctance to use the pedals; these I believe are exemplary aspects of his playing, which not only demonstrate his maturity, but why I believe he is among the best young pianists of his generation."
Great Liszt, Chopin's humour revealed
Antonia Brentano | Leiden, The Netherlands | 11/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great DVD. I was somewhat skeptical because of the way Yundi Li is presented like a kind of pop-star by DG, however just forget all that and listen/watch this DVD, let the music speak!
Li's interpretation of the Scherzi is fantastic. It's the first time I hear the "Chopin-humour" in these pieces! He also gives the right importance to the left-hand. And let's be honest: isn't it just a miracle someone can play like this? He definitely shows he won the Chopin competition deservedly!.
And the then Liszt sonata! It's one of the best recordings I've ever heard. Fantastic virtuosity, passion, drive (hear the allegro energico!) and vision.
A DVD production like this will not be to everyone's liking: at some points e.g. I would like to see just the hands. (However, a whole DVD with just the hands...?)
Don't hesitate, buy this DVD! It's great.
A highly talented pianist who will continue to develop and i
Dr. Ervin Nieves | 11/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of the two extant DVDs that feature Yundi Li, this one is the best. Li's playing of the four Chopin Scherzi was enjoyable. He really impressed me as a young up and coming pianist. One can see that Li has grown incredibly as a pianist in only four years if one compares Li's playing on this DVD to his already noteworthy playing at the 14th International Chopin Competition when Li was only 18. I look forward to seeing Li, and a number of other talented young pianists (e.g. Arcadi Volodos, who is perhaps the most extraordinary new pianist out there today) develop their talents and continue to please. The extras on this DVD were fun. There are video promotions similar to MTV videos featuring Yundi Li as a heart throb. More importantly, the DVD comes with a bonus of Li playing a movement of the Chopin Concerto No. 1 in Warsaw at the International Competition -- a real bonus!"
Really impressed by Yundi Li
wham | 11/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I really enjoy all the pieces played in this DVD. You are impressed not only by his virtuosity when he ran his hands up and down the keyboard with breathtaking speed, but also his ability to bring out fully the emotional part of the monumental piece Sonata in B Minor by Liszt for which he received Best CD prize from New York Times in 2002. In fact, the sonata played in this DVD is even better and even more emotional than the one recorded in the studio. His Chopin Scherzi was also highly acclaimed and rave reviews were given. I particularly enjoy the encore piece 'Rigoletto' when he played it with strong romantic impulse. Another encore piece Chopin Nocturne is the one I listened over and over again with eyes closed to catch all the magical moments.
Although Yundi is already playing like a maestro with great interpretative ability and artistry, at only 23 years of age, he is expected to develop further.
Excellent pianist, miserable photography
S. Fam | Louisiana, USA | 09/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great DVD, with great sound, and an impressive performance. Yundi Li's technique is seemingly effortless, and his mastery of the piano are outstanding, especially at his age at the performance. There are very few mistakes (adjacent notes touched) that would be noticed only by a listener who has memorized the works performed. His tempi are reasonable, although occasionally hurried, but not so out-of-control as with Martha Argerich, and not slumped as Claudio Arrau's. His overall performance is awsome.
On the other hand, the photography is totally inappropriate. Watching a classical performance is not the same as watching drama, and the competent photographer usually knows when to focus on the face or the hands. This is terribly missed in this production, and you find yourself almost begging the photographer (so to speak) to show the hands in critical passages. I see that a previous reviewer also mentioned that point. I normally don't look much at credits, but here, I have to mention that the photographers - Walter Hasenfratz, Michael Horcher, Gary Kaul, Christian-Michael Oertel, and Karl-Heinz Zeagler - did an extremely poor job. I gave only four stars for that reason."