Chopin Ballades, Berceuse & Mazurkas Op 17

Chopin Ballades, Berceuse & Mazurkas Op 17—Yundi (Mercury 4812443)

Reviewers in The Guardian and Gramophone frankly don’t like Yundi’s cool, detached approach to Chopin, but David Olds at The Whole Note does. He finds Yundi to be a “direct player who doesn’t venture far beyond the notes on the page unless Chopin suggests the risk promises some reward. Yundi seems to calculate his artistic risks carefully. In the Four Ballades we have impeccable playing through the first three but No.4 in F Minor Op.52 is altogether different. Here Yundi moves the expressive boundaries out further based on the potential of the emotional content of Chopin’s melodic material. It’s a brilliant and successful choice that speaks to Yundi’s maturity.  Similarly, the Four Mazurkas Op.17 give us the familiar rhythmic pulse of one of Chopin’s favourite dance forms. But Chopin expresses so much more than just dance. No.3 in A-Flat Major begins to open the languorous dark side of this music and Yundi exploits this with great care. No.4 in A Minor is, however, a powerful exploration of the rich melancholy Chopin weaves so skillfully. Yundi glides through this making the most of every possible hesitation and lingering idea. It’s a magical way to end the program.”

Featured Thu 6/2, Mon 6/13, Wed 6/22 

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