Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2; Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major – Yundi Li / Seiji Ozawa / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2; Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major - Yundi Li / Seiji Ozawa / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Artist: Yundi Li / Seiji Ozawa / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Album: Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2; Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
Release Date: November 13, 2007
Duration: 51:10
Genre: Classical
Styles: Concerto

Yundi Li’s premiere recording with the Berlin Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa demonstrates his steadfast, consistent approach to the piano. Unfortunately for him — and for listeners — that means only one of the two concertos heard here is performed as it should be. The Prokofiev Second Piano Concerto, premiered by the composer when he was only 22 years of age, is ideally suited to 24-year-old Li. It is a work filled with youthful energy, bombast, and technical bravura clearly designed to impress.

Li knocks this one out of the park. His more-than-ample technique allows him to perform this incredibly demanding work with apparent ease. The extended passages for solo piano are executed with spine-tingling amounts of power and technical precision.

Anyone in the market for a riveting performance of only the Prokofiev need look no farther. But then there’s still the matter of the Ravel G major Concerto, a work which, unlike Prokofiev, does not rely on ostentatious displays of technical prowess. Li fails to pull out some introspection and thoughtful interpretation of this much more intimate work. The second movement is disturbingly vertical and angular — characteristics that worked quite well in Prokofiev but that leave Ravel sounding mechanical. Like many of his earlier recordings, Li again demonstrates himself to be an absolute master of technique, but also as a young artist still searching for deeper musical understanding.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16
1. Andantino Yundi Li / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa 11:11 Amazon
2. Scherzo (Vivace) Yundi Li / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa 2:17 Amazon
3. Intermezzo (Allegro moderato) Yundi Li / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa 5:41 Amazon
4. Finale (Allegro tempestoso) Yundi Li / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa 11:13 Amazon
Piano Concerto in G major
1. Allegramente Yundi Li / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa 8:15 Amazon
2. Adagio assai Yundi Li / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa 8:41 Amazon
3. Presto Yundi Li / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa 3:52 Amazon

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