A Photogenic Deutsche Gramophon

Chopin’s two-hundredth anniversary fell on March 1st, and commemorative CDs have been piling up. All the notes glitter in place, but many of the disks overlook what Hough has called, on his delightful blog, Chopin’s “shades, hints, suggestions, half-lights.” The young Chinese pianist Yundi (formerly Yundi Li), in a survey of the complete Nocturnes, on EMI, plays elegantly and not without feeling, but fails to find a distinct character for each of the twenty-one pieces. Lang Lang, the other big Chinese virtuoso, galumphs through the two piano concertos on DG. For the same label, the young German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott delivers weirdly ponderous versions of the Waltzes. (The great old Yellow Label seems to be concentrating these days on artists who photograph well.)

via Chopin, Thomas Larcher, and Bach, review : The New Yorker.

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