I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman


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Yundi is Back

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Piano Sonata #8 in C minor “Pathétique”, Op. 13
Piano Sonata #14 in C Sharp minor “Moonlight”, Op. 27 #2
Piano Sonata #23 in F minor “Appassionata”, Op. 57

Yundi Li, piano
Deutsche Grammophon 4765049 DDD 57m

cover of Yundi's Beethoven CD

Yundi – Beethoven

“YUNDI is back”. Some rock stars every now and then accomplish a comeback. So can classical pianists it seems. For the 30-year-old Chinese superstar Yundi Li the comeback might refer to a couple of things. First of all, a return to his first label, but also, one hopes, a return to his initial form and inspiration. This new Beethoven disc aims at both. Deutsche Grammophon was the label that originally signed him after his grand victory at the XIVth Chopin International Piano Competition in 2000 as a mere 18-year-old. Yet the road to massive international success, the rivalry with his flamboyant compatriot Lang Lang, also brought its setbacks and disappointments. From 2010 Yundi Li spent a couple of years with EMI Classics. He would henceforth go by the name of Yundi, yet the scheduled complete Chopin recordings never really took flight and he eventually retreated to China. But now he is back touring again, back with the yellow label and there is no way to miss it. DG publicity and the liner notes of the new CD spell his first name only in capital fonts, and of course YUNDI dwarfs little Beethoven on the cover of the disc.
Read the full review on Classical Net


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Alice Sara Ott’s Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Piano Sonata #3, Op. 2 #3
Piano Sonata #21 “Waldstein”, Op. 53
Andante favori, WoO 57
Rondo a capriccio, Op. 129

Alice Sara Ott, piano
Deutsche Grammophon 4779291 DDD

Alice Sara Ott

Alice Sara Ott plays Beethoven

Alice Sara Ott almost apologizes for documenting her encounter with Beethoven at an early point in her career. Indeed, she was only 22 at the time of this recording, although, as she continues in the liner notes of this CD, she had been studying and working on the two C major sonatas paired here for some ten years already. In any case, the result is nothing to make apologies for and her Beethoven debut on disc constitutes a welcome addition to the beginning catalog of this remarkable young pianist.
Read the full review on Classical Net