On first listening, I was very impressed by the delicacy and thoughtfulness of Yundi Li's playing, but then on second listening, I had mixed feeling about this all Liszt recital. I couldn't figure out why. His technical polish and artistic maturity is quite remarkable for his age. But the more I listen to it, the more I've come to hate it.
The booklet contains a lengthy comment on Li's singular effort to delve deeper into the soul of the music and on his artistic maturity, but I find his artistic maturity somewhat premature. It is forced and more like a direct reaction to the common view held by critics that many of those Chinese keyboard athletes have amazingly dexterous fingers but not much musicianship.
Particularly in the Bm Sonata, there's too much of his intention to be deep and expressive that it often hinders the natural flow and momentum of the music and weakens the transcendental quality of this unique sonata. If you look at each section, Li's playing is very expressive and impressive, but the sonata as a whole is presented rather like a sight-seeing tour than climbing a towering mountain.
Truely Amazing that Yundi Li can produce another album and keep his audience amazed at his truely amazing tchnique. La Campanella is played with a truely sensational touch while in Liebesträume he is able to bring out new ideas in playing this famous piece which shows the young pianist talent. The variety in the programe of Liszt's works shows that Yundi can cope with many types of performs techniques need to play all these pieces well and this album clearly shows that he will have an amazing career ahead of him.