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For his first non-Chopin recording, YUNDI turns to repertoire from his native China on The Red Piano. Anchored by The Yellow River Concerto, the release also features traditional Chinese songs which have been arranged to reflect the lush Romantic tradition in which Yundi excels.
After his triumphs in the works of Western composers such as Chopin, Yundi turns to music of iconic status in his native China. Lavishly deploying folk melodies, and evoking epic vistas, the Yellow River Piano Concerto – a flower of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution – has its source in a patriotic cantata, composed in 1939 by Paris-trained Xian Xinghai. Complementing the concerto are evocative arrangements of favourite songs that show Yundi at his most personal and beguiling.
Xian Xinghai: Yellow River Piano Concerto
Prelude: The Song Of The Yellow River Boatman
Ode To The Yellow River
The Wrath Of The Yellow River
Defend The Yellow River
Folk and Original songs
In That Place Wholly Faraway
Glowing Red Morningstar Lilies
Liu Yang River
Kangding Love Song
Colourful Clouds Chasing The Moon
Five Yunnan Folk Songs
Following The Brother
Dragon Lantern Tune
Celebrating Our New Life
Why Are The Flowers So Red?
“Yundi's performance is accomplished, as are his performances of the other works in this programme, but, though some have a bucolic charm, most are pervasively saccharine.”
10th February 2012
“[The Yellow River Concerto is] grossly sentimental when not impressionistic, though Yundi's dulcimer-like trilling in the third movement is impressive. The dozen or so shorter pieces are heavy on the wistful rippling, with bursts of jolly industry bringing to mind the cheerfully labouring masses.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.