Ravel: Concerto in G-Minor
I heard heard this concerto at a Carnegie Hall concert many years ago. Martha Argerich was the soloist, and it was truly a memorable performance. Today I heard a section of it again, in particular the second movement. What a marvelous composition this is!
In this CD, Yundi Li is the soloist and achieves great musical expression. For me, the real highlight of this concerto is, in fact, the middle movement, a real challengeto get just right. Tempo, touch, and the right phrasing are needed, and Yundi Li makes it happen beautifully. In both the first movement, and especially the third, we hear the jazz influence of Gershwin and others.
Li demonstrates his artistic sensitivity also in the Prokofiev Piano Concerto #2: This concerto places heavy demands on the soloist, with its difficult cadenzas in the first and fourth movements. It is a whole lot more percussive than the Ravel, and Yundi Li clearly distinguishes the different styles of these two compositions.
Finally, the whole CD could not be a success without the experience and support of Seiji Ozawa and the Berliner Philharmoniker. They have undoubtedly played these concerti many times, and they provided a wonderful accompaniment for Mr. Li.
Just listen to the poetry of the second movement of the Ravel Concerto, as performed by Martha Argerich. It’s astounding!