Though his recent recordings have focused on Beethoven’s sonatas, Chopin’s solo piano works remain the cornerstone of his repertoire. His latest appearance in the Southbank Centre’s International Piano Series focuses entirely on the uniquely emotive virtuoso, drawing two strands of his career together.
Before the interval, Yundi will play the 24 Preludes (1839), one of the seminal sets of keyboard miniatures. By abandoning the formal structures of their time, these pieces proved controversial, even revolutionary. Schumann called them “ruins, individual eagle pinions, all disorder and wild confusions”, while the forward-looking Liszt saw them as “compositions of an order entirely apart.” In the intervening years, they have become one of the cornerstones of romantic piano music. Though untitled, each one evokes a different emotion, scene or idea, covering a startling array of terrain over a mere forty minutes.
For the second half, Yundi will move from some of Chopin’s most compact compositions to his most extended. The four Ballades, composed between 1831 and 1842, are odysseys into the piano’s possibilities. Often considered challenging, they require their player’s full range and engagement, flying between tempos and variations while remaining profoundly affecting. For those both new to an experienced in the delights of Chopin, this looks to be an enchanting experience.
|What||Yundi, Royal Festival Hall|
|Where||Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
On 19 Apr 16, 7:30 PM – 9:20 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank Centre|