The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: “Well-Tempered Ear” is a success, pianist Yundi Li has a new CD home and a new Chopin release

December 25, 2009
3 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

Today is Christmas Day — a day of gifts and gratitude.

Classical music will, as always, be integral my celebration. I will listen to Handel’s “Messiah” and J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” among other works and composers.

But I want to thank readers of the The Well-Tempered Ear blog. You have given me a wonderful Christmas gift, the best Christmas gift of all: You have read the blog and used the blog and let others know about it.

How do I know?

Originally, I was hoping to reach 7,500 hits by Jan. 1. Then I upped it to 10,000 , but hit that last week. Now it looks that it may reach 10,500 by the end of today and 11,000 hits by Jan.1. That’s not bad for a blog that was launched only on Aug. 20 of this year.

But I also get other “gifts,” including comments.

One recent newsworthy comment comes from Akiko Ichikura, a devoted reader who is like a Tokyo correspondent for The Well-Tempered Ear.

He writes: “I saw Yundi Li’s interview in a Japanese music monthly and in the article there is a news that Yundi’s new CD of Chopin Nocturnes will be released by EMI in March next year.”

That is news I was unable to find in many, many Web searches, including Wikipedia and his home site:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Yundi

http://www.yundi-li.com/

The China-born 27-year-old Li, who now resides in Hong Kong, is of course something of a Chopin specialist and was the youngest pianist ever to win the International Chopin Competition when he topped the field in in 2000.

I love Li’s playing. I loved his debut Chopin recital, his CD of Chopin’s impromptus and scherzi, and his performance of Chopin’s first concerto. (Apparently, he also recently performed the Tchaikovsky First Concerto with conductor Valery Gergiev — and that should be a dynamite reading that I hope will be recorded.)

I think Deutsche Grammophon made a big mistake dropping Li and I still wonder why, though they deny that competition from the flamboyant and bestselling Chinese pianist Lang-Lang had anything to do with it.

We’ll see.

I’d like to see EMI undergo a redesign.

But that aside, those Chopin Nocturnes should be some wonderful Chopin playing to hear during the Chopin Year in 2010 that marks the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth, which, like Li’s EMI release, also falls in March.

Unfortunately, we are still awaiting official confirmations of the news from EMI or Li himself.  As soon as it comes, I will let you know.

Do you have news to send to The Ear?

What do you think of Yundi Li’s move to EMI  and his Chopin playing?

Merry Christmas, every one, and thank you for the gift of a successful blog.

Here’s looking forward to the New Year.


Posted in Classical music

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