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Yundi: Red Piano

by Various Artists
Yundi: Red Piano by Various Artists
Released: Jan 2012
Label: Warner Classics
China's rising economic and cultural status has given a certain weight to the collaborative Yellow River Piano Concerto. Sure, the piano part is still highly technical, dripping in nationalistic syrup and based on worker hymns like "The Wrath of the Yellow River." But a modern political context and fresh recording by Chopin Piano Competition-winner Li Yundi endows the hackneyed score with some intellectual complexity. Accompanied by nationalistic miniatures, the set is a bit ham-handed, but Yundi's performance makes for a fascinating historical trip into the dawn of East-West culture wars.
Nate Cavalieri