THE COMPLETE PRELUDES is one of Chopin's most loved and commercial sets of compositions, and Yundi’s first Chopin recording in 5 years. Yundi's last set of Chopin (The Complete Nocturnes on EMI in 2010) still dominates his streaming charts with his top ten most streamed tracks on Spotify all stemming from this set – getting these replaced with the Preludes is a target of the marketing campaign. The release ties in with the 15th anniversary of Yundi's legendary victory at the International Warsaw Chopin Competition in 2000. At 18 he was the youngest and first ever Chinese winner and it was the first time in 15 years that a ‘First Prize’ had been awarded.
Esteemed pianist Samson Francois interprets pieces by Chopin. His performance is poised, powerful and exhilarating, driven by his deep appreciation for Chopin’s works. With astounding sound quality, Francois exudes pianism at its finest. A definitive collection for any audiophile.
The disc is EMI's budget CD, but the performances included here are of highest quality. In fact I've never come across any performances that come so close to Chopin's ideal - the fragile beauty, the shimmering tone colours, the noble poetry and the heart-felt intimacy of Barenboim's playing reminds me of what Chopin's contemporaries described of his pianism. I've got dozens of CDs of 24 Preludes, but this is the one I always come back to for its radiant beauty that only comes from a self-effacing, sincere heart.
Grigory Sokolov: a living legend of the piano whose public performances and recordings are as rare as the man is secretive. He stepped away from the limelight years ago, refusing to be idolised by a society avid for imagery. Under the winged fingers of the giant you hear the vibrancy of an inner song, wordless but not illegible. June 7 1990: concert and recording of Chopins Preludes by Grigory Sokolov, still relatively unknown in France.