I was reading about Yundi Li this morning, about how he was dropped by Deutsche Grammophon and one Google search led to another until I landed on this video of 18-year old Li performing at the 14th International Chopin Competition in 2000. A creature of habit, I usually only get my Chopin from Rubinstein or Martha Argerich (the winner of the International Chopin Competition in 1965). But now I’ll add Yundi Li to that list. I love the effortlessness quality to his playing. There are no ‘airs’ about him, and did I mention, he’s only 18!
Songwriter, Josephine Cameron, has an excellent post on her blog about Yundi Li and Chopin’s composition. She came across this quote at Chopin Music – George Sand writing about Chopin’s writing process:
“His creative work was spontaneous, miraculous. It came to him without effort or warning… But then began the most heartrending labour I have ever witnessed. It was a series of attempts, of fits of irresolution and impatience to recover certain details. He would shut himself in his room for days, pacing up and down, breaking his pens, repeating and modifying one bar a hundred times.”
And this from Chopin, himself:
“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
I think Chopin would approve of Yundi Li!