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This 2016 recital is clearly a display vehicle for George Li, yet curiously there is no biography for him (he won Silver Medal in the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition).

Li’s Haydn is stylish but muscular, with no apology for the choice of modern piano, the finale of the Sonata in B minor HOBXVI:32 perfectly judged in both velocity and staccato. Yet it is his Chopin Sonata No 2 that first points towards his stature: this is a performance of muscularity and technical perfection married to lyricism. Tempos flow perfectly, the Scherzo dances devilishly and the funeral march rises naturally to its climax.

Great repertoire choice in Rachmaninov’s Corelli Variations. The crystalline Theme is given gently here, allowing Rachmaninov’s voice to emerge naturally, beautifully articulated and nuanced by Li. Finally, two famous Liszt pieces, a cantabile Consolation No 3 and an incendiary second Hungarian Rhapsody. A winner of a debut disc.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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