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Gen Li, finalist in the 2018 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.

Gen Li gives us Chopin and Brahms

Last Friday’s on-line concert in the Hastings International Piano series was given by Gen Li, a prizewinner in 2018; “beautifully captured” and “highly effective”,  writes Brian Hick.

Gen Li was performing in his own studio on 12 June and, unusually for the series, was able to provide us with a range of camera angles throughout the six short works. There was no introduction to the works other than his saying he was playing pieces by Chopin and Brahms from the sound-proof studio he had created in his own home.

He opened with three Chopin Preludes from Op28No16 is marked presto con fuoco and for all its brevity it makes a fiery impact. No15, which followed, is better known as the Raindrop and brought an unexpected seriousness to the composition. No17 – an Allegretto – is more relaxed and fluid in its extended length, providing a lyrical conclusion to the Chopin pieces.

The other three works were the Intermezzi Op117 by Brahms, composed in 1892.
The first intermezzo, in E♭ major, is prefaced in the score by two lines from an old
Scottish ballad, Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament:

“Balow, my babe, lie still and sleep! It grieves me sore to see thee weep.”

Its gently relaxed pace and sense of introspection were beautifully captured by Gen Li.

The second intermezzo in Bb Minor had an underlying warmth to it as it unfolded in a rolling, undulating manner. The third in C#minor is a darkly serious work, unexpected for the conclusion of this short programme but highly effective.

 

Posted 13:09 Tuesday, Jun 16, 2020 In: Music & Sound

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