Yundi, one of the world’s greatest pianists with a popstar following, turns to repertoire from his native China on his newest release Red Piano. While Yundi is best known his triumphs in works of Western composers, particularly Chopin, Red Piano shows his ability to seamlessly unite Eastern and Western cultures. Anchored by The Yellow River Concerto, the release features traditional Chinese folksongs that have been arranged to reflect the lush Western Romantic tradition in which Yundi excels.
Lavishly deploying folk melodies, and evoking epic vistas, the Yellow River Piano Concerto – a flower of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution – has its source in a patriotic cantata, composed in 1939 by Paris-trained Xian Xinghai. Complementing the concerto are evocative arrangements of favourite songs that show Yundi at his most personal and beguiling. For Yundi, Red Piano is both a personal and patriotic statement celebrating the music and tradition of his native land.