La Campanella – Franz Liszt
I like to think that my favourite piece changes every week, depending on what repertoire I’m learning and what I’m listening to. But there is always one piece that sticks out in my mind, and that is Liszt’s La Campanella, recorded by Yundi Li on the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Yundi is perhaps best known for being the youngest pianist to win the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in 2000 when he was 18. His CD of Liszt, released in 2003, was named ‘Best CD of the Year’ by the New York Times. The first track listing happens to be La Campanella, the nickname given to the third of Liszt’s Grandes études de Paganini.
From the very first utterances of the D# octaves, Yundi takes the listener on a journey, driving relentlessly towards the exciting final ending. The recording showcases Yundi’s ability as an artist to clearly communicate the different moods of ‘the little bell’, along with his incredible technique and beautiful phrasing.
20 year old William Shi was the recipient of the 2015 Theme & Variations Foundation Award and won the Beethoven Prize in the 2015 ASKM Open Piano Competition. He has won numerous first prizes in competitions including the Petrof Piano Competition and the Vivace/Yamaha Piano Competition. He is a three-time winner of the Queensland Youth Music Awards and a four-time winner of the Queensland Piano Competition.
William has performed in the 2012 and 2014 Australian Piano Duo Festivals, overseas in Europe and Asia and has been broadcast on 2MBS and 4MBS Radio. A winner of the Donald Tugby Performance Prize, Sid Page Chamber Music Prize and a Dean’s Scholar, William is currently studying with Max Olding and Pamela Page at the University of Queensland, School of Music, where he is undertaking his 3rd year in a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree.