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Myung Whun Chung Piano (ECM New Series)

There's no fancy title on this new album.

The cover reads, simply, Myung Whun Chung, piano. The guru of ECM New Series, Manfred Eicher, who has personally supervised the production of this recording, must reckon that the very presence of the great and celebrated South Korean conductor, who has decided to make his first solo recording as a pianist, needs no further boosting to communicate its significance. It is an entirely personal disc to Chung, packed with myriad references to his family, all musicians, and a few of them almost as famous as he is. In a deeply personal introduction to the collection of popular keyboard miniatures, Chung admits that he doesn't consider himself a "real" pianist any more, though this collection demonstrates a pristine, lucid and light keyboard lyricism. It's a beautiful collection of favourites, with Clair de lune, two Chopin Nocturnes, two Schubert Impromptus, Schumann's Traumerai and Arabeske, Beethoven's Fur Elise and so on. Easy listening, but lovely.

Michael Tumelty

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