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  The news, reported on Nov. 12 by British critic Norman Lebrecht, that pianist Yundi Li has been 'dropped' by his recording company, Deutsche Grammophon, is sad indeed for music lovers. Mr. Li, born in 1982 in Chongqing, China, has been a precious antidote to the wildly popular, although crassly unidiomatic and unmusical Lang Lang, also a Deutsche Grammophon pianist.(李云迪励志人物的感悟

  Unforgettably seen in Liberace-like garb while playing kitschy folklore at the scarifying Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies, Mr. Lang's career is booming, despite the release of an unconsciously devastating memoir. 'Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story' by Mr. Lang with David Ritz (Spiegel & Grau) expresses the virtuoso's goal of being 'number one,' a ranking that makes sense only in sports or totalitarian governments. Son of a military policeman who subjected him to a nightmare program of study, Mr. Lang was ordered by his father to commit suicide after he was late for one boyhood practice session, according to the book.(励志人物

  Life and art in this memoir are depicted as a power struggle fueled by hatred and ego. Mr. Lang hated all his piano teachers until he won a scholarship to Philadelphia's Curtis Institute, where he was assigned the famed teacher Gary Graffman. With irony that is missed by his student, Graffman suggests that had Schumann heard Mr. Lang's interpretation of his music, he would have suffered a heart attack, but 'probably not a fatal one.'

  By contrast, Yundi Li is a refined musician at a time when such cultivation is typically drowned out by the panicked din of record companies and concert promoters. Mr. Li achieves poetic depth with romantic composers like Chopin and Liszt, as he has proved on justly acclaimed CDs for Deutsche Grammophon, as well as at his latest appearance at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 11. There, his renditions of Chopin's 'Nocturne in E-flat Major, Opus 9, No. 2' and 'Four Mazurkas, Opus 33' evoked a dancing world of tender nostalgia, plumbing emotions that are simply beyond the reach of coarse keyboard poseurs like Mr. Lang. Small wonder that the discerning New York piano critic Harris Goldsmith lauded Mr. Li's 'patrician elegance' and 'exquisite artistry from one of the greatest talents to surface in years, nay, decades.' Yet at Carnegie Hall last month, instead of playing originally programmed works by Mozart and Beethoven that would have displayed his innate understanding of musical idioms and composers' personalities, Mr. Li instead performed an overly glitzy arrangement by Liszt of Schumann's song 'Widmung,' and Chinese folkloric kitsch of the kind that Mr. Lang churns out irrepressibly. The longest work on Mr. Li's program, Mussorgsky's monumental 'Pictures at an Exhibition,' was given an overstressed, distended reading, as if Mr. Li would have been more comfortable with intimate works by Schumann or Haydn had not some outside force imposed Mussorgsky's warhorse upon him.

  Whether or not his former record company shares any blame for this programming change, Deutsche Grammophon clearly encountered some marketing problems with Mr. Li. Some years ago, I interviewed him in his New York manager's office. Gawky and skinny, with tousled hair under a baseball cap, Mr. Li looked like the provincial Chinese youth he was. I was amazed to see how Deutsche Grammophon soon packaged his remarkable CDs of Chopin and Liszt, adding heavy makeup and swooning poses for a forced androgynous look. This kind of mishandling augurs poorly for a whole new generation of young Asian and Asian-American keyboard performers.

  They include the Chinese-born, New York-based Di Wu, a lissome young woman whose zesty, powerful, and heartfelt performances should soon lead to a recording contract, hopefully with a company that will not try to present her as a languishing, overly made-up doll. Yuja Wang, a brilliantly able pianist born in 1987 in Beijing, has just been signed by Deutsche Grammophon, although her association with the company has yet to be officially announced. Rebecca Davis, director of publicity for Universal Music Classical, states that Wang's first CD is due out this May. Even younger talents like the phenomenal prodigy pianist-composer Conrad Tao, born in Urbana, Ill., and China-born Peng-Peng Gong -- both teenagers in the Juilliard precollege division piano department who play more maturely than most adult recitalists -- also deserve more understanding handling than Yundi Li has received.

  The question is whether the classical-music market has narrowed to the point where only a Chinese Liberace or 'Chopinzee' (to adopt the term that James Huneker used to describe the 1920s exhibitionistic keyboard antics of Vladimir de Pachmann) can survive. Is it possible for fine artistry to coexist at a time when dazzling, if empty, display is exalted? In the era of the ubiquitous Hollywood star pianist Jos嗷 Iturbi (1895-1980), audiences still flocked to see sober, unflashy pianists like Rudolf Serkin or Benno Moiseiwitsch, masterly musicians who would never be mistaken for pop performers.

  Deutsche Grammophon's dismissal of Yundi Li is only the latest in a series of cases where musical achievement does not equal a recording contract. About a decade ago, Sony Classical dismissed the supremely refined Taiwan-born violinist Cho-Liang Lin (b. 1960), according to Mr. Lin himself, because he was unwilling and/or unable to record the quasi-pop 'crossover' works that have kept the cellist Yo-Yo Ma on the Billboard charts. Around that time, I remember asking the pianist Murray Perahia, then as now an atypical Sony Classical artist who has not been forced to go down-market, whether he would soon be accompanying Britney Spears on a CD of Schubert's lieder cycle 'Die Winterreise.' Mr. Perahia replied, laughing, 'My sons would like it if I did!' Fortunately for piano lovers everywhere, there are a number of midcareer greats like Mr. Perahia, Richard Goode, Andr s Schiff and Peter Serkin, who have not been tainted by the circus-like hucksterism. We can only hope that they, as well as younger, deserving talents, will be nurtured, instead of being picked up and discarded as impatiently as Yundi Li has been.

  英国音乐评论家诺曼·莱布雷希特(Norman Lebrecht)透露,著名钢琴家李云迪(Yundi Li)已被他所在的唱片公司Deutsche Grammophon解约。对于音乐爱好者来说, 这个消息着实是一种悲哀。李云迪1982年出生于中国重庆市,相对于同样签约在Deutsche Grammophon门下的另一位中国钢琴家郎朗(Lang Lang)那种取悦大众、但却极为平庸粗糙、毫无艺术感可言的风格,李云迪的演奏一直都在维系一块宝贵的净土。

  很明显,郎朗的事业如今可谓蒸蒸日上,在北京奥运会开幕式上的出现,更让他家喻户晓。穿着(美国钢琴家)Liberace那种式样的服装,郎朗在开幕式上演奏了一曲民谣,虽然艺术上浅薄鄙俗,但技巧还算娴熟。不过,在我看来,郎朗出版的自传《千里之行:我的故事》(Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story)却是一场灾难。在自传中,这位艺术家表达了从小力争“第一名”的历程,然而他可能没有意识到的是,“第一名”只在体育竞技场上或者极权政府里才有意义。郎朗的父亲是一位军人,正是他逼迫郎朗无休无止的练习钢琴。有一次郎朗练琴迟到,还被父亲下令“要么跳楼、要么喝药”自杀。

  Steven Haberland/DG在这本自传中,生活和艺术被描绘成由憎恨和自我驱动的权力争斗。郎朗憎恨他所有的钢琴老师,直到他获得费城科蒂斯音乐学院(Curtis Institute)的奖学金,师从钢琴大师加里·格拉夫曼(Gary Graffman)。但是,郎朗在自传中没有提到的是,格拉夫曼曾语带讥讽地表示,如果舒曼(Schumann)听到郎朗对他的音乐的诠释,他可能会突发心脏病,尽管“可能不至于致命”。

  相反,李云迪关注对音乐作品内在精神的深入探求,而这正是唱片公司和音乐会赞助商所惧怕并鼓噪着要湮没的。李云迪以诠释浪漫派作曲家萧邦(Chopin)和李斯特(Liszt)的作品见长,他的演奏极富诗意。这从他为Deutsche Grammophon录制的倍受赞誉的唱片,还有他最近于10月11日在卡内基音乐厅(Carnegie Hall)的演出,都可见一斑。当晚,李云迪演奏了萧邦的《降E大调夜曲》(Nocturne in E-flat Major, Opus 9, No. 2)和《马祖卡舞曲》(Four Mazurkas, Opus 33)。在他的手下,琴键流淌的音符扣人心弦,使人联想到一个温馨和令人留恋的舞蹈世界。这种演奏所表达的情感,是郎朗那种技艺粗糙而装腔作势的钢琴家所不可企及的。难怪目光敏锐的纽约乐评家哈里斯·郭德史密斯(Harris Goldsmith)也对李云迪赞不绝口,称他的演奏表现出“贵族式的高雅”和“精湛的艺术造诣”,堪称“多年来甚至几十年来浮现的最伟大钢琴天才”。李云迪上个月在卡内基音乐厅原本打算演奏莫札特(Mozart)和贝多芬(Beethoven)的作品,以展示他对音乐本身和作曲家个性的内在诠释。然而,他却演奏了由李斯特改编自舒曼Widmung这一首歌的浮华乐曲以及中国民谣--后者可谓郎朗的“老几样”。李云迪演出的最长曲目--莫杰斯特·穆索尔斯基(Mussorgsky)的巨作钢琴套曲《图画展览会》(Pictures at an Exhibition) --也被人们过分强调和夸大了,似乎如果没有外力将穆索尔斯基的陈腐乐曲强加在他身上的话,李云迪会更喜欢演奏舒曼或者海顿(Haydn)那些他所熟悉的作品。

  不管他的前东家是否对此次演出节目的改变负有责任,Deutsche Grammophon显然在李云迪的市场行销方面遇到了麻烦。几年前,我在其纽约经纪人办公室采访过李云迪。那时候,他举止笨拙,身形瘦削,乱蓬蓬的头发上压着一顶棒球帽,他看上去就是原来的他--一个土里土气的中国青年。后来,我惊讶地发现,Deutsche Grammophon很快把李云迪包装得面目全非。在他精湛演奏的萧邦和李斯特乐曲的唱片上,李云迪化着浓妆,摆着自我陶醉的姿势,还有一个强加给他的不男不女的造型。这种市场行销的错误恐怕会毁掉整个新一代亚洲和亚裔钢琴家。

  这些新生代钢琴家包括出生在中国旅居纽约的Di Wu。Wu是一位敏捷的年轻女性,她那热情、有力、真挚的演奏应该很快会为她带来唱片合约,希望她将来签约的唱片公司不会试图把她包装成一个惹人爱怜、浓妆艳抹的玩偶。1987年出生于北京的王羽佳也是一位才华横溢的钢琴家,她刚刚与Deutsche Grammophon签约,虽然她的加盟还未正式宣布。Universal Music Classical的公关总监芮贝卡·大卫斯(Rebecca Davis)表示,王羽佳的首张唱片将于5月份发行。即便是对于年纪更小的天才,例如神童钢琴演奏家、作曲家陶康雷和龚鹏鹏,唱片公司也应该推出更加成熟的市场策略,以免重蹈李云迪的覆辙。陶康雷出生在美国伊利诺伊州厄本那,而龚鹏鹏来自中国。这两位少年钢琴家目前均在朱丽娅音乐学院(Juilliard)预科班就读,他们的演奏要比多数成人钢琴家更加娴熟。

  现在的问题是,难道古典音乐市场已经萎缩到只容一个郎朗或者一个李云迪生存的地步了吗?精湛的艺术能否和当前备受追捧的浮华、空洞表演共存?在好莱坞明星钢琴家何塞·伊图尔维(Jos口 Iturbi)(1895-1980)风靡的年代,观众仍然对鲁道夫·塞尔金(Rudolf Serkin)和莫伊塞维契 (Benno Moiseiwitsch)这些大师们严肃、 实无华的表演趋之若鹜,而且永远都不会把他们和流行音乐的演奏者混为一谈。

  Deutsche Grammophon解约李云迪只是众多类似个案之一,它们传递出的讯息就是有音乐造诣不等于能签到唱片合约。大约10年前,Sony Classical与艺术造诣堪称炉火纯青的台湾小提琴家林昭亮(Cho-Liang Lin 1960- )解约。据林昭亮本人表示,··解约的原因是他不愿意或者不能录制让大提琴家马友友(Yo-Yo Ma)在流行音乐排行榜上居高不下的那种“跨界”的准流行音乐。也是在那个时候,我记得曾问过钢琴家梅里·佩拉希亚(Murray Perahia),他是否很快会随小甜甜(Britney Spears)一起出现在舒伯特(Schubert)声乐套曲《冬之旅》(Die Winterreise)的唱片封面上。佩拉希亚大笑着回答说,“如果我真那么做的话,我的孩子们肯定会喜欢得不得了。”对于全世界的钢琴爱好者来说,幸运的是,他们还有很多如日中天的钢琴大师,如梅里·佩拉希亚、理查·古德(Richard Goode)、安德拉斯·希夫(Andras Schiff)和彼得·塞尔金(Peter Serkin)等,他们尚未被唱片公司马戏团式的叫卖所腐化。我们只能希望,他们以及年轻的钢琴天才们能够得到更好的呵护,而不是象李云迪这样被选用、然后又很快被抛弃。

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