Author Topic: What do you think about Lang Lang?  (Read 6807 times)

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Offline Est.1965

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2011, 07:32:12 PM »
Lang Lang is a real showman.   :-*
He should start up an Andre Rieu like outfit, and traverse the World in such a splendid way.  Personally, I like him very much, almost everything I've heard by him, but sometimes his playing is a bit too much.
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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2011, 07:46:37 PM »
For one thing, I hate the man's grimaces when he's playing. Sometimes he looks like he's having an orgasm at the keyboard. He's coming to Sydney, and playing Prokofiev's 6th sonata among other things (that would make it worth going to see him) but I can't stand seeing him. Hearing him is ok, but not seeing his grimaces and gestures, which belong in a circus, not a concert hall...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6LcbKNMIC0

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2011, 10:12:50 PM »
For one thing, I hate the man's grimaces when he's playing. Sometimes he looks like he's having an orgasm at the keyboard. He's coming to Sydney, and playing Prokofiev's 6th sonata among other things (that would make it worth going to see him) but I can't stand seeing him. Hearing him is ok, but not seeing his grimaces and gestures, which belong in a circus, not a concert hall...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6LcbKNMIC0

I watched Lang Lang this New Year's Eve on PBS with Alan Gilbert/NY Philharmonic performing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and quite honestly I almost vomited. It was that disgusting. Again, the guy has technical facility, but he truly lacks the emotion that is required to pull off serious music. His supporters are also some of the most loathsome in all of classical music. Their argument, if you want to call it one, is he's better than almost any concert pianist working today, but what these people fail to notice not only in Lang Lang's pianism, but in the music they choose to "listen" to is the emotional content of the music. They listen through works like Mahler's 9th with no kind of attachment whatsoever. These kinds of people are the reason I avoid talking too much about classical music outside of the Internet.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 07:14:18 PM by Mirror Image »
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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2011, 10:36:23 PM »
Well, I don't know that much about his playing, I guess it is ok, nothing special compared to the greats. But if he keeps making those stupid faces, I think he should put a paper bag over his head! I would have considered going to his Sydney concert were it not for his monkey faces. But then again, we have some excellent Australia-based pianists like Kathryn Selby & Stephanie Maccallum (surely one of the great interpreters of Liszt in the Southern Hemisphere) & I am happy to go to their recitals and see them just play the music, pure and simple, rather than continuously look like a moron...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2011, 10:43:09 PM »
Well, I don't know that much about his playing, I guess it is ok, nothing special compared to the greats. But if he keeps making those stupid faces, I think he should put a paper bag over his head! I would have considered going to his Sydney concert were it not for his monkey faces. But then again, we have some excellent Australia-based pianists like Kathryn Selby & Stephanie Maccallum (surely one of the great interpreters of Liszt in the Southern Hemisphere) & I am happy to go to their recitals and see them just play the music, pure and simple, rather than continuously look like a moron...

Well sure, there are always better alternatives for the concert goer. ;)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 10:46:15 PM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline milk

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2020, 08:16:21 PM »
I was curious so I looked him up on YouTube. I see he’s got a Goldbergs coming. Interestingly, he goes to Andreas Staier for pointers. I give him credit for that. The excerpts I saw look OK. To me, it’s hard to distinguish oneself on the GBVs because there’s just so many great recordings of them.
I think a pianist really needs to do the Well Tempered Clavier to show their depth, maturity, perspicacity, etc.
I’ve spent time with classical and romantic music and still don’t understand, for the most part, the difference between a good and bad Liszt performance. I wonder what Yuja Wang would make of Bach. I don’t bring her up because she’s Chinese but only because I don’t know the name of any other young superstars.

Offline amw

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2020, 08:50:46 PM »
I wonder what Yuja Wang would make of Bach. I don’t bring her up because she’s Chinese but only because I don’t know the name of any other young superstars.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/sBTSAbyAAi8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/sBTSAbyAAi8</a>

This is also a longtime Argerich showpiece among others. Argerich (or Richter perhaps) is who I was most reminded of in her interpretation.

Of course Bach himself was at one point a young virtuoso (roughly the time he wrote the Toccatas and some of the early keyboard concertos), and then an old ex-virtuoso (roughly the time he wrote the Goldbergs and Art of the Fugue).

(I should also add that I like Yuja Wang as a pianist much more than Lang Lang—she is a genuine artist, he veers into self-indulgence a lot of the time. The other youngish superstars to keep an eye on, although not YouTube famous, are probably Jan Lisiecki, Joseph Moog, Yeol Eum Son, Mariam Batsashvili & Benjamin Grosvenor. From the YouTube stars, the other one who seems like a serious artist is Valentina Lisitsa, although not so young obviously.)

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2020, 09:50:23 PM »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2020, 10:56:03 PM »
I see he’s got a Goldbergs coming. Interestingly, he goes to Andreas Staier for pointers. I give him credit for that. The excerpts I saw look OK.


You can hear he’s informed himself about hip, which is good. I thought the aria on Spotify sounded very good, nice piano and well engineered and reasonably tasteful for a piano player. The other track they’ve prereleased, var 26, was nasty and hard.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2020, 11:03:59 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline milk

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2020, 04:30:10 AM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/sBTSAbyAAi8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/sBTSAbyAAi8</a>

This is also a longtime Argerich showpiece among others. Argerich (or Richter perhaps) is who I was most reminded of in her interpretation.

Of course Bach himself was at one point a young virtuoso (roughly the time he wrote the Toccatas and some of the early keyboard concertos), and then an old ex-virtuoso (roughly the time he wrote the Goldbergs and Art of the Fugue).

(I should also add that I like Yuja Wang as a pianist much more than Lang Lang—she is a genuine artist, he veers into self-indulgence a lot of the time. The other youngish superstars to keep an eye on, although not YouTube famous, are probably Jan Lisiecki, Joseph Moog, Yeol Eum Son, Mariam Batsashvili & Benjamin Grosvenor. From the YouTube stars, the other one who seems like a serious artist is Valentina Lisitsa, although not so young obviously.)
How about Seong-Jin Cho? I have a Debussy by him that I like well enough. 

Offline Brian

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2020, 04:48:20 AM »
How about Seong-Jin Cho? I have a Debussy by him that I like well enough.
Him too, and I'd add Vikingur Olafsson and Daniil Trifonov to the list of young, budding superstars. Maybe Beatrice Rana.

Offline Todd

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2020, 04:56:57 AM »
Him too, and I'd add Vikingur Olafsson and Daniil Trifonov to the list of young, budding superstars. Maybe Beatrice Rana.


Olafsson is 36.  Is that still young? 

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Offline Brian

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2020, 08:54:36 AM »

Olafsson is 36.  Is that still young? 
I'm 31 so I hope so!

Offline milk

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2020, 04:40:32 AM »
I’m trying to give his Goldberg variations a fair shake but I can’t really get very far with them. To me it sounds like he’s got a shtick and it just doesn’t convince me with Bach. He has a way with his touch that communicates self-consciousness and the need to be beautiful and profound. Part of it is dynamics that are overly done, overly fussy. But it’s more than that; it’s something about what he emphasizes. It’s showy or campy. Maybe I’ll try again and maybe they’ll seem less extreme to me. 

Offline JBS

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2020, 04:18:14 PM »
Crosspost from Waylt2

Bought this earlier today.



After a first listen, I think it's not too bad.  It runs for about 91 1/2 minutes, with the CD split coming in the middle, between variations 15 and 16.  Lang Lang's approach might be described as contemplative or meditative, with an emphasis on bringing out the melodic line.  Even the quicker passages are not as fast as other pianists play them, although they are sped up enough to make the necessary contrast. I wouldn't label it a "romantic" approach.

In the notes Lang Lang describes starting to play the work for Harnoncourt, only to be interrupted by the conductor, who told him the work needed "a greater sense of solitude" and that the pianist look for a place of "stillness" in himself. Maybe this Zen-like approach appealed to a pianist who comes from the land where Zen was developed. It certainly seems to inform his performance.

My version, the one linked, has only the studio performance.  There's a four CD version available with both the studio and a live concert performance. Obviously I have no idea of how the latter comes across.

I won't play it often, but I don't regret the purchase.  It is probably worth at least one listen via a streaming service.

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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: What do you think about Lang Lang?
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2020, 07:35:22 PM »
Lang Lang can play the piano MUCH better than me, so I approve.