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Lang Lang: Dragon Songs (Plus DVD)


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Audio CD, January 9, 2007
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Biography

Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by the New York Times, 27- year-old Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and all the top American orchestras. He began playing the piano at the age of three and had already won ... Read more in Amazon's Lang Lang Store

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Lang Lang:  Dragon Songs (Plus DVD) + Liszt: My Piano Hero + Lang Lang: The Chopin Album
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Product Details

  • Composer: Lang Lang
  • Audio CD (January 9, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000KF0NLQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,236 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Yellow River Piano Concerto, based on the Yellow River Cantata by Xian Xinghai
2. LÜ WENCHENG: Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake
3. HE LUTING: The Cowherd's Flute
4. TRADITIONAL: Dialogue in Song
5. SUN YIQIANG: Dance of Spring
6. DU MINGXIN: Straw Hat Dance
7. DENG YUXIAN: Spring Wind
8. ZHU JIANER: Happy Times
9. TRADITIONAL: Spring flowers in the Moonlit Night on the River
10. ZHAO JIPING: Dance from Qiuci, 5th movement from the "Silk Road" Suite
11. WANG JIANMIN: At Night on the Lake Beneath the Maple Bridge

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

This is music of great diversity and charm. Lang Lang returns here to his native China for solo, chamber, and orchestral music. Those expecting great exoticisms will not find them here. We are all aware of how the East influenced the West in music – Debussy, Ravel, and other composers have picked up the harmonies and sonorities and made them familiar to us. But the music recorded here, all of it composed in the 20th century, is indebted to Western music, and indeed, there is hardly a jarring note to be found. The "exoticisms" are all comfortable. The "Yellow River" Piano Concerto, a work arranged by four composers in 1969 based on a 30-year-old choral cantata that was made up of socialist songs of praise, is a piece of pure late Romanticism and is reminiscent of Tchaikovsky and other late Romantics. One solo piano piece is 97 seconds of pure virtuosic joy ("Happy Times," by Zhu Jianer), and another ("Dance of Spring" by Sun Yiqiang) is a delicate, almost French Impressionist piece. The "Dance from Qiuci" by Zhao Jiping is a duet for piano and guanzi, a double-reed pipe, that will remind listeners of Klezmer music. Each track offers a new delight. Lang Lang's performances, alone and with orchestra and others, are brilliant. A must-have. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

Ehhh, I mean a bolt ... a marble ... a mile! ;-)
Anthony J. Lomenzo
I do recommend this piece of art to those that love music and to those that want to know how chinese musical instruments sound.
adda
Lang Lang is a virtuoso pianist and I like him very much.
Luppi Marco

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Abert TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD
That composition, heading this new album of Lang Lang, was premiered in the late 1960's by Chinese veteran pianist Yin Cheng-zong, who and others (including pianist Shi Shu-cheng) re-arranged the script based on Cantonese composer Xian Xing-hai's 'Yellow River Cantata' composed during the Sino-Japanese war in 1939. Yin was the soloist in the new work's premiere. Since then, I have grown so used to Yin and Shi's style of playing this work.
Lang Lang and Yu Long's new collaboration expectedly brought a host of criticisms, both at home in China and abroad.
However, being an open-minded listener, I must say that I find the Yu-Lang new collaboration not merely 'acceptable', but at moments beautiful and moving.
The first movement's 'Yellow River Boat Song' for once truly becomes a 'song', not the bombastic and macho style that I got used to listen to. There are much more interplays between the orchestra and the soloist, and the musical motives are well-marked. Some truly fine playing by Lang Lang, who otherwise lacked the technical prowess of maestro Yin Cheng-zong in some demanding passages of this movement. Lang is able to rise to the occasion in the long `coda' section, though.
The second movement 'Ode to the Yellow River' is majestic and moving in turn. Lang and Yu's interpretation adds on an melancholic touch to this movement that again was lacking in the previous grandiose versions, depicting the many hardships suffered by its nearby inhabitants as witnessed by that great river, the story being told now through music. Yu's orchestral backing in this movement is really wonderful.
The third movement 'The Yellow River's Rage' begins with an authentically Chinese style. This movement sets to depict the various facets of the great river.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By OperaOnline.us on July 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Recorded in Bejing in 2006, this combination CD/DVD from Deutsche Grammophon offers a comfortable mix of East and West in fourteen musical selections that run the gamut from major compositions in China such as the 1939 "Yellow River Concerto," running 20 minutes in four major parts and moods [This writer's favorite would be "Ode to the Yellow River" with its rich base and cello introduction and melodic, flowing low-to-mid range piano melody] to the simpler traditional sound of "Dialogue in Song" piano solo. The blending of styles throughout is intriguing.. "Ode," for example, alluded to above, might sound like something straight out an American western, depicting in music the rolling rich prairie land of the American West, yet the music was written as a string choral cantata during the Japanese occupation of China in 1939 and, according to Lang, was a piece "that helped bring back our energy and self-confidence - a reminder that we would do great things." In other words, the piece is, at its foundation, distinctly Chinese in origin. But this two-for package contains something else; it contains a bonus DVD, widescreen, beautifully filmed and composed feature about the pianist, his journey back to China, his concerts and personal glimpses of his family life and teaching techniques to some amazing students. It is a wonderfully entertaining, National Geographic quality tour of Lang's homeland as well as an entertaining - almost hypnotic - biography of this talented pianist. It is a thoroughly enjoyable CD/DVD combination that is hugely successful in what it sets out to accomplish, both musically and visually. This review appeared at [..]
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Damonte on May 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I can't praise this CD enough. Hearing this wonderful Chinese piano music, in Lang Lang's brilliant performances, is a total delight! Even the Yellow River Concerto, which could be considered kitsch, is given such a warm and sincere reading that it radiates a kind of "New World Symphony" energy. There are

guest artists playing Chinese instruments. And there's a bonus DVD about Lang Lang and his roots.

Pure joy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Wells on February 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The CD is gorgeous, but the DVD is worth the price alone because one of the cuts is a long concert of Lang Lang playing many of the songs on the album, kind of like having your own front-row seat. What a treasure!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Kline on March 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Awsome documentary and performance dvd with this cd/dvd compilation. THe dvd alone is worth the money. THe cd is outstanding with many traces of roots to Lang Langs home land and culture. Shows his parents and discusses sacrifices they made for the rising pianist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. F. S. Mui on July 30, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Many claim Lang Lang to have dire interpretational problem.
What in fact is 'interpretational problem'? There is simply no standard answer, as the topic is pure subjectivity.
That said, for those (Chinese especially) who claim that Lang's "Yellow River Concerto" lacks in any thing at all, I would rebut by a direct answer - Lang's Yellow River is his OWN Yellow River; not the one in the 1970's, nor 1940's.
Lang Lang grew up under the direct influence of Chinese music - his father was member of a Chinese performing troupe and plays the Chinese instrument erhu, as many may have known already.
This album compiles many songs that Lang Lang has grown up with, and he has a very intimate and personal approach to those songs, transcribed to the pianoforte.
Some diehard Chinese music followers query the combination of traditional Chinese instruments with the pianoforte in this album. Again, such worries are unfounded. Lang's ability to 'sing' on the pianoforte is abundant, and the pieces flow demurely and elegantly throughout the various tracks.
Just sit back and enjoy. Do not forget the truth that music is about the senses, not the critical cerebrum.
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