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Lang Lang Live in Vienna (2 CD)


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Audio CD, August 24, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Recorded live in Vienna s legendary Musikverein concert hall, this release represents Lang Lang s second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling Live at Carnegie Hall in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist.

The program for his Sony debut features Lang Lang s first-ever recording of Beethoven sonatas: The famous Appassionata , a milestone in the piano literature, is paired with the composer s youthful C major Sonata op. 2, no. 3. Virtuosity of a different order is displayed in Albéniz s impressionistic memories of his native Spain in Book 1 of Iberia. The program closes with one of Prokofiev s explosive War Sonatas, the revolutionary Seventh Sonata. Finally, to celebrate the Chopin Bicentennial we hear three encores of this Polish genius s most popular works: the Aeolian Harp Etude, the Heroic Polonaise in A flat major, and the sparkling Grande Valse Brillante No. 2.

Featuring over 110 minutes of music on 2 CDs

Disc: 1
1. Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2; I. Allegro con brio
2. Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2; II. Adagio
3. Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2; III. Scherzo (Allegro)
4. Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2; IV. Allegro assai 5. Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"; I. Allegro assai
5. Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"; II. Andante con moto
6. Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"; III. Allegro ma non troppo
Disc: 2
1. Iberia, Book I; I. Evocación
2. Iberia, Book I; II. El puerto
3. Iberia, Book I; III. Fête-dieu à Seville
4. Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83; I. Allegro inquieto - Andantino - Allegro inquieto - Andantino - Allegro inquieto
5. Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83; II. Andante caloroso - Poco più animato - Più largamente - un poco agitato - Tempo I
6. Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83; III. Precipitato
7. Étude Op. 25, No. 1 in A-Flat Major
8. Polonaise No. 6 in A-Flat Major, Op. 53 "Heroic"
9. Grand Valse Brillante No. 2, Op. 34 No. 1 in A-Flat Major

Product Details

  • Performer: Lang Lang
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Prokofiev, Isaac Albéniz
  • Audio CD (August 24, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • ASIN: B003O0OLV2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,649 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A piano teacher on August 29, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The entertainment world craves superheroes and villains, and Lang Lang is neither. His first recital CD on Sony, done live at the Musikvereinssaal, is a wonderful success, with a few instructive exceptions.
I first heard Lang Lang when he visited Reading, PA in March 2002. He played to a partially filled college chapel, but the mood seemed to suit him, and he played the most pearly Mendelssohn Caprices and electrifying Wanderer Fantasy (far better than at Carnegie or Verizon Hall) that I ever will hear. When he roared into the final fugue theme, little grey-haired ladies stared at each other with their mouths hanging open.
It is such playing that mesmerizes piano lovers as they listen to golden-age broadcasts from the 1930's. But Lang Lang does not like to play in that manner when the red recording light is on. Today everyone is labeled with permanent marker, and since his craft encompasses image as well as music (as he candidly admits), some listeners seem to just see and not hear him. Trying to please such people is a mistake.
It is for that reason that this set (which I merely "heard") is so welcome - amid the uproar Lang Lang continues to deepen his scope, leverage his technique, choose major repertoire, and widen the sound-palette of his recording persona.
The first CD contains his first recording (so what???) of two Beethoven Sonatas. It happens that these performances plumb every corner and raise them to the heights. The first (Opus 3 No. 2) is no "early" fluff piece. (It actually runs two minutes longer than the "Appassionata.") The playing is full of life and variety, with moods unfolding naturally and without exaggeration. When Beethoven challenges the listener (such as the tension in the "fake recap" of mvt. I) there is a sense of discovery.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A piano teacher on August 29, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The entertainment world craves superheroes and villains, and Lang Lang is neither. His first recital CD on Sony, done live at the Musikvereinssaal, is a wonderful success, with a few instructive exceptions.
I first heard Lang Lang when he visited Reading, PA in March 2002. He played to a partially filled college chapel, but the mood seemed to suit him, and he played the most pearly Mendelssohn Caprices and electrifying Wanderer Fantasy (far better than at Carnegie or Verizon Hall) that I ever will hear. When he roared into the final fugue theme, little grey-haired ladies stared at each other with their mouths hanging open.
It is such playing that mesmerizes piano lovers as they listen to golden-age broadcasts from the 1930's. But Lang Lang does not like to play in that manner when the red recording light is on. Today everyone is labeled with permanent marker, and since his craft encompasses image as well as music (as he candidly admits), some listeners seem to just see and not hear him. Trying to please such people is a mistake.
It is for that reason that this set (which I merely "heard") is so welcome - amid the uproar Lang Lang continues to deepen his scope, leverage his technique, choose major repertoire, and widen the sound-palette of his recording persona.
The first CD contains his first recording (so what???) of two Beethoven Sonatas. It happens that these performances plumb every corner and raise them to the heights. The first (Opus 3 No. 2) is no "early" fluff piece. (It actually runs two minutes longer than the "Appassionata.") The playing is full of life and variety, with moods unfolding naturally and without exaggeration. When Beethoven challenges the listener (such as the tension in the "fake recap" of mvt. I) there is a sense of discovery.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Featherwood Kid, Gordon on January 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD
When I first saw and heard this performance on DVD, I was blown away, and so ordered a CD of the same performance so it could be listened to in my vehicle. I had heard that Lang Lang was a showman, a flash in the pan, almost a Liberace. Perhaps he was at the very beginning of his career, but if he was, he surely has matured in a few years. His playing of the selected pieces puts him at the top of contemporary pianists, so skillful is his approach to the compositions. His ability to strike hard when needed and barely touch the keys when required made this a concert I won't soon forget. At the end of his concert in Vienna, the audience gave him a standing ovation. It was a confirmation of his abilities at the keyboard. I don't know how he felt, but I was excited and wished I could have been one of those standing and clapping in Vienna's Musikvereinssaal! GJV
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. F. S. Mui on September 6, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a review of the limited edition, two CDs and one DVD.
I loath the DVD, even though just tiny excerpts from the various pieces and movements. Lang Lang, before the camera, is simply an older version of the 'Money King' flying over the keyboard.
The best part of the package comes in both forms - the booklet, abound in beautiful shots of Lang Lang at the pianoforte - he could look wonderfully decent at the keyboard. The other best part comes in the CDs, especially CD1.
I am surprised by Lang Lang's ability to shape the two Beethoven Sonatas, given the less than satisfactory go he had some years ago under DG in the two Beethoven concerti. He has remarked that Beethoven is a difficult composer to interpret. Given his own musical background, this is not a fake statement. Listeners are blessed that the 'Lang Lang stuff' is being kept to minimal in those two sonatas. Lang Lang showed considerable progress in his judgment over the tempi of the various movements of those two pieces. As a result, he's able to deploy his keyboard technique to a much more effective end than in most of his previous attempts.
He has not 'outgrown' his bad habits in the Chopin pieces, though. Neither ryhthmic nor lyrical, the Chopin pieces are representative of Lang Lang in his most wayward.
Fortunately, Lang Lang shines in the Prokofiev Sonata NO. 7, and the Albenz piece, though not entirely successful, has enough moments of pure music of true beauty.
I think listeners can rest assured that given time, Lang Lang will develop.
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