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Lang Lang: The Chopin Album Extra tracks


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Lang Lang discusses "The Chopin Album"

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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Product Details

  • Conductor: Lang Lang
  • Composer: Chopin
  • Audio CD (October 9, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Sony Music Distribution
  • ASIN: B0091XIZO0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. null: No. 1 in A-flat Major
2. null: No. 2 in F Minor
3. null: No. 3 in F Major
4. null: No. 4 in A Minor
5. null: No. 5 in E Minor
6. null: No. 6 in G-sharp Minor
7. null: No. 7 in C-sharp Minor
8. null: No. 8 in D-flat Major
9. null: No. 9 in G-flat Major
10. null: No. 10 in B Minor
11. null: No. 11 in A Minor
12. null: No. 12 in C Minor
13. Nocturne op. 55, No. 2 in E-flat Major
14. Nocturne op. 15, No. 1 in F Major
15. Grande Valse Brillante op. 18, No. 1 in E-flat Major
16. null: Andante spianato
17. null: Grande Polonaise
18. Nocturne op. post, KK IVa, No. 16 (20a), in C-sharp Minor
19. Waltz op. 64, No. 1 in D-flat Major
20. Tristesse (Oh Land version)

Editorial Reviews

World-renowned pianist LANG LANG turns to the composer who has accompanied him throughout his career on his new release for Sony Classical, THE CHOPIN ALBUM. The music of Chopin, universally loved for its beauty and communicative power, has long been a dynamic force in Lang Lang's life, propelling him through a number of career-defining experiences. Now, in his 30th-birthday year, Lang Lang records his first album entirely devoted to the great composer's solo piano masterpieces. Chopin "speaks with such a universal voice," says Lang Lang. "I genuinely believe he's a true ambassador for classical music among the great composers. He appeals to everyone."

One of the first pieces Lang Lang learned was the Grande Valse brillante in E-flat major op. 18 (included on this album), and it was Chopin's music that also carried him through a number of career-changing competitions, including Ettlingen (Germany) in 1994 and the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Sendai (Japan) in 1995, when he took First Prize performing Chopin's Second Piano Concerto. And it was with the Chopin Etudes that Lang Lang made his now-renowned Beijing Concert Hall recital at age 14 a performance that led to his studying with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. The Chopin Album includes the second set of Chopin's Etudes (op. 25), the Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise and a selection of shorter works that he has long enjoyed performing, including three Nocturnes and the Waltz op. 64 no. 1, popularly known as the "Minute" Waltz.

Customer Reviews

Great,great piano by Lang Lang.
Le Parnasse Musical
Amazing talent and I appreciate that he shares his talent.
Loretta Kratz
Would recommend it to anyone that enjoys fine music!
bob turnbull

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As he turns thirty, Lang Lang continues to create divisive reactions. His worldwide celebrity status makes him critic-proof, a fact that brings out even harsher opinions. contrary to the worst detractors, he isn't a fake; in concert the technique is spectacular, and he has a flair that throws the music over the footlights. The crowds adore him personally and always will, I imagine.

On records the story is different. As this Chopin recital shows, Lang Lang's playing can be blunt and without nuance. compared to the freshness and delicacy that was evident when he first appeared, the pianist has followed Kissin in becoming somewhat hardened and impersonal in his interpretations. the opening work is the second set of Etudes Op. 25, and where I admired the flash and dazzle of Lang Lang's recent Liszt album, his focus on extrovert display in Chopin plays to the gallery, reaching for big effects without delicacy or much personal feeling. Tender, reflective Etudes like the C-sharp Minor (no. 7) afford a lovely respite. Lang Lang has a poetic side, which I find is most convincing attribute as an interpreter. The famous, spectacular "Winter Winds" Etude (no. 11) begins with finesse before it virtually explodes and the roof caves in. It's a crude reading, even though one admires the ease with which the right and left hand parts are voiced without fudging the difficulties.

The two Nocturnes that come next appeal to the pianist's lyrical side, but in Op. 55 no. 2 the phrasing is impersonal and a tad proficient. Lang Lang has such a precise touch that he can create air in between very fast passing notes, which is a marvel when Liszt write up a firestorm.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Adrian on November 3, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After my first experience with Lang Lang's recordings - his thrilling Liszt album released in 2011 - this time I was tempted to listen to him performing on disc some of the truly jewels in the Chopin treasure (Etudes op.25, some Nocturnes and Waltzes, plus the solo version of the Andante spianato & Grande Polonaise).

His fabulous keyboard technique dominates - as in his Liszt accounts - the proceedings. Yet a more refined - in musical terms - approach would have been helped more in imposing this achievement in the memory of the listener. However, there is a seductive freshness in his playing throughout, while a deeply felt empathy surfaces here and there. Lang Lang scatters inspired shadows and lights in his interpretations, absorbing the vivid aromas of the score. He seems to get poetic depths especially in Nocturnes (the marvellous op. posth. one is simply marvellously played). The 12 Studies op.25 are treated as mere exercises with few exceptions. But what fabulous exceptions! For instance, the "Winter" Etude becomes a hair-raising experience when Lang Lang relishes a wild storm on the keyboard. The Grande Valse Brillante breathes an impressive air of gracious playfulness due to his comprehensive and sparkling approach too.

Surprising - and not inspired, in my opinion - the last track featuring a kind of sung version of the main theme of Etude no.3 op.10. It could (maybe even should) miss the selection of pieces included on this album.

Released quite simultaneously with Maurizio Pollini's new Chopin recording, this album by Lang Lang falls a little bit secondary. Although I consider it deserves little above 4 stars, I'll give all the 5 ones, simply for its freshness and youthful vision on a demanding Chopin repertory. These are in my opinion utterly equivalent to Pollini's aristocratic refinement in Chopin, balancing the other side of the scales.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sakurako Kanemitsu on March 15, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What I really liked about this Chopin Album is that unlike his Liszt album, Lang Lang didn't play all of the extremely stereotypical pieces of Chopin. Yes you could debate that his etudes are very often played but overall, I think his choice of repertoire was much more classier than his Liszt. I also enjoyed listening to his more musical side which came out more in this album as well. Overall, Lang Lang produced a very respectable Chopin CD!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martha Gibbons on April 3, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent recording! His talent and the choice of pieces make this a prize possession for me. I will be buying more of Lang Lang.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. F. S. Mui on November 8, 2012
Format: Audio CD
For his thirtieth birthday, Lang Lang dedicated his solo album to the works of Chopin, just as Maurizio Pollini, who turned 70 this year.
While good old Pollini opted for Preludes, Lang Lang displayed his keyboard virtuosity in the Op. 25's 12 Etudes.
No qualms about the keyboard technique of Lang Lang.
But just having heard Yuja Wang live last night, I immediately see how the two compared. Yuja played a Chopin piece as encore. How unlike Lang Lang!
Both have deficiencies with regard to the interpretation of Chopin, but Yuja opts for the harmonics, while Lang sticks more to the melodic side.
Lang Lang does not have the intuitive rhythmic sense of Yuja Wang, but has more of a personal human touch in his playing than Yuja, the ultra-supreme keyboard technician.
What matters with Lang Lang's Chopin is the style.
Having become an internationally reknowned pianist for over a decade, Lang Lang does not seem to have much time to spend on stylistic development with regard to any specific composer's works, and this is a great shame.
For a supreme technician to grow, musical styles should really be in the forefront.
While Lang Lang has already tuned down much of his personal mannerisms in playing, this album still presents the clear message that he has not yet savoured Chopin's style.
The Etudes are rather heavy-handed in sound. For an equally virtuosic emphasized version, listen to Tamas Vasary's, who has much more affinity with the style of Chopin, for sure.
The dances also show up the weaker rhythmic sense of Lang Lang, though the pieces are beautifully wrapped up in his own way.
May be the musical world would not bother so much these days with 'musical styles' than with virtuosic displays.
If that is your primary motive, this album will surely please.
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