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Lang Lang: The Chopin Album [Extra tracks]

Lang Lang , Chopin Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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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 (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,928 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Lang Lang shows his sensitive side 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
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite pianist today 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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous sound, opinions differ, mature pianism November 7, 2012
By RLB
Format:MP3 Music
Depending on your view of this music, Chopin is open to interpretation. What I miss here is the "Polish" element in the music. Whist LANG LANG plays with great skill and the recording is superb, I find that he isn't comprehending the Polish dance element, Chopins delicate recital style, the musical nationalism inherent from the history of Chopins' life.
While LANG LANG can blast out music on this Steinway, again full bodied sound and technically accomplished keyboard playing, I'm not sure I agree with his view of the music.
Even though LANG LANG chooses sensible tempos, his rubato is well judged, phrasing is in touch with Chopin, LANG LANG seeks virtuosity in much of this Chopin, while my preferences are for more lightly played, disciplined, musically varied styles in the Etudes, not just loud and fast.
Full credit though, goes to LANG LANG, for his musical genius, discography and output, interprative skills and providing a modern recording.
I suggest sampling before you buy to see if this disc fits the needs of your collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars So inspiring
I love this CD. I put it on autoplay and listen to it all afternoon as I work at my computer.
Published 16 days ago by bonbon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very nice
Published 16 days ago by neildspring
1.0 out of 5 stars Lang Lang is a fake
From his facial expression, you can tell that he normally concentrated a great deal on how he should fool his audiences into believing that he was able to feel the music he played. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kee
1.0 out of 5 stars Vinyl version - terrible pressing
This review is strictly about the quality of the VINYL version. I think that Lang Lang's performance and interpretations are beautiful and incredibly well executed. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Joseph L. Quinn
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously?
If you have been waiting for the art of classical pianism to hit rock bottom, well the suspense is over!
Published 8 months ago by E. F. Mendelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful Chopin
Lang Lang plays Chopin so beautifully. His interpretations are spot on. He sees Chopin as a virtuoso as well as a poet. That's what Chopin would have liked, I am sure.
Published 13 months ago by Robert
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much spin not enough Chopin
Expected to get Lang Lang playing Chopin
Didn't expect family movies of his youth and the story of him becoming a 'star'
Published 15 months ago by John Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in sound
One only has to listen to the Chopin repertoire to be taken into a state of relaxed, meditative existence. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sally Pope
5.0 out of 5 stars lang lang
Wonderful film of Lang Lang career from a young boy to the present time. His interpretation of chopin is amazing
Published 18 months ago by Linda A. Ting
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtuoso Performances
Great composer. Sensitive and talented pianist, one of the world's finest. What a splendid combination. If you are a fan of classical piano, buy this.
Published 18 months ago by Oldog_Oltrix
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