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Lang Lang: The Chopin Album

Lang Lang: The Chopin Album

October 9, 2012

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: October 9, 2012
  • Release Date: October 9, 2012
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:14:44
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B009IA521U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,107 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Very clearly recorded sound, perfect technique, intensely expressive.
NPUL
Lang Lang continues to bring so much wonderful music to life again with his superb talent and interpretations.
J. M. Lecture
Too many vinyl recordings are released without quality control or care.
Joseph L. Quinn

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
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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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