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Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lang Lang's chopinesque virtuosity and youthful playfulness, November 3, 2012
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This review is from: Lang Lang: The Chopin Album (Audio CD)
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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 7, 2015, 8:16:54 PM PST
A. F. S. Mui says:
Wonderful review, and I heartily recommend LL's 2013 live DVD performance of four Chopin Ballades at the Royal Albert Hall.
Happy viewing!
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