If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gala from Berlin

Gala from Berlin

Sir Simon Rattle conducts "Gala from Berlin" featuring
Lang Lang and the Berliner Philharmoniker

You don't need a passport to see the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and featuring piano superstar Lang Lang! In this encore HD broadcast from the Philharmoniker's home concert hall in Berlin - the Philharmonie - the world-renown orchestra presents works by two Russian composers:
Sergei Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto highlights Lang Lang's virtuosity and the Philharmoniker's supple orchestral sound. The Nutcracker Suite by Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky completes the program.

Russian composer, pianist, and conductor Sergei Wassiljewitsch Rachmaninoff
(1. April 1873 – 28. March 1943) completed his second piano concerto in 1901 after a long period of stagnation and depression, caused by the failure of his 1. piano concerto. In 1900 he started a hypnosis therapy with the Russian psychologist Dr. Nikolai Dahl (1860 – 1939) and Rachmaninoff began to recover his confidence. As it was Dr. Nikolai Dahl, who persuaded and convinced him to go on with his compositional work, the piano concerto No.2, which was a big success, is dedicated to Dr. Nikolai Dahl. 

In this version, the piano is played by the young, Chinese shooting star Lang Lang, who got his first piano lessons at the age of just 3 years. Lang Lang became one of the most renowned and famous pianists of the 21th century and has been honored with an abundance of awards, but he is also under fire from all sides. Some critics have given him the nickname Bang Bang, criticizing that his playing is vulgar and lacks sensitivity. 

Others have described him as immature, though praised his ability to conquer crowds with youthful bravado. While some of these critics seem to grudge his enormous popularity and success, others praise the young talent, like the Chinese conductor Jahja Ling (born 25 October 1951), who remarked, “Lang Lang is special because of his total mastery of the piano… He has the flair and great communicative power.”

The Berliner Philharmoniker and pianist Lang Lang perform Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Frédéric Chopin: Etude No. 1, Op. 25

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