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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lang Lang - Live in Vienna

Filmed live in Vienna's legendary Musikverein concert hall, this release represents Lang Lang's second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling "Live at Carnegie Hall" in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist.

The program for his Sony debut features Lang Lang's first-ever recording of Beethoven sonatas: He is intense and focused in the famous "Appassionata", a milestone in the piano literature, sharp and lively in Beethoven's early C major Sonata op. 2, no. 3.  Virtuosity of a different order is displayed in his thrillingly colorful Albéniz's impressionistic memories of his native Spain in Book 1 of "Iberia."

The program closes with one of Prokofiev's explosive War Sonatas, the revolutionary Seventh Sonata. Finally, to celebrate the Chopin Bicentennial we hear three encores of this Polish genius's most popular works: the "Aeolian Harp" Etude, the "Heroic" Polonaise in A flat major, and the sparkling Grande Valse Brillante No. 2.

He is the most communicative pianist of his generation, with a huge following in the east, and for any open-minded listener there is seriously good piano playing in this fine recital from Vienna. Perhaps he is indulgent, but the technical command is peerless and the emotional warmth envelops us. He is surely the Horowitz of our generation.

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