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Memory
     

Memory

3.0 3
by Lang Lang
 
Lang Lang's abundant technical gifts and his youthfully impulsive personality have quickly won over the classical music world, but the solo performances featured on Memory reveal a side of this musician that's far more endearing. This recital, consisting of works the pianist associates with his youthful studies (hence the nostalgic

Overview

Lang Lang's abundant technical gifts and his youthfully impulsive personality have quickly won over the classical music world, but the solo performances featured on Memory reveal a side of this musician that's far more endearing. This recital, consisting of works the pianist associates with his youthful studies (hence the nostalgic title), makes relatively small demands on his technique, but that's what throws the sincerity and the intelligence of his interpretations into relief. Surely he had mastered the basics of Mozart's C Major Sonata (K. 330) as a nine-year-old prodigy, but the warmth and joy of this performance -- perceptible in the rhythmic delicacy, the careful details of articulation, and many other aspects -- demonstrate a mature understanding of the composer. Likewise, Schumann's Kinderszenen (Scenes of Childhood) finds Lang Lang viewing youthful days through grown-up eyes, and he beautifully crafts each of these miniatures as a fleeting poetic vision. Lang Lang devotes the heart of this recital to Chopin's Third Sonata, a work more obviously adult in its sensibilities, yet one that had already found a place in the teenaged pianist's repertoire. In the Sonata's Finale, Lang Lang's fingers finally get a workout, but the real pyrotechnics are saved for a bonus CD, featuring an encore performance of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in the thrilling Vladimir Horowitz arrangement. There you'll catch the dizzyingly talented Lang Lang we already knew, but don't be surprised if you find yourself preferring the sensitive and emotive artist who emerges in the main program.

Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Jeremy Nicholas
One constant factor in this recital is the beautiful piano sound Lang Lang produces, superbly captured by DG's engineers. It s a joy to hear.
Los Angeles Times - Mark Swed
[Lang's] tone is pure gold, and his liquid phrasing still approaches poetry. His flamboyance shows through now and then, as in the ferociously difficult Horowitz/Liszt arrangement.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/14/2006
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0028947759768
catalogNumber:
1154026
Rank:
92298

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Memory 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always Lang Lang was amazing however the technical quality of the recording could be improved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Late Chopin is excruciatingly showing us how out of his depth Lang is: take the Scherzo of the Sonata in B minor. It is played fast and with effect in order to mask a lack of organic fluidity, lack of legato. Then it crawls to a halt when nowhere in the score Chopin, the stubborn composer who doesn't acknowledge Lang changes of tempo, the Molto Vivace requests such a change. A disappointment? No, a confirmation that the "future of classical music" has nothing to say.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just how many 'memories' can a 23-year old pianist have? Usually reflective recitals such as this are reserved for the older giants of the keyboard and often come to us a clippings from previous recordings. But finally in this 2 CD album the much discussed and ballyhooed Chinese pianist takes us by surprise in reflecting on the works he played as a child of 11 and beyond, works from the Romantic repertoire that demonstrate more sensitivity of interpretation than we are used to hearing. The program is well balanced, opening with Mozart's 'Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330' in a performance that embraces the delicacy of line and the technical finesse of a solid keyboard master. Yes, and even some of the poetry is showing. Lang Lang then proceeds to demonstrate his prowess and an in-control technician in Chopin's 'Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58', reigning in much of his overstatement heard frequently in his live performances, and opting instead for clarity of line and dexterity of approach. The highlight of the recording is Schumann's 'Kinderszenen, Op. 15'. This beautifully introspective and gently tender performance shows us an aspect of this young dynamo of the keyboard that we have not heard. Yes, he leans into ritards, and stretches phrases like taffy, but that was the style of pianism when these works were performed. Gone are the days of the Romantic Pianists whose own transcriptions and variations were superimposed on individual performances. That is a lost art and one that welcomes a new proponent in young Lang Lang in a time when audiences search for pianists who are 'purists': this is another form of pure. And to please his countless fans Lang Lang adds the 'Hungarian Rhapsody, for piano No. 12 in C sharp minor', the Horowitz transcription, to reassure everyone that he can still burn up the keyboard and make more sound come from the piano than many of his colleagues today. Though Lang Lang is not tops on the list of this listener's favorite pianists, this CD does offer evidence that there is more to him than his playing TO the audience quirks indicate: it seems that he may be turning toward playing FOR his audience - and for the composer! Grady Harp