<< -- 4 -- Tess Crebbin CHANGING THE WORLD?
Lang Lang had only one piece, Chopin's concerto, to play during the entire concert. The break, after his performance, was to be followed by a Schumann symphony. But the audience was not going to let him go that easily. They sat there, saturated with the excellence of his performance, and when Lang Lang had played his final note he was rewarded with such an enormous amount of applause that it was clear the clapping would go on until he played some more. Kindly, gracefully, the pianist thanked Foster and his orchestra before sitting down again for an uncharacteristic encore in the middle of a festival program. He played Schumann's Traumerei (Op 15) but he could have played anything, it would not have mattered. The idea in everybody's mind seemed to be: Keep him at the piano -- don't let him go. So long as Lang Lang sits at the piano, the world seems to be in order, all chaos momentarily kept at bay.
Lang Lang. Photo © Andrew Eccles/Deutsche Grammophon
When it was finally time for him to leave the stage, the dominating thought was: more. For those who did not get their fill, Deutsche Grammophon had luckily foreseen the enormous popularity of this young pianist. When he gave his Carnegie Hall début in 2003, they had installed their recording devices and made a live CD. The result is now on CD, and DVD, under the title: Lang Lang Live at Carnegie Hall. The two CD set (DG CD 474 820 -- 2) and DVD (DG DVD 073 098 -- 9) provide some interesting extras, such as the traditional Chinese Two Horses, a piece about two horses competing at a ravishing gallop. This, Lang Lang performs together with his father, Gue-Ren Lang who plays the Erthu, a Chinese two-string violin that can, well and truly, whinny like a horse.
Lang Lang. Photo © Kaysh Shinn/Deutsche Grammophon
Whether you see him live, or on DVD, or even just listen to him on the radio or on CD,
any musical experience with Lang Lang's competent pianist hands is likely to leave his listeners in awe of this talented and well-behaved young man whose expert play results in handsome excellence that enchants with its thoughtfulness, passion and impeccable first-rate virtuosity.