Lang Lang at the Royal Albert Hall

Lang Lang at the Royal Albert Hall

DVD - 2014
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bokumusic
Aug 07, 2018

The main body of the concert (the three Mozart sonatas and the four Chopin Ballades) is musically sound enough, especially the Chopin. Of course, his corny facial expressions and body language make one cringe, especially when you consider how pianists like Nelson Freire or Claudio Arrau - and many others - comport(ed) themselves on stage.
The first two encores are done with great feeling and passion and rightly brought the house down. The Chinese number is a rather elegantly expressive piece. Then, that notoriously infamous "Alla Turca" of Mozart was deliberately taken at breakneck speed and further exaggerated with rubato. Granted, it's virtuosic, but it's artistically cheap, though theatrically effective, that is, if entertainment is your only aim (a philistine thing, mind). Of course, Chopin's Op. 64/1 was given similar abuse, as this is to be expected with the likes of him, all in the name of entertainment. Of course, in terms of sheer fun, these two examples are, shall we say, "object lessons". However, the Chopin Op. 55/1 Nocturne and the Schumann are done with sensitivity, especially the latter (a winsome introspective touch). His comment for the Scriabin is not fitting at all. While it is indeed energetic, there's nothing positive (happy, optimistic) about it. It's stormy, brooding/moody and intense. But, he delivered as it should be delivered (a Horowitz encore, by the way).

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