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Classical - Released October 22, 2012 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
The Chopin Album is Lang Lang's first recording for Sony devoted entirely to the solo piano music of the Romantic master, focused on the Études, Op. 25, with three of the most popular Nocturnes and a handful of other pieces included for good measure. While Lang Lang's phenomenal popularity guarantees this CD's success, and his ability to play the technically demanding Études will impress his fans, devotees of Chopin's music may be skeptical of the pianist's interpretations, which at their best are flashy and extroverted. While it's not necessary to play Chopin close to the vest, with the expressive reticence of a wallflower, Lang Lang is no introvert, and it shows in the pieces where sensitivity and poetic refinement are desirable. He plays with his customary bravado in the loudest Études, the Grande Valse Brillante, the Grande Polonaise, and even in the inaccurately nicknamed "Minute" Waltz, but his expression at softer levels seems affectless, uninvolved, and rather uninteresting. While connoisseurs may balk at this fairly showy album, it is sure to appeal to a wide audience, perhaps most especially because of the inclusion of Lang Lang's duet with Danish singer Oh Land, "Tristesse," which is based on Chopin's Étude in E major, Op. 10/3, and taken from the soundtrack for the film The Flying Machine. Sony's sound is generally good, though Lang Lang's dynamic range is wide enough to make setting the volume a little tricky. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 26, 2011 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Franz Liszt's birth, virtuoso pianist Lang Lang has selected some of the composer's most characteristic pieces for his 2011 Sony release, Liszt: My Piano Hero. Prominent on this album is the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, which features Lang Lang in a high-energy performance with Valery Gergiev and the Vienna Philharmonic. Without a doubt, most of Lang Lang's fans will savor this Romantic showpiece, and for technical brilliance and drama, the performance doesn't disappoint. He is especially lively and vivid in this work, and his interactions with the orchestra seem spontaneous and playful, as one might well imagine Liszt would have been. But Lang Lang seems more introspective and personally involved with the solo keyboard pieces that make up the greater part of the album. Here also is the flashy side of Liszt, but there is a greater emphasis on the poetic and rhapsodic, so Lang Lang indulges in reflective pieces as much as the flashy encores. Highlights include La Campanella, the Grand Galop chromatique, Liebestraum No. 3, the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6, and the arrangement of Schubert's Ave Maria. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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To record the Golberg Variations, the absolute pinnacle of western works on harpsichord and the apotheosis of the Baroque era, is the ultimate dream for many musicians. Lang Lang, who admits to have studied the fourth section of the Clavierübung by the Cantor of Leipzig for over twenty years, is no exception. This collection offers two interpretations of the same work. Firstly, a studio version, captured beautifully at the Berlin Jesus-Christus Kirche in March 2020 under the supervision of Christopher Alder, in which Lang Lang displays more measured tempos, particularly in the the initial aria and the first variation. This approach begins to animate itself more in the next section before the first variation in G minor which is slow, sluggish-sounding and unrelenting, taking on a stubborn and repetitive saraband rhythm - a remarkable conclusion to the first section. The outburst of the French Ouverture of Variation 16 is nothing short of spectacular. The following variations pass quickly before the second variation in G minor (Var. 21, Conone alla Settima.), with its very depressive phrasing, an imaginary Tombeau which momentarily instills an impressive gravity. Lang Lang nevertheless remains indifferent to the intrinsic structure of the Goldberg Variations, organised into ten successive groups of three variations with each group finishing with an increasingly complex canon (from the Var. 3’s Canone all’Unisono to Var.27’s Canone all Nona). For the Chinese pianist, his expressive heart seems to concentrate on the three minor key variations, and he doesn’t hesitate to project a Baroque expressionism that finishes the Golbergs with a touch of pathos and romanticism alongside a rounded and silky sound.The energy of the Leipzig public, on the 5 of March 2020, adds a welcome characteristic. During the concert, recorded by Philip Krause, who also accompanied Alder during his studio recording, Lang Lang has fun with the polyphony, beginning with the Aria. Here, he dances and injects subtle variations into the accents, thus opening up a wider and more diverse field of expression (Var. 1, Var. 7). Mischievous (Variation 23 has 2 harpsichords!), Lang Lang lets his imagination run rampant and the emotion that ensues is truly striking (Var. 21, with its obsessive delays). A certain weight is lifted, even in the way the harpsichord sounds, which bears witness to how the Chinese pianist’s sound has changed over the last fifteen years. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 29, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Piano Book is a compilation of post-Bach piano music’s greatest hits. Lang Lang puts together a retrospective anthology beginning with J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C major from the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier. The piece, in fully written arpeggio, which every piano student has studied to practice fingering, articulations, and harmonic tiering is followed by Beethoven’s Lettre à Elise. Lang Lang then invites Mendelssohn (La Fileuse), Chopin (15th Prelude from Opus 28), and Mozart (Allegro from Sonata "Semplice" or Variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je Maman") The record also includes lesser-known repertoire from such composers as Badarzewska-Baranowska, Czerny, or Clementi and a few Chinese classic and traditional / popular songs from diverse parts of the world.Lang Lang has fun, especially when he plays French music. Performing Debussy’s Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, he enjoys each afterbeat, plays with the basses, and even sings. © Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 29, 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Piano Book is a compilation of post-Bach piano music’s greatest hits. Lang Lang puts together a retrospective anthology beginning with J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C major from the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier. The piece, in fully written arpeggio, which every piano student has studied to practice fingering, articulations, and harmonic tiering is followed by Beethoven’s Lettre à Elise. Lang Lang then invites Mendelssohn (La Fileuse), Chopin (15th Prelude from Opus 28), and Mozart (Allegro from Sonata "Semplice" or Variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je Maman") The record also includes lesser-known repertoire from such composers as Badarzewska-Baranowska, Czerny, or Clementi and a few Chinese classic and traditional / popular songs from diverse parts of the world.Lang Lang has fun, especially when he plays French music. Performing Debussy’s Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, he enjoys each afterbeat, plays with the basses, and even sings. © Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 11, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 24, 2020 | Sony Classical

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In November 2013 Lang Lang returned to London's legendary Royal Albert Hall for two sold-out recitals – finishing a celebrated two-part program consisting of Mozart and Chopin with no less than eight encores, breaking Evgeny Kissin's record of encores at the same place. This 120-minute album captures the complete recital and offers an opportunity to relive an unforgettable concert experience. The three early Mozart Piano Sonatas have been part of Lang Lang's latest recital which he presented live in more than 200 concerts worldwide – the recordings that were captured at his RAH concert are also part of the new Mozart album.« Exhilarating flair and brilliance" (The Guardian)
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Classical - Released October 13, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released February 8, 2005 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 28, 2018 | Sony Classical

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"Lang Lang – Piano Magic" is a compilation of a wide variety of recordings made between 2010 and 2014; the album brings together short pieces, and also some of the most popular isolated movements in piano music – which are often played as encores. In a few minutes, each of these morsels conjures up its own miniature universe, as if by magic... Hence the title. While the majority of pieces are brilliantly virtuoso, our pianist doesn't forget to include a few rather less complex moments, which put the emphasis more on softness and solemnity. The magnificent Entertainer by Scott Joplin which closes the album, is played with an offbeat wit and a very personalised idea of rhythm with a few melodic turns which Lang Lang puts a jazzy spin on, as if re-improvising the whole thing on the spot. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 29, 2019 | Sony Classical

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International stardom has made Lang Lang into an ambassador for the classical repertoire. Sony has chosen Beethoven's 250th birthday to release a compilation that was born of a live concert recorded in Vienna, a city which has seen the birth of so many of the composer's works. The collection takes in Sonata No.3 and No.23, also known as Appassionata. These scores are an imaginary battlefield pitting the writer's contending passions against one another. Beethoven, subject to a compulsive inspiration, uses his writing to guide, even contain, this irresistible force: the greatest liberty dammed up by reason, an apparent paradox which his art summarises well. But here Lang Lang gives us an almost fantastical Beethoven. The pianist has fun with a repertoire which exacerbates contrasts thanks to an immense palette of nuances and several liberties taken with the tempos. Although his level of technique permits him such extravagances, it must be said that he is much more conventional with Beethoven than he is with Rachmaninov. You don't fool around with the Master of Bonn. The record closes on a studio version of the first movement of Sonata No.17 (the famous Tempest), recorded for the video game Gran Turismo 5. The rather grandiloquent switch between its Largo and Allegro sections makes its mark on the text. Lang Lang serves up a very literally visual interpretation of this score, built around the most epic settings that these Beethovian storms permit. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 5, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
To record the Golberg Variations, the absolute pinnacle of western works on harpsichord and the apotheosis of the Baroque era, is the ultimate dream for many musicians. Lang Lang, who admits to have studied the fourth section of the Clavierübung by the Cantor of Leipzig for over twenty years, is no exception. This collection offers two interpretations of the same work. Firstly, a studio version, captured beautifully at the Berlin Jesus-Christus Kirche in March 2020 under the supervision of Christopher Alder, in which Lang Lang displays more measured tempos, particularly in the the initial aria and the first variation. This approach begins to animate itself more in the next section before the first variation in G minor which is slow, sluggish-sounding and unrelenting, taking on a stubborn and repetitive saraband rhythm - a remarkable conclusion to the first section. The outburst of the French Ouverture of Variation 16 is nothing short of spectacular. The following variations pass quickly before the second variation in G minor (Var. 21, Conone alla Settima.), with its very depressive phrasing, an imaginary Tombeau which momentarily instills an impressive gravity. Lang Lang nevertheless remains indifferent to the intrinsic structure of the Goldberg Variations, organised into ten successive groups of three variations with each group finishing with an increasingly complex canon (from the Var. 3’s Canone all’Unisono to Var.27’s Canone all Nona). For the Chinese pianist, his expressive heart seems to concentrate on the three minor key variations, and he doesn’t hesitate to project a Baroque expressionism that finishes the Golbergs with a touch of pathos and romanticism alongside a rounded and silky sound. The energy of the Leipzig public, on the 5 of March 2020, adds a welcome characteristic. During the concert, recorded by Philip Krause, who also accompanied Alder during his studio recording, Lang Lang has fun with the polyphony, beginning with the Aria. Here, he dances and injects subtle variations into the accents, thus opening up a wider and more diverse field of expression (Var. 1, Var. 7). Mischievous (Variation 23 has 2 harpsichords!), Lang Lang lets his imagination run rampant and the emotion that ensues is truly striking (Var. 21, with its obsessive delays). A certain weight is lifted, even in the way the harpsichord sounds, which bears witness to how the Chinese pianist’s sound has changed over the last fifteen years. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 20, 2014 | Sony Classical

For this all-Mozart twofer from Sony, piano virtuoso Lang Lang, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and the Vienna Philharmonic present a program of piano concertos, piano sonatas, and several short solo pieces that give a good sampling of the composer's keyboard output. The roster may provoke some cognitive dissonance, though, because Harnoncourt is best known for historically informed period interpretations of Mozart, while Lang Lang and the Vienna Philharmonic are more associated with a conventional, mainstream performance style. One might expect some compromise between the two camps, yet while the orchestra incorporates some aspects of Classical sound into its playing, it remains a modern orchestra of full size, and Harnoncourt doesn't ask for the tone colors and techniques he would demand of his own Concentus Musicus Wien. For the soloist's part, Lang Lang is rather restrained and sensitive to the character of the music, and apart from some showiness in his cadenzas, he shows less of the ebullience and bravura playing he otherwise shows in Liszt or Rachmaninov. The section of the program devoted to solo piano works is less of a stylistic challenge, but Lang Lang's mannered playing is a matter of taste, and listeners who like a fairly Romantic interpretation will like his approach. Others, however, will already know Lang Lang's readings are not historically informed performances and avoid them. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

Imagine Debussy's pentatonic melodies and Satie's ironic harmonies coupled with Legrand's grandly sweeping strings and Glass' minimalist ostinatos and you've more or less imagined Alexandre Desplat's score for the film The Painted Veil (2006). The composer of the scores for Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) and The Queen (2006), the French Desplat sets Somerset Maugham's story of moral redemption in a Chinese cholera epidemic as a sequence of strongly evocative cues with haunting themes, striking orchestrations, and infectious rhythms. Ably conducted by the composer and superbly played by the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the score features Chinese super virtuoso pianist Lang Lang as a soloist on several tracks, and the disc also includes his deeply nostalgic performance of Satie's aptly chosen Gnossienne No. 1 that follows the film's opening title music. Recorded in widescreen technical sound by Deutsche Grammophon, Desplat's score for The Painted Veil catches the film's mood of morbid romanticism, and anyone who saw the movie and wants to hear the music independent of the images will be more than satisfied with this 54-minute soundtrack. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released March 2, 2004 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet
On November 7, 2003, Lang Lang gave his debut recital at Carnegie Hall to great public excitement, but also to mixed critical reception. Some reviewers criticized Lang for his distracting mannerisms and his grandstanding. But this double-disc is unsatisfying on purely musical grounds, for Lang's interpretations are uneven, callow, and often heavy-handed. Either Lang was out of sorts that evening, or else he deliberately distorted his playing to favor bombast over genuine expression and refinement. On the positive side, Haydn's Sonata and Tan Dun's Eight Memories in Watercolor are most engaging, and feature the subtlest playing on the album. But Lang's performances of Schumann's Abegg Variations and Chopin's Nocturne are perfunctory and uncompelling, as if Lang's heart was not in them. Worse still, his renditions of Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy and Liszt's Reminiscences of Don Giovanni are ham-fisted and noisy affairs -- the former due to insensitivity and the latter out of unabashed vulgarity. For light encores of little consequence, Lang played Schumann's Träumerei; the Competition of the Two Horses, with his father, Guo-ren Lang, performing on the voice-like erhu; and Liszt's hackneyed Liebesträume. Considering Lang's erratic performance and the recording's fluctuating volume levels, this album will be a serious disappointment for all but Lang's most devoted fans. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

This is the major-label maiden voyage for young Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who at the tender age of 20 has been barnstorming the concert circuit and gaining a lot of attention in the press. The works combined here, the "first" piano concerti of Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, respectively, are certainly "safe" repertory choices for Lang, as these are the concertos he performs most often in public concerts. Their inclusion on the same disc is designed to show "both sides" of what Lang can do. Lang is joined here by Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Lang's youth is accentuated in this package, and there is a collection of several glossy color photos of Lang in the booklet in "glamour puss" mode: seated at his piano, staring directly into the camera, getting a shoulder rub from conductor Barenboim, and other poses, some of which will strike some as frankly ridiculous. The performances are well recorded and the C.S.O. provides a solid accompaniment under Barenboim without letting anything resembling excitement creep in to disturb these rather sober and uniform performances. Lang certainly has extraordinary technical command at his disposal, but these concertos are strangely cold -- his playing in the Tchaikovsky is clangorous at the opening but overly cautious elsewhere. The Mendelssohn concerto is painstakingly precious and a little underpowered. If you have seen Lang in concert, or plan to, and want to have a souvenir exemplar of his playing, then this disc is good for either purpose. But this Deutsche Grammophon release is far from being the first choice for these works; both are so commonly recorded that suggesting a single alternative within the context of this review would be pointless. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released October 4, 2013 | Sony Classical

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Lang Lang in the magazine