Lang Lang’s new album ‘comes strongly recommended’

Lang Lang’s new album ‘comes strongly recommended’


norman lebrecht

November 11, 2013

By the conductor.

By the pianist.

By the Editor-in-chief of Gramophone magazine.

But not by this humble listener in his Album of the Week on

lang lang rattle

NB: The scoreline on the cover is misleading. The match was goalless.


  • Gritenez says:

    I chuckled when I read “humble”.

  • Christopher Czaja Sager says:

    Lang Lang hands, heads, and mind over Yundi any day: the Berlin Phil and Sir Simon in top form: I had the pleasure of hearing the Bartok in concert in the hall.As Shura Cherkassky said” You might not like my playing…but you can’t say it is boring.” Anyone who takes the touble to learn and play the Bartok 2nd deserves much recognition.

    wonder who Yundi’s PR man is??????

    • Hank Drake says:

      Lang vs. Yundi? That’s setting the bar pretty low, isn’t it? After all, there are plenty of excellent recordings of Prokofiev 3 and a few fine of Bartok 2. Why should I, as a music lover of reasonable but hardly unlimited means, part with my hard earned money for this recording? NL’s review rightly points out that I needn’t purchase this nor feel giult for passing on it..

      • Steve says:

        Tippett’s Piano Concerto- which LL played wonderfully a few years back at the Barbican- would be a more interesting choice of repertoire and would bring this gorgeous (but uneven piece) to a wider public. As Hank Drake says, there are many excellent recordings of both pieces.

  • Phil says:

    A tense goalless game, though, obviously. Frenetic stuff.

  • David says:

    These concertos have to be some of the most difficult in the repertoire and I’ll give LL credit for actually being able to play the notes.

    But that cover shot only reinforces why LL is the world’s most tasteless classical pianist…he’s irritating before he even plays a note…

    • Andrew R. Barnard says:

      “he’s irritating before he even plays a note…”

      In other words, the critics have already made up their minds before he touches the keyboard. It’s astonishing how many people have musical prejudices that make them feel that they don’t even need to hear a release before passing judgement.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        Indeed, and these prejudices come in handy, too, when they actually hear the recording or the performance but they don’t have enough musical knowledge to process what they are hearing to arrive at an informed opinion – no problem, they can just use these prejudices again and they can still have a “strong” opinion about what they are “hearing”.

  • Darius Milord says:

    Jeez, Bang Bang has a facial expression like Bruce Lee during the final martial arts mangle in “Enter the Dragon” and Rattle’s appears to be pre-orgasm. You would have to pay me 100 euros and tie me to a chair to listen to this.

  • m2n2k says:

    Another example of prejudice (see comments above by Andrew and Michael) that has nothing to do with music. Why does anyone need to listen to facial expression is beyond me.