Seen Jonas Kaufmann’s new accompanist? He’s called Lang Lang…

Seen Jonas Kaufmann’s new accompanist? He’s called Lang Lang…


norman lebrecht

November 16, 2014

Sony’s two mega-stars paired off at the Bambi awards last week.

Lang Lang played some truly ugly notes and Jonas was some way off full vocal health. But millions of Germans loved it, and now so can you.
lang lang jonas kaufmann


  • Anonymus says:

    What an ugly honky-tonky piano sound. Did the lighting guy also do the sound mixing? Steinway should sue the Bambis for this travesty.
    And then comes Jonas, he sounds like he has a cold. And also the wrong mic. Guys, don’t do this shit, please, only work with professionals. 😉

    • sdReader says:


      • Anonymus says:

        Maybe, but then be reasonable and hire at least a €€ production team as well, other wise your €€€ spent on the artist might be completely wasted.
        Who requested that the lid of the piano comes off and who didn’t resist this silly request?

  • PJ says:

    We now have official confirmation that Lang Lang has no clue about Mozart. Or turkish marches in general.

  • Chris says:

    Uh oh, Kaufmann sounds like he has gargled with nails. Is he sick or are the sound engineers amateurs, that’s the question here.

  • Fred says:

    how we hear things differently :
    1. LL is a really fine accompanist : downright perfect (i am not speaking of the piano sound)
    2. JK, way off full vocal health? C’mon this is an insult. He sound sfine to me, no cracks, nice piçano/mezza voce, he nails the top note? I’m the first to criticize vocal weakness but he does sound fine to me…………

  • Gimmeabreak says:

    There is no better example of Lang-Lang’s musical ineptitude and arrogance than this travesty of a performance. And what’s all that arm-flailing supposed to be? Is he swatting flies?

  • CeN'estPasPossible! says:

    Lang-Lang has had umpteen lessons with Barenboim & Eschenbach, yet he plays Mozart with the musicianship of a provincial student. So, either they’re lousy teachers, or Lang-Lang is simply hopeless.

  • OperaloverE says:

    Lang Lang was a bit off – certainly – and I agree that the sound engineer made what should be an excellent the Piano sound tinny and the mic was wrong and dull for Kaufmann…

  • Kentley says:

    I opt for the latter.

  • Alexander Brown says:

    Not much wrong with Kaufmann – he has his own colour of voice, not as is fashionable nowadays a pale imitation of Domingo or Pavarotti!!! Vocal technique was absolutely fine (and I speak as a tenor) as was his interpretation. BUT LL – whatever your talents playing the music of other composers, Mozart certainly isn’t one of them!

  • Milka says:

    It is what it is, in recital Lang Lang
    does not sound like this ,nor does
    Kaufmann …it is all about sound engineers.. has nothing to do with is a “sound ” event and to
    judge it on musical terms is a waste of time .You have to go back to the 40s or 50s to hear any recording as
    being close to the “true ” …even then
    it was quite a stretch from live sound.
    For most being brought up on recordings it can be quite a shock
    when hearing a live performance
    minus mike .It’s the age of engineers.
    There is that wonderful story of Rodzinski recording a piano concerto
    with a soloist who flubs a lot ,at each flub the engineers say we”can fix it ”
    and so they do .When conductor and soloist hear play back the work is
    perfect and pianist is happy as all hell
    An exasperated Rodzinski agrees
    with the pianist it is “great ” but adds
    wry comment “don’t you wish you could play like that ?It’s our age ……

  • YJTSUI says:

    Oy that Turkish March:( I’m sure they’ve all experimented like this in the privacy of their homes, but only Lang Lang would actually present it in public as a valid artistic choice of his. I can’t understand his popularity. With the public? Perhaps. But with all these conductors??

  • Anne says:

    Beautiful music, performed by wonderful musicians! Bravo!!!

  • Marshall says:

    If I had just heard the Mozart, I would have assumed it was an old recording of Liberace-same level of taste and distortion

    Kaufmann-who looks like he needs some of Pav’s black shoe polish beard color, sounded like Kaufmann, if you like his tenor voice

  • M2N2K says:

    Neither of them is at his best here and LL’s playing is misrepresented by terrible sound (his tone in live performances is actually very beautiful) while mic is diminishing the impact of JK’s unique voice, but taken into consideration all these disadvantages they still impress as more interesting artists than many contemporary pianists and most contemporary dramatic tenors, respectively.