After the break…. Lang Lang faces an empty hall

After the break…. Lang Lang faces an empty hall


norman lebrecht

July 12, 2015

At Carcassone on Thursday, the Chinese pianist had to leave the stage for a call of nature. He returned to find the arena empty, most of the audience thinking he was done.

He made light of the incident in an interview afterwards.

lang lang carcassonne


  • V.Lind says:

    How well-behaved they must be in Carcassone. I can think of several cities in which, if the audience felt short-changed, he would have returned to slow clapping and a sarcastic sort of tittering applause as he resumed. If they were not already at the box office demanding their money refunded for a too-short concert.

    Needs to learn how to hold up his hand and say “five minutes” in the language of his hosts. Or use the stage manager to keep the audience in place…

  • Phillip says:

    I think I too would ‘make light of it’ if it hurt my pocket as little as it hurt his. Won’t do his publicity machine any harm either.

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    They had enough, period.

    • John says:

      My advice to you: don’t start with that (even though I agree entirely) “we” have a number of die-hard Lang Lang fans reading Mr. Lebrecht’s blog and the risk is to start a “fight” with them that goes on forever… You can’t convince someone he is on a donkey if he thinks he has bought a horse…

  • Tbp says:

    Clearly, from the video, the hall/arena/venue was not empty when he returned.

    More exaggeration from this site in its headlines.

    • Robin D Bermanseder says:

      Perhaps here Empty Hall is a metaphor for the broken moment.
      A space and time emptied of sound and form, the tension lost.
      All left sharing a feeling of empty relief. Comfortable, but vacant.

    • John says:

      The French media talked about an arena 2/3 empty.
      Contrary to what I have read elsewhere, Mr. Lang Lang did not inform the public NOR the production that he had to leave in the middle of his recital because he was suffering from indigestion or something of that nature. Being French, and having attended quite a few recitals, Mr. Lang Lang was not gone for five nor even ten minutes as far as my experience goes French don’t mind applauding for 5, 10 minutes when it s worth it… Another example: I myself was among a crowd expecting the return of an artist for close to twenty minutes before he reappeared for a last salute to the public… that was in San Francisco and we expected Itzhak Perlman who has a bit more challenges to face when having to return to the stage… Finally a newspaper signals that Mr. Lang Lang had already started playing encore pieces after playing what was supposed to be part one of his show.
      But thank God for those who had the patience to wait for his return from the loo he signed autographs, made selfies and MOST importantly threw his t-shirt to the public. That’s the sign of a true artist.