Watch Yuja Wang do her Lang Lang shtick

Watch Yuja Wang do her Lang Lang shtick


norman lebrecht

February 14, 2017


  • Respect says:

    I’d like to order one, please.

  • Jaybuyer says:


  • Myrtar says:

    Does anyone find this even remotely funny? I’ve seen school plays with a more interesting concept…

  • John Borstlap says:

    It’s realy well-done, the clone really looks almost exactly like Yuja Wang and also the toucher is remarkably life-like. But the repertoire seems to be a bit restricted. If, in the near future, every piano star is being cloned, it is to be hoped that their repertoire is also cloned – we can’t have enough of all those same pieces.

    • Jaybuyer says:

      JB, am I being naive? What is a ‘toucher’?

      • John Borstlap says:

        It’s the way the pianist touches the keys, and a very personal thing given the numerous ways in which sound production operates. Sinking the hand into the keyboard gives a different sound than flatly hitting it (as Barenboim mostly does when playing forte), and the ways in which the arm, wrist and vingers form an interrelated energy propulsion, gives shades of colour to the tones produced.

        • Jaybuyer says:

          Thanks for that!

        • Will Duffay says:

          I’ve always wondered about this idea that piano sound can be affected by how the keys are struck. If you think about the mechanics involved in the transmission of force from the key through the mechanism and onto the string(s) via a felt-coated hammer, the idea that whether or not the wrist is relaxed or rigid seems absurd. I guess it’s possible that some very minimal difference might be discernible, but energy source and sound production are too far apart and separated by too much machinery for there to be a considerable difference.

          Now obviously arm/wrist/hand position will affect phrasing, and subtleties of finger placement and weight will affect chord sound etc, and that might be perceived as shades of colour and tone etc etc, but all the rest of it is piano mythology.

          • Erwin says:

            Great pianists such as Horowitz, Gieseking and Cortot are instantly recognizable when one listens to their recordings. It’s because they have their own unique tone production. To “sing” on a piano (given its characteristic of having a tone that is immediately fading after it has been produced) is quite enigmatic indeed. It’s all about creating a “magical illusion”… by means of (legato/legatissimo) touch, dynamics, but also by clever pedaling. It’s about what to do with one note in relation to the other notes.
            That said, every professional classical pianist knows that a tightness of certain muscles (for example in the upper arm or in the elbow) makes it more difficult to have the right concentration of weight in the finger tips. Stifness also has influence on the quality of tone in forte passages of chords and octaves — they become harsh.
            What you call “machinery” is actually a very sensitive, balanced action, if it’s a good piano. However, it can very easily be affected by all kind of factors. Small and apparently unimportant movements do have influence on tone production.

          • John Borstlap says:

            Erwin (here above) is absolutely right. When I studied the piano, I did not believe those toucher stories too, untill I experienced it myself. With a good piano, i.e. with a tight mechanical system, the transportation tract reacts to all nuances of tension. The energy with which the key is struck, is transported through the system and is capable of influencing and changing the colour. Older pianos are often better at responding. I remember playing at a Gaveau from 1880 with double string layers, where the tone began to ‘sing’ through the instrument, vibrations setting other vibrations in motion. Many modern instruments are too cold and too mechanical and often lack this possibility of shading.

            With the right toucher you can imitate a harpsichord sound as well as a warm, velvet romantic sound, and everything in between, all according to how the instrument is handled. It is an old tradition. For instance, Debussy’s piano playing, which was, according to the stories, magical, was characterized by low-holding hands, almost flat, which softly sank into the keyboard as if massaging the keys, and he could make the piano sound as if there were no hammers at all. Stravinksy played the keyborard with a spiky toucher, in accordance with his music. And Sally plays in the way a butcher chops his steaks and the piano reacts accordingly.

  • Sue says:

    She’s ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Could have done without those other 2 idiots!!

  • V.Lind says:

    Isn’t it schtick?

  • Respect says:

    Ok, the concept and acting are weird, but she’s adorable, and the Bang Bang imitation is deadly and accurate.

    Love it.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    Very cute. It would have been even better if she had milked the Lang Lang imitation more – that was Lang Lang dialed way too far down – and if Joo hadn’t delivered that rather crude line at the very end.

  • Erwin says:

    Is the clone only for playing the piano or also for other services?

  • DB says:

    “Does she do other stuff”…

  • David Boxwell says:

    I’ll be even more impressed if Lang Land does a full-on Yuja Wang impression–skimpy dress and all.