Meet the new Lang Lang

Meet the new Lang Lang


norman lebrecht

November 07, 2018

The global brand, back from a year’s injury, now sports a hairstyle out of The Simpsons, thin sideburns and a V-neck white silk shirt with Liberace buttons.

Musically, he sounded subdued in the opening movement of Mozart K491 at DG-120 last night, warming up only in the finale. But the Chopin encore was Lang Lang at his most commanding, the full range of physical gestures allied to an extraordinary palette of light and shade. He toys with an audience like Horowitz did – easing, tempting, sometimes delivering beyond expectation.

There’s still only one Lang Lang.

Even when he’s playing Mutter’s bridegroom.


  • Gareth Jones says:

    I thought you were going to say he’d taken up the violin. If only…

  • Barnaby Ballstrangler says:

    “There’s still only one Lang Lang.”
    Still one too many for me.

  • V.Lind says:

    Goodness. Not a scathing review of Lang Lang…

  • Cyril says:

    He should complete the rebranding and marry Mutter.

  • Peter says:

    Well done for branching out from music into fashion and hairstyle criticism.

  • Jonathan Dunsby says:

    A nice program. Nothing to frighten the horses

    Ludwig van Beethoven Fidelio Overture, op. 72

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 24 in C minor, K. 491

    Lang Lang piano

    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Leonora Overture No. 3 in C major, op. 72

    Ludwig van Beethoven Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F major, op. 50

    Anne-Sophie Mutter violin

    John Williams Markings for violin, strings and harp

  • anon says:

    And Mutter got a facelift.

  • Prix D'Excellence says:

    DG-120 has a catalogue of great artists. Why choose these 2 over and above the Argerichs, Pollinis or Trifanovs of the piano world, alongside let’s say, a Gidon Kremer or Hilary Hahn. Why do serious musicians get sidelined for the Hollywood Glitz ? It cheapens the essence of great music !

    • Tamino says:

      DG never was a label for the ‘essence of great music’. Was there ever any?
      It’s business, stupid!
      And Mutter and Lang Lang are big in China.
      Forget all the Grumblers and Weisenheimers in the West. They are not the future market.

  • Richard says:

    He’s been playing the same Mozart concerto all year, probably to protect his arm. It’ll be interesting to see if he returns to his old repertoire, and reduce the number of concerts per year to achieve longevity.