The less tasteful side of Lang Lang

The less tasteful side of Lang Lang


norman lebrecht

July 11, 2020

You will be left speechless by the clunky transitions.


  • Fan says:

    Not to say this is not distasteful, but Karajan has done this too.

  • Russell says:

    That was horrible

  • buxtehude says:

    NL — why not promote this instead:

    Seems like at least part of the inspiration for this new release.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Chico Marx was the inventor of the pistol fingering. Has been tried by all 20C virtuosi but in vain.

  • Fiddlist says:

    Sorry, what’s the more tasteful side?

  • christopher storey says:

    Q1. Is there a more tasteful side to Lang Lang ?

    Q2. With a candelabra would he be nearly as good as Liberace?

    • A pianist says:

      Liberace was a fine pianist actually IMO…perfectly decent musical sense there.

    • Kent Brosveen says:

      Judging by his Chopin, no there isn’t a more tasteful side but his corny overblown approach to Liszt seems to be right on. Does this say anything about Liszt?

  • Jay says:

    WoW !!!! words cannot describe this mess.To what sort of
    dumb audience do they aim this travesty.?

  • Patrick says:

    The word “shit” was created just for stuff like this.

  • Robert Roy says:

    Seems pretty harmless.

  • fliszt says:

    Who needed this? Is he becoming an entertainer?

  • Guga says:

    Lang Lang is the perfect reflection of the world we live in today.during the era of Rubinstein or Rachmaninoff he would not have been a famouse pianist.

    • Nick2 says:

      I don’t believe for most of his career his ambition has had anything to do with being a famous pianist. When he was lured over to Columbia Artists from IMG Artists it was precisely because they told him they could make him a global superstar. Superstars need constant attention. In the world of classical music, if you are not a great musician, gimmicks are essential to keep the name in the public eye. This is merely a gargoyle-esque gimmick.

  • Nijinsky says:

    !? Is this something written by another one of Bach’s long lost last relative? Is there another, not just P. D. Q?

  • Rob van der Hilst says:

    Does the sincere musiclover understand well that there is a certain need for Mr Lang Lang to start up an incomeflow in in this bewitching coronatime?
    Otherwise we cannot explain this filthy hamburgerfood for the masses, this enormous mess.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    I couldn’t make it even halfway through the thing. Really depressing stuff.

  • Gus says:

    If you prefer your Beethoven without the flashing lights and swirling camera work, try this as an antidote, a pianist playing all 32 sonatas from his home in N. Wales.

    Llyr Williams was to have played these over 8 concerts in Mexico, but now has made them available to download.

  • clarrieu says:

    I especially recommend the contrapuntal masterwork at 3’39.

  • buxtehude says:

    I like the shooting-the-keys part. Other maestros can play this game too!

  • The Chinese know how to destroy.

    • Guga says:

      He is about to release Goldberg variations.The aria is on starts really well with nice warm sound and then becomes Chopin preludeesque mess:)

    • Fan says:

      Norman Lebrecht: it’s up to you do judge this comment and its appropriateness on your blog. A simple thought experiment: will you ever publish “Jews know how to. destroy” comment?

    • Fan says:

      Mr. Ashkenazy, you claim on your business site that you have given “master classes” in China. Next time there, you shall repeat what you just said above to your students’ face.

      And this comes from a person with Jewish heritage. You may know similar remarks have been made about Jews throughout history.

  • Giving Up on LL says:

    You know, I’ve tried, and I’ve tried really hard for years to understand and appreciate this man. I fully admit I am envious of his ability to play anything with seeming effortlessness. But I need to move on to something else. Give me Martha Argerich, Daniil Tirfonov,Jan Liscieski, and my old favorites Arrau, Rubinstein, Cziffra, Schein, Cherkassky, Cliburn, Annie Fischer, etc. I tried to watch a Lincoln Center broadcast of him years ago playing Chopin 1 and had to stop when he started looking directly into the camera and making faces, etc. I gave him a fair chance.

  • Micaelo Cassetti says:

    Naff. End of.

  • Karl says:

    It’s better than “Hooked on Classics’. I know that’s not saying much.

  • J.Bond says:

    It’s nice people spend their time playing classical music instead hanging around in the streets and doing stupid things.

  • Elvira says:

    Just a question ,why somebody will get so low?
    Beside the tasteless arrangement the “interpretation “ was substandard.

  • Surprised says:

    I did not know that Lang Lang had a tasteful side…

  • Karmau Shiu says:

    He is an entertainer. A Chinese Liberace .

  • Neil Yates says:

    Obviously this medley is meant to be a species of musical humour, at times cacophonous and weird! It’s clear Lang Lang does not always take his art seriously; whether this is good, bad or acceptable depends on you.

  • Jo Hammond says:

    It’s probably his way of getting pop music lovers to buy his cds.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Lang Lang fulfills a musical need; people like their ‘classical music’ if it comes neatly packaged and ‘accessible’. That seems to give them a boost and a sense that their tastes are more refined. OR it could be a response to the dearth of more meaningful music out there in the market-place. I suspect some combination of the two. In any case, Lang Lang still needs to adhere to the ‘do no harm’ principle of the medical profession!!

    And back in the day, Beethoven fell out of fashion in Vienna – to be replaced by Rossini operas!!! ‘Nuff said.

  • Jack Liebeck says:

    Is there any way I can un-hear that?

  • Frank says:

    Lang Lang needs a bigger watch.

  • dad says:

    this recording was pee pee poo poo someone get mad at it with me wahhh >:(

  • Edgar Self says:

    Last Night of the Bongs. or two Wongs don’t make a Wight? The Panda is not the first pianist to be deated by the baffling simplicity of “Fuer Elise” — Ivo Pogorelic(h) played it twice in one San Francisco Favies Hall recital, each worse than the other or vice-versa, or the reverse of the opposite, visibly startled when we laughed the second time as encore, prthspd fiddsyidgirf eiyh hid gitdy ho, sd hr hsf rbrty tihy yo nr.

    “Land of Hope and Glory” is stirring as Rachmaninoff’s Baptist revival “Star Spangled Banner” with walking bass octaves and exotic harmonies.

    Remember the Boston Symphony’s Karl Muck, imprisoned during the Great War for refusing to play it? “I didn’t exactly refuse,” he explained in his defense, “but it’s just such terrible music.” He should have tried to sing it, with awkward words and wrong sillobbles on inconvenient notes. After release he took the first ship home to Germany, eventually recording Wagner in Bayreuth in 1927 and a noble “Parsifal” third act in Berlin in 1930 with Gotthelf Pistor, Ludwig Hoffmann, and Cornelis Bronsgeest, consenting to die only in 1940. there’s lso an acoustic Tchaikovsky fourth finale at least with the BSO I think.

  • Edgar Self says:

    It sounds like something you might hear at a convention of duo-pianis.

  • fliszt says:

    I guess the wedding bill from Versailles came in far higher than expected, so he needed to raise some quick money to pay for it. Otherwise, this video is trash – it’s cheezy entertainment