Stars in short pants (8): Lang Lang, 12 years old

Stars in short pants (8): Lang Lang, 12 years old


norman lebrecht

September 12, 2020

Hasn’t changed much.


  • Thomas Dawkins says:

    It just reminds me of a review I saw. “Lang Lang probably plays more notes correctly in this Scriabin than any other pianist on record. Who cares?” If only the sentiment of his odd grimacing and gesticulation came out in the sound, I wouldn’t care what he did with his face and body!

    • Edgar Self says:

      thomas Dawkins, do you remember which Scriabine piece that reviewer was talking about? The Etude in D-sharp minor Op. 8/12 would fit, but so would many others by Scriabine.

      • Thomas Dawkins says:

        I’m quite sure that it was the set of Scriabin Etudes that accompanies his live Rachmaninoff 3 from the Proms.

  • Sharon says:

    I read his autobiography. I realize that many of these early autobiographies are just publicity documents However he had no reason to lie to say that he was pushed very very hard and his father was at times was verbally abusive

    • Anon says:

      How many Chinese kids in Lang-Lang’s cohort were pushed as hard but failed? 1000? 10000?

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Given that there are circa 20 million Chinese children learning western classical music at the moment that figure would be in the tens of millions. And that’s just music; not to mention education in general.

        The one-child policy led to the ‘little emperor’ phenomenon, which is essentially what Lang Lang has been complaining about.

    • Jacob Weinberg says:

      Wasn’t it ever so with musically precociously gifted children. Think of Leopold Mozart, dragging his son around like a performing monkey, and the control continued into adulthood.

  • Edgar Self says:

    A well-played snippet of Chopin’s “Black Keys” etude, maybe something else behind the clatter I couldn’t make out. He speaks well and with a good accent. Presumably it’s his father, also gesticulating animatedly?

  • violin accordion says:

    Yo Kitamura in short pants is much more subtle and polished .

  • Jonathan Seibler says:

    Please explain your comment “Hasn’t changed much”.

    • M2N2K says:

      Since NL has not responded, I would like to venture a wild guess: by saying “hasn’t changed much” he probably meant to opine that Lang Lang hasn’t changed much.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Moshe Menuhin is another task-master father who oversaw every aspect of his children’s training and education, with the results we know and recently discussed, apprenticeship praticed formerly and sometimes carried to excess, but often with great results and success,but at a price.

    Yehudi and Hepzibah Menuhin are a parallel to Wolfgang and Nannerl Mozart. The three brothers Jochum and Busch could be others, and not just in music. The old guilds and apprenticeships worked well, even though strict parental ontrol caused damage as well as success. But what glorious successes they sometimes wer, when it worked e!