So low? Lang Lang goes to Disneyland

So low? Lang Lang goes to Disneyland


norman lebrecht

June 24, 2022

At 2pm UK time today (3pm Berlin, 9am New York) Universal will release a video of Lang Lang playing a Mary Poppins song at Disneyland, California.

Stricly for the birds.


  • Ya what says:

    What next? Lang Lang Plays Einaudi? Lang Lang Plays Richard Clayderman?

    Lang Lang Plays F*ck You – You’d Buy It.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Yes, I told you before that Lang Lang’s next “challenge” is called “crossover”.

    Coming next: duets with Kanye West or Snoop Dogg or something so…

  • tet says:

    Disney pays a lot better than Salzburg. Disney can get you a movie deal, a TV series deal, product tie-ins. Lang Lang can dress up as Aladdin and play in every Disneyland in the world and cry all the way to the bank.

    Lang Lang has conquered the classical repertoire, there is nothing left for him to play. Of course he’s crossing over. He can play piano accompaniment to Beyoncé and cry all the way to the bank.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Just longing to see an Aladdin-dressed Lang Lang accompanying Beyoncé in “I Loves You, Porgy” (and singing Porgy’s part too, everything goes nowadays).

    • Trajinsky says:

      The classical firmament, with its dead wood approach to interpretation, snobbery and holier than thou attitudes has brought on the desperation of the various LangLangs of our time. Classical music should humble itself and return to a calling to be an instrument for inner exploration of the Self. It’s joy. It’s simple pleasures. Its ability to release a state of enduring wonder and childlike play.

      • Phillip Sear says:

        I couldn’t agree more. If Liszt were alive today, I’m sure he would be making arrangements of songs like this, and I really enjoyed the artistry of this arrangement and performance.

        • V.Lind says:

          I share your sentiment, but not your appreciation — I think this is a dire arrangement. It’s my favourite song, by a mile, from Mary Poppins, and is a sweet memory from the movie, which I have not seen since I was a schoolgirl. But its power was in its simplicity — this is overblown and over-arranged, though the initial chording is nice enough. Not helped by Lang Lang’s permanently mannered way of playing everything — he has performing habits that should have been dinned out of him as a student.

    • May says:

      Disneyland also charges more than Salzburg.

      I took the family to Disneyland and had to take out a second mortgage on the house.

      I saw Mickey laughing all the way to the bank.

    • IP says:

      Crossing over from where, actually?

  • Stan says:

    Tom and Jerry were better!

    Sorry Disneyland. 🙂

  • Ionut says:

    Yes. Shame on him getting paid. He should play just for arrogant, snobbish elitists, who can truly appreciate music. Not children. He sank as low as Stravinsky who signed a contract with Disney to use his music in Fantasia. Poor professional musicians. They have to do music to get paid. Shame on them!

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Stravinsky took the money because Disney had the lawful alternative to use his music without paying for.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      Fantasia introduced audiences (children and adults) to actual musical masterpieces; the present LL video introduces people to musical drivel.

  • J Barcelo says:

    Egads that’s an awful arrangement. I wonder who DG thinks is going to buy this? If this is a representative sample, it’s clearly not for kids. Most adults don’t buy cds much less Disney stuff. Good luck. Maybe should have done a John WIlliams disk!

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      I gess the CD will sell millions in China.

      • Shiny M. says:

        not now! Lang Lang has angered parents of piano kids across China, because of his involvement in a scandal involving financial fraud against piano learners.

      • Lee Tang says:

        We Chinese don’t buy Langlang’s CD either, even with low price 3USD/PCS.

      • TinkerBell says:

        No, not at all. First of all, we, the Chinese, also think that’s so low. And the financial fraud against piano learners which Lang is involved in have offended most of his audience in China, such as the parents of piano kids.

    • MMcGrath says:

      Careful. You speak for and project from your part of the world. CDs sell like hotcakes in many geographies. As does Disney.

  • Colin says:

    Next he will be playing the piano in the lobby lounge of a hotel.

  • Gustavo says:

    He can play anything he wants. I wish I were Lang Lang.

  • Mystic Chord says:

    Congratulations LL! This turgidly soporific ‘interpretation’ has stripped the music of all of its original charm and character. I can’t imagine many kids let alone adults will find this remotely appealing. It sounds like it was recorded on a Fisher Price piano in a playroom, not a Steinway in a studio

  • Brandon says:

    To all the haters on this site, Lang Lang is touring with Barenboim and Jarvi later this year, what have you got.

  • John R. says:

    Why the controversy? This is exactly what he should be playing…..definitely not Bach or Mozart.

  • IP says:

    So Low? You cannot possibly mean the chain of shops that sell the cheapest Chinese rubbish in the world?

  • Paul Sekhri says:

    Simply put: is there any reason he can’t do (and play) what he wants? And he will sell (or not), more (or less) CDs depending on who buys them. What’s wrong with that?

  • Joel Kemelhor says:

    Yes, this arrangement and performance are risible. However, in the film the original song — in the voice of Julie Andrews — is an expression of kindness and charity.

  • sam says:

    How can you f**k up Mary Poppins?

    I swear, I clicked on that video with the most open mind possible.

    Ay yai yai, Lang Lang really does not have a single musical bone in his body.

  • Ed says:

    Walt Disney´s favorite song.

  • Dan says:

    03:22 reminds me why I so rarely watch LL videos…

  • Robert Kenchington says:

    Once again, the all-encompassing, peer-pressure driven, dumbed-down social, political and corporatized influence of Hollywood strikes again.
    With stupid speech mannerisms like ‘buddy’, ‘you guys’, ‘not a problem’ and ‘have a nice day’ – all peppered with the amplified, relentless return of the upward inflection – laying in wait for us in pubs, cafes, shops and offices every time we venture outdoors, it has been nice to come home, shut the door, lock the door and put on some wonderful music made by educated, intelligent, cultivated people with more than a grain of sense and at least an aspiration of Humanity.
    Not any more.
    This time it’s the turn of one of the great bastions of high European culture – the once esteemed, highly-respected classical record label, Deutsche Grammophon. The label of Herbert von Karajan, the label whose iconic yellow cartouche was – from the Baroque to Boulez – a reassuring hallmark and legendary guarantor of outstanding musical, technical and aesthetic Quality, to crumble under the junking juggernaut of Hollywoodization.
    Look at it now. Look at it. It’s a kid’s label. As I mentioned in a previous posting on the subject of DG some months ago, long-term prestige is being sacrificed – at the beck and call of an accountant-driven management – on the alter of sort-term profiteering and cheap sensationalism. This latest in a depressingly lengthening line of juvenile gimmicks, is a cynical attempt to sell CDs to the Chinese market. I think you’ll find, DG, that the people of China would sooner listen to the Classical repertoire as we would in the West. I mean, when Karajan conducted in China for example, he performed Beethoven. Ditto in Japan ( He didn’t conduct ‘The Mikado’ for example!) He opened up new markets in the East with the repertoire that lay at the core of what was DG’s artistic and cultural philosophy.
    Now, with a deadly commercial cocktail of idiotic attempts to be ‘cool’, a worrying insistence on producing downloads instead of actual, collectable product – which is often blighted by editing mistakes/missing discs/printing errors anyway- and a growing reliance on dreadful, misfiring ‘cross over’ titles, I think the Yellow Label can now be classified as actually dead.
    If a Disney album from Lang Lang is the best you can do, Deutsche Grammophon, then you might as well pack up your tools, pack your bags and go home. I for one, have had quite enough of you.

  • MMcGrath says:

    How hilarious. Love the body language. If he plays the march of the tin soldiers in some future DVD, will he jump up and salute and would that be wrong?

    I can’t get over how some Asian players of the piano bring an energy, joy, and seemingly naive enthusiasm along with occasional hollywoodesque antics and risque costumes to their playing and performances (shades of Danny Kaye and Leonard Bernstein). Whereas westerners often tend to be so very reserved and holy-grail-like serious about it all (Andras Schiff’s recent fits about toilet breaks and his condescending remarks about audiences come to mind).

    I wonder which is best for music, the “classics” and filling those slightly empty halls?

    • Elmar M. says:

      Not all Asian performers are like this, except for Lang Lang with weird body language and Yuja Wang with weird costumes, there is also other master pianist who really takes classical music seriously and respect the original composer : Yundi Li, winner of the 14th Chopin Prize.

  • Pierre says:

    Plays extremely well though!!! Nothing “low” about this!!!
    Listen to Pletnev’s playing “Tbiliso” — an encore in Tsinandali, Georgia!!!!

  • Warren Cohen says:

    I always say Lang Lang could be Horowitz but he wants to be Liberace. Unfortunately he’s not good at being Liberace. What he misses is that Liberace was self parody, and he was in on the joke. Lang Lang has no sense of irony in his manner or his playing. He just looks and sounds ridiculous playing music he has no feeling for.

  • ano says:

    since he got married he really finds the parents as a good target market… all about money money money

  • Y. Z says:

    A few days ago, he was performing for Disney, and when he returned to China, he went to endorse the milk powder dealer. During the period, the piano online education software he endorsed was exposed to negative news.
    Sure enough, there was only money left in his mind, and his music, as always, had no nutritional value!
    And his comments on Chinese social accounts are all debt collectors demanding refunds, and what is even more irritating is that he does not take any responsibility for his endorsement.
    Many parents trusted him because of his international reputation as a pianist. He dragged down the pianist’s reputation! He should apologize to these parents for his irresponsible advertising as a pianist! That’s right! He is getting lower and lower now!

  • Y.Z says:

    Sorry, I’m a little bit angry because of being cheated on by him. I can’t bear to listen to his classical music or his pop music anymore after I was fooled by his ads.

  • CGDA says:

    This sounds more like “Feed the shareholders”!

    Total rubbish by a company that currently produces lots of junk.

    Lang Lang is worse than Liberace. He has great piano skills, but absolutely no finesse.

    Karajan and Bernstein must be turning in their grave!