Over to Paris this week for a recital by the epic Chinese pianist Lang Lang, recorded live from Théåtre des Champs-Elysees this past November by the venerable Radio France Musique.
Considered one of the most dynamic pianists currently in the Classical Music World, Lang Lang is something of a rock star – and his dynamic over-the-top stage presence and wildly unpredictable liberties leads one to conclude “if you crossed Paderewski with Jerry Lee Lewis, you’d get Lang Lang” is probably not that far off. But audiences love him – and at a time when Classical Music is hanging on for dear life, anybody who can inject a sense of energetic urgency into their playing is doing at least a partial service to the form. Although purists and many members of the press are not fans, he does stimulate interest from many parts of the audience not usually taken to soaking up something cerebral, so there is a bigger picture to be considered here. And judging by the muffled scream from an assistant in the broadcast booth at the beginning of this concert, his appeal is pretty wide.
All that said – here is what’s being played which, by the looks of it, is a pretty well-balanced concert:
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Sonata in B minor S 178
1. Lento assai – Allegro energico – 3. Andante sostenuto – 4. Allegro energico
Enrique Granados (1867-1916)
extracts from the Goyescas op. 11:
El fandango de candil
Quejas, o La Maja y el ruiseñor
Manuel De Falla (1876-1946)
Fire ritual dance
(from the ballet L’Amour sorcier)
DavidsbÃ¼ndlertÃ¤nze op 6:
Zart und singend
3 Preludes: Prelude No. 3 in E flat minor
Announcements are in French and it comes in just a shade over 90 minutes.
Buckle up and uncork the Cabernet – here comes Wednesday.