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Culture Forum

  1. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    01 Jan '12 09:30
    What do we think? Is he just virtuoso with no soul? Or is he the greatest living pianist?
  2. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    02 Jan '12 00:01
    http://www.langlang.net/

    {sorry, couldn't resist}
  3. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    02 Jan '12 07:10
    Originally posted by Kewpie
    http://www.langlang.net/

    {sorry, couldn't resist}
    πŸ˜€
  4. 04 Jan '12 12:48
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    What do we think? Is he just virtuoso with no soul? Or is he the greatest living pianist?
    Somewhere in between. A good pianist, certainly, but not worth quite as much hype as he's received.
    A few years ago there was this "marvelous" Chinese violinist. Now she was just a virtuoso with no soul. Lang Lang may yet survive beyond her nine days.

    Richard
  5. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    04 Jan '12 18:31
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    Somewhere in between. A good pianist, certainly, but not worth quite as much hype as he's received.
    A few years ago there was this "marvelous" Chinese violinist. Now she was just a virtuoso with no soul. Lang Lang may yet survive beyond her nine days.

    Richard
    I'm torn. A a pianist myself I am in awe of his incredible technique: superb touch, wonderful dynamics, incredible communicator with audience, BUT his piano hero is Liszt. No surprise there, i suppose. My personal tastes lean more towards the 3 great B's: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. You say, he could burn himself out. I'm torn!
  6. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    05 Jan '12 19:55
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    I'm torn. A a pianist myself I am in awe of his incredible technique: superb touch, wonderful dynamics, incredible communicator with audience, BUT his piano hero is Liszt. No surprise there, i suppose. My personal tastes lean more towards the 3 great B's: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. You say, he could burn himself out. I'm torn!
    I was first introduced to Lang Lang in China, and saw him rise to fame via stints and stages with the likes of Andrea Bocelli etc, where he daunted audiences. His technique is awesome, no doubts there; but I have also seen Chinese so called prodigies currently aged 12 and 13 who can completely replicate Lang Lang. The Chinese are the best copiers in the world...... but one can't copy 'emotion'. I feel no emotion, never, when I see or hear Lang Lang play - he's like a robot coming off the end of a Chinese copy line, yet the quality management of that line was missing. πŸ™
    Yep he's incredible... and nothing wrong with having Liszt as a hero - many do - most do to some degree, as he wrote things nobody could play purely because of his span. Liszt also wrote such pieces as Consolation No 3, all in flats..... and is quite beautiful..... but I never heard Lang Lang play it.
    He won't burn out, as there is no emotion to burn.
    I do hope during his further development Lang Lang leanrs about Western emotion during his travels and does, indeed, take on maturity where he understands the severe impact of a single finger at a precise time. That would be class!!
    Until then...... he's marketability in my opinion....... sorry to say Pianoman1..... but actually.... I'm not! πŸ˜‰

    -m.
  7. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    06 Jan '12 08:42
    Originally posted by mikelom
    I was first introduced to Lang Lang in China, and saw him rise to fame via stints and stages with the likes of Andrea Bocelli etc, where he daunted audiences. His technique is awesome, no doubts there; but I have also seen Chinese so called prodigies currently aged 12 and 13 who can completely replicate Lang Lang. The Chinese are the best copiers in the worl ...[text shortened]... ity in my opinion....... sorry to say Pianoman1..... but actually.... I'm not! πŸ˜‰

    -m.
    Thanks for that thoughtful response. I agree with almost everything you say, about Lang Lang, the Chinese and the market. He's such a great performer who wears his heart on his sleeve, that when you go to one of his concerts you are hypnotized by the incredible technique, the extravagant manner of playing, the bravado. Liszt is perfect for him; I suspect he would fall short in playing, say, the "Hammierklavier" sonata of Beethoven or the"Goldberg Variations" of Bach because they demand such an intense understanding and empathy with the soul of the music. Still, I enjoy his playing of Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody" in C sharp minor - God, I'm so jealous of that skill!!!!
    Do you perform?
  8. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    06 Jan '12 09:29
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    Do you perform?
    http://radiorhp.blogspot.com/2011/12/phlabibit-01.html

    Not seriously here, but have been known to in the past! πŸ˜‰

    -m.
  9. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    07 Jan '12 07:39
    Originally posted by mikelom
    http://radiorhp.blogspot.com/2011/12/phlabibit-01.html

    Not seriously here, but have been known to in the past! πŸ˜‰

    -m.
    I guess Lang Lang is more like an entertainer, a circus performer, whereas Evgeny Kissin is the real deal.
  10. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    07 Jan '12 17:44
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    I guess Lang Lang is more like an entertainer, a circus performer, whereas Evgeny Kissin is the real deal.
    There is no way I could possibly go that low of a comment, regarding circus performer.

    he has talent; tactical, entreprenurial, robust self-styled, incredibly structured talent. What, and how, he plays didn't come from nowhere else but pure hard study of his instrument and what it can give him back.

    Unfortunately, and I re-emphasise, his ability in real emotion, and that isn't circus entertainment because that is for children, hasn't been captured in his 'so called normal youth' of growing in a 'normal' school, or even a 'normal musical school' with peers, opposite sexes, young gfs etc. He was moved aside to the best of individual technical tuition...... alas he didn't develop a ' in my own words, a normal youngsters heart of experience' . Even a little of that may have permitted him to show some break-away from what is written in stanzas and not just to purely follow the book and the pure timing - like a rolex. It isn't human playing - it's I-robot.

    I do like him, and I like what he stands for.... purely for influencing many to take up the piano in China alone..... in the hope that some hurt, refugeed, experienced child gets the opportunity to break-away from book and go into set pieces purely in their own way, and awaken the world to the potentials of what the original Maestros were probably hoping for in the future. πŸ˜‰

    -m.
  11. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    ZellulΓ€rer Automat
    10 Jan '12 19:50
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    I guess Lang Lang is more like an entertainer, a circus performer, whereas Evgeny Kissin is the real deal.
    He is the modern Liberace.
  12. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    13 Jan '12 01:07 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by Pianoman1
    I guess Lang Lang is more like an entertainer, a circus performer, whereas Evgeny Kissin is the real deal.
    Has anyone seen this little clip:

    YouTube

    Or this: It really proves the entertainer part!

    YouTube

    I think that is an Ipad.

    Or this:

    I don't see how you can say he has no soul or he is some kind of pianistic robot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=GrM0gAXXMs4

    Or this, Beethovan:

    YouTube&feature=related

    I don't think Liberace ever played that!

    Do you think Beethoven would have bitched about that performance, when he still had his hearing anyway?
  13. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    13 Jan '12 12:17
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Has anyone seen this little clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b85hn8rJvgw

    Or this: It really proves the entertainer part!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvplGbCBaLA

    I think that is an Ipad.

    Or this:

    I don't see how you can say he has no soul or he is some kind of pianistic robot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v= ...[text shortened]... ink Beethoven would have bitched about that performance, when he still had his hearing anyway?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=GrM0gAXXMs4

    Sorry mate, but I can't be doing with it. There is no emotion, but pure technique! He's rolling, fast... cool.

    But there is no difference as he rolls from bass, to tenor, to alto, and soprano ranges. He hits every key with the same pressure! He's demonstrating technique only. It doesn't move me at all.

    The piano has all the ranges of a choir, and as such should be treated with the ability to do so. Lang Lang here plays the bass solid, but he doesn't accentuate the alto to soprano, and fingers away with the same platitude.

    He 'should' be increasing, not allegrissimo as he does, with crescendo or accrescendo as he moves up and down the octaves, but he doesn't. In a choir the altos, sopranos stick volume out in their respective roles, so they are for one, heard above the baritones and basses, and for two, the music is written that way so they come in and out powerfully up and down the tempo.

    He is playing technique only, and ignores the original script. I think this is because he doesn't actually feel the music as it should be heard and played. He doesn't, still yet, understand the true western philosophy of part and role play in certain octaves, but he redeems the notes in time perfectly, with vituosity.

    It doesn't move the emotions, because there is not that musical expression as I noted above.

    Knowing when to be loud and quiet is a rather fundamental part of being a top musician. Lang Lang likes to be fast and continually even all the time. Either he likes it, or he doesn't know the difference. I suspect the latter in this piece!

    If you disagree, please explain why. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

    -m.
  14. 13 Jan '12 16:13
    I don't doubt you are all right.

    But it does recall to mind my experience of when we were selecting a new conductor for my orchestra. The two final candidates were a 19 year old, with no track record, and a 40 year old with a CV as long as your arm. Each were invited to conduct one evening of rehearsal.

    There was no doubt in my mind that the 19 year old brought the very best out of the orchestra. Many said so, including the selecting committee. But, by the time the committee reached its final conclusion, phrases like "exciting but immature", "does he have the experience?", "how would he deal with Mozart?" came to the fore (somewhat unfair, as he was forced to conduct Tchaikovsky).

    The point I am making is that, because he was young, the group attributed to him the traits they would have expected. But I do not believe for a second that any of these had manifested themselves in his conducting. This does not make the final choice wrong, but it does rather beg the question "why audition"?

    Similarly, if you do blind auditions, you will end up choosing very different players to those if you do normal auditions.

    OK - I have just watched the Youtube clips, and I can't help but say I agree. But I do still wonder whether I would have felt the same if I had heard them blind. Am I just hearing what others feel and what I would expect?

    Similarly, if Barenboim played a piece in exactly the same way as Lang Lang, would we not be more generous in our interpretation of this?

    This is why I love turning on the radio and hearing a piece half-way through. I can judge it without any pre-formed prejudices and I have lost count as to how many times I have said "This is great" to discover it is one of my supposed least favourite soloists and vice versa.

    But Anne Sophie-Mutter still sucks πŸ˜‰
  15. Subscriber Pianoman1
    Nil desperandum
    13 Jan '12 18:50
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    I don't doubt you are all right.

    But it does recall to mind my experience of when we were selecting a new conductor for my orchestra. The two final candidates were a 19 year old, with no track record, and a 40 year old with a CV as long as your arm. Each were invited to conduct one evening of rehearsal.

    There was no doubt in my mind that the 19 ...[text shortened]... ed least favourite soloists and vice versa.

    But Anne Sophie-Mutter still sucks πŸ˜‰
    I saw the iPad thing when he played "Flight of the Bumblebee". It was a staggering, jaw-dropping exhibition of incredible technique. Let's face it, that particular piece is not deeply emotional, so it suited Lang Lang perfectly. He does tend to go for the composers who are all sparkle and no balls!

    I think a comparison with Liberace, however, is deeply insulting! Lang Lang does have some taste!

    It remains to be seen whether Lang Lang can mature into a thoughtful and insightful interpreter of the great classics of piano writing - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. I'm going to sit on the fence a bit longer before committing myself.