Music Review: Lang Lang Live in Vienna

Sunday, August 29, 2010 Posted by Dina N

I took many years of music lessons as a child. Although I did not become a concert pianist as my mom was hoping I would, it left me with a deep appreciation of classical music. I am especially fond of the beauty and expressive powers of the piano, my childhood's musical instrument of choice.

Recently, I got the opportunity to hear a CD recording of Lang Lang. He is an exceptionally talented pianist who was born in China and moved to the U.S. at the age of 15. In 2009, Time Magazine included Lang Lang in their list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Over 5 billion people viewed his performance in Beijing's opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympic Games. This album presents his live concert in Vienna, and consists of two CD - almost 2 hours of beautiful music.

The first CD includes two of my favorite Beethoven sonatas: No. 3, Op. 2, and No. 23, Op. 57 - the famous Appassionata. To hear someone perform these magnificent pieces with so much passion and perfection is a rare treat. This is Lang Lang's first-ever recording of Beethoven sonatas. The second CD presents a special tribute to Chopin's 200th anniversary with three of his works. It also features Albeniz's Iberia, Book I, and Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 83. You don't need to be an expert in classical music to enjoy this album. Even my kids danced and twirled around to the sound of Lang Lang's piano.

Lang Lang Live in Vienna would make a great gift for any aficionado of classical music. It is available in multiple formats: Deluxe limited edition, Blu-Ray, DVD, LP vinyl and digital formats. The Blu-Ray will be released in October 2010. The CD, DVD, LP vinyl and CD/DVD combo were released earlier this week.

In case you'd like to hear him live, here are some of Lang Lang's U.S. tour stops:

September 18 – Dallas, TX – Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
September 20 – Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Opera House
September 22 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Hall
September 25 – Washington D.C. – John F. Kennedy Center Concert Hall
September 29 – NYC – Carnegie Hall
December 31 – NYC – Avery Fisher Hall

Finally, I would like to share some more information about this remarkable musician. He has founded the “Lang Lang International Music Foundation” to identify and support exceptionally gifted piano students between the ages of six and ten. Ever since he became famous, China has been in the grip of a piano-learning frenzy known as the “Lang Lang Effect”. Steinway & Sons - the legendary piano makers - have recognized the pianist’s popularity with children by creating five versions of the “Lang Lang Steinway,” designed for early music education. In recognition of his commitment to young people, Lang Lang was made a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 2004.

 Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy of this CD courtesy of Sony Music. The opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. 

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