Feb 19

Lang Lang and “the critics”

“I started to learn classical music when I was two,” he said. “When I was eight, I used to practice six hours a day. You must do it.” Lang Lang


Lang Lang

Lang Lang


This may be a bit excessive for most eight-year-old’s, but Lang Lang is really at the top of his field.  He plays almost 300 shows every year and still finds time to travel, record and somehow practice.  I would say that his many hours in early years hammering at the keyboard have set him up pretty well for a life-like this, but he still has to stay supple and keep interested.  In a recent interview with France 24, he says it’s the live shows that make him feel most alive.  He is a wonderfully accomplished player as reflected in the demand for his performing and has sold millions of albums worldwide, including this best seller at Amazon


Amazing though he is as a player, there are certain critics who are not so keen on his rise to fame, his posturing during performances – rather exuberant and very animated – and his hoard of publicity staff and large team that surround him.  Personally, I think it says more for the personalities of the critics, as it usually does, than for doing Lang Lang any real harm.

What nobody really disagrees with is his virtuosity and monumental musical talent.  I have downloaded many of his tracks from iTunes, especially some of my favourite Chopin pieces like The Revolutionay Etude, and the fabulous Polonaise in Ab, the Heroic, and compared him with my personal favourite Chopin proponent, Vladimir Ashkenazy playing them, and yes, it’s different.  It’s hard to say who I would have chosen to listen to if they had been contemporaries.  I find critics very “up themselves” when it comes to making comments about people of this calibre.  I hope they realise, most of us don’t pay a blind bit of notice to them and their attention seeking commentaries.  If I don’t like an interpretation of a piece of music, I go in search of one I like without vilifying the poor person who slaved away from a young age to be able to bring it to my attention in the first place.  Enjoy this recording I found on YouTube  where you can find many more of this exciting young player.

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