COMPOSERS: Deng Yuxian,Du Mingxin,etc,He Luting,Lá Wencheng
ALBUM TITLE: Lang Lang Dragon Songs
WORKS: An overview of Chinese piano works by Lü Wencheng, He Luting, Du Mingxin, Deng Yuxian etc
PERFORMER: Lang Lang (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 477 6229
Lang Lang has forged a considerable reputation over the last few years, though detractors have suggested his playing would be more appropriate to Caesar’s Palace than Carnegie Hall. This album is unlikely to change their minds, but neither will it disappoint his admirers.
Those who found his Rachmaninov overly lush and melodramatic will level similar criticisms at his performance of the Yellow River Concerto, though some of the faults are inherent in the writing. Two things stand out clearly from the arrangements and personal quirks: Lang’s technical prowess and the beauty of the folk melodies from which these 20th-century pieces were derived. The increasing use of the piano and, thus, European temperament during the last century must inevitably have skewed the character of these tunes somewhat, but their delicate essence is retained, with ancient traditions evoked by the sound of indigenous instruments on three tracks.
Like the Shanghai Quartet’s Chinasong on Delos and Jia Zhong’s recitals on Accord, Dragon Songs provides an attractive survey of the lighter end of the Western-influenced Chinese repertoire, very different from the work of the likes of Tan Dun and Quigang Chen. Barry Witherden