What can I say?
I hate this guy even more each day. Now hold up. Here comes the explanation:
1. He's the Britney Spears of classic. No, not the legend thing, but the fact that he's becoming more commercial each day disturbs me. Steinway & Sons: Lang Lang piano? Make sense. But, Nike shoes - logic, please? Dude, you're not a basketball player or runner. I just don't get this kind of endorsement.
2. His last album "Liszt: My Piano Hero" is a piece of lifeless, artless recording, doesn't make any difference to any "Best Of Liszt" albums sold at 4,99 Euros in any discount-CD stores.
3. His next album, "The Chopin Album" will face the same fate: high selling, low art. Why? Because Sony Classical abused him.
4. Deutsche Grammophon keeps on releasing his recycled material. I know, I know, not his fault, but still... WHY did he leave DG? A really bad business (or musical, to be precise?) decision, from my point of view.
5. THIS birthday concert is nothing but a secular spectacle. Move away, classic fans, this concert is NOT for you.
The venue of the concert, o2 World, is definitely not for classical music. I seated on the third class, got a wide view of the venue, and still good sound. But the hall, as we know, is very big. It's a venue for spectacle, not for romantic music night. And beside, big room, big audience, noises... and stuffs... just a big NO.
The program is actually quite good. After Bernsteins' Overture to "Candide", Lang Lang enters the room. Piano Concert of Tschaikowsky starts to play. It went very smooth. And his fingers, oh his fingers... For a moment, I must recognize this: he's a true performer.
On the second part of the concert, Lang brought out Herbie Hancock! Crowd wowed, I just... oh well. Crossover... NOT. Bernstein and Schubert's came in, in both pieces I can feel such smooth play, although it lacks of the 'fun' element, so much control and "holding back". Yes, of course, by the jazzy piece, you need to get a little adventurous, but somehow, it's juts not natural coming from Lang Lang.
The next part: the kids from Lang Lang's competition. An online video voting has been made to pick some kids from many countries around the world, to perform beside Lang Lang for this very special occasion. What a huge adventure for a kid... but no, I refuse to fall into this trick. Since when, this is American Idol? Since when, by seeing these talented kids on stage, we have to believe in a better future of our world (oh God, here I go again..)? Since when an interpretation of a piece on a million-dollar-concert should fall into these hands of kids? The result is clear: Brahms' Hungarian Dance and Beethoven's Fourth Movement from Symphony No. 5 looked very grand with 15 pianos on stage (Yes, all fifteen!), sounded big, loud, but lifeless. Spectacle for the eyes, horror feast for the ears. Shame on you, cruel world.
The concert closes with Gershwinn's "Rhapsody in Blue" and a few encores. End.
By the way the whole stage and lightning are just rad cool... as if I'm on a pop concert. IDGAF 'bout it.
Sorry, for being such a hater. Didn't mean to, but if Lang Lang keeps on running that money wheel that doesn't pay respect to the "roots" of the classical music (don't ask me what does that even mean), BURN. And, no, I won't buy "The Chopin Album" or support the release this October in any kind of way (even though I indirectly promote it through this post. Oh, cruel world...)
Common people rating: 11/10
("Oh, classical concert of the year... Spectacle... Lang Lang rocks... Woohoo... Herbie Hancock's the s***..." said a man next to me - total turn off)