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Lang Lang: Live At Carnegie Hall 2CD

Lang Lang

"This is a dazzling recital, taped live at Carnegie Hall in November 2003--complete with applause. Lang Lang's virtuosity is almost frightening: the Liszt 'Reminiscenses du Don Juan' is a showpiece when played 'normally.' Here, Lang plays it to its extremes, with soft passages amazingly soft and subtly delineated and the bigger moments heaven-thundering. And it is played so fast, and so accurately (a cascade of notes in mid-'La ci darem la mano' sounds like a waterfall), that it leaves the listener breathless--surely just what Liszt wanted. In a Haydn sonata, Lang's classical line is impeccable, but he's not afraid to shine through the music and embellish occasionally. The Schumann 'Traumerei' is suitably dreamy and hushed; Schubert's 'Wanderer' Fantasy, a real crowd-pleaser, is just that--beautifully played, familiar yet fresh sounding. And an encore, with Lang's father playing a two-string fiddle called the erhu, is a fascinating look into Eastern music. There's more (this is a 2-CD set), and it's stunning--and highly recommended for all admirers of great piano playing." --Robert Levine