The disc is a gem, the performance is riveting; a 50 minutes DVD charting Lang Lang's career from age 12 through today is a magnificent extra bonus.
The disc is a 2012 Berlin studio recording on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Chinese brilliant pianist and concerns exclusively Chopin's solo piano compositions. The outcome of the combination of a brilliant pianist performing works of a great piano composer is a glittering gem.
Lang Lang has a long association and fascination with Chopin:
For 25 of Lang Lang's 30 years, Chopin has been a special companion; one of the first pieces he played was the Chopin Grande Valse brilliante op.18 included in the disc: the pianist was then five.
One of the turning points in Lang Lang's career was when he took first prize at Germany's Ettlingen competition for Young Pianists playing Chopin music. That was in 1994 when Lang Lang was 12. The following year, 1995, was possibly the most defining in Lang Lang's young career. He took part in the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, held that year in Sendai, Japan. He was awarded first prize playing Chopin's Second Piano Concerto.
The 200th anniversary of Chopin fell in 2010 and the composer featured even more in Lang Lang's repertoire that year.
The disc comprise all 12 Etudes of the second set of Etudes Op.25 which the young pianist performs with amazing dexterity and expressive power; three hauntingly beautiful Nocturnes; in addition to the already mentioned Grand Valse brilliante, the well known and beloved 'Minute' Waltz; and the glittering Grande Polonaise Brilliante Op.22 preceded by the favorite by the artist Andante Spianato for which he comments: 'it's like a peaceful lake with gentle waves on the surface - it's one of the most beautiful melodies there is to play in the entire piano literature.'
A disc to treasure in your disc collection.