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  • Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto 3; Scriabin: Etudes (Live at the Proms)
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Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto 3; Scriabin: Etudes (Live at the Proms) Live

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Product details

  • Performer: Lang Lang
  • Orchestra: St. Petersburg Philharmonic
  • Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov, Alexander Glazunov
  • Audio CD (18 Dec. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B00006419G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,405 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Allegro Ma Non Lanto - Lang Lang/St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
2. II. Intermezzo: Adagio - Lang Lang/St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
3. III. Finale: Alia Breve - Lang Lang/St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
4. Encore: Liu Yang River
5. Etude Op. 2, No. 1 In C-sharp Minor
6. Etude Op. 8, No. 2 In F-sharp Minor
7. Etude Op. 8, No. 3 In B Minor
8. Etude Op. 8, No. 8 In A-flat Major
9. Etude Op. 8, No. 10 In D-flat Major
10. Etude Op. 8, No. 11 In B-flat Minor
11. Etude Op. 8, No. 12 In D-sharp Minor
12. Etude Op. 42, No. 4 In F-sharp Major
13. Etude Op. 42, No. 3 In F-sharp Major
14. Etude Op. 65, No. 3 In G Major

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Product Description

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Amazon.co.uk

Recorded during live concert performances, Lang Lang’s second Telarc release justifies the positive buzz surrounding this young pianist’s rapidly ascending international career. He brings plenty of finger power and long-lined drama to Rachmaninov’s ubiquitous Third Concerto, yet takes plenty of time to let the lyrical, soaring tunes spin without an inkling of self-indulgence. He admirably adjusts the piano part to accompany when he doesn’t bear the melodic burden, and gets more expressive mileage from transitions than many pianists do.

For once, the thicker, more difficult first movement cadenza doesn’t sound unwieldy and elephantine. The piano is a little too prominent in the mix next to Temirkanov’s sensitively detailed, flowing orchestral support. While Lang Lang has not fully internalised the quivering underbelly of Scriabin’s passionate keyboard writing, his poised and secure readings of 10 Etudes still boast plenty of dynamism, idiomatic nuance, and roaring, Horowitz-like octaves. Watch this pianist!--Jed Distler

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Nov. 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you like Rachmaninov (and not everyone does), then this interpretation given at a live performance is really quite breath-taking. The energy of the pianist is remarkable, and yet Lang manages the quiet bits equally well. The Scriabin Etudes are lovely - added on to fill out, perhaps, but worth it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob M on 9 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good but not inspiring but my wife loves the recurring melody. Very good for listening to on a car journey.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
An excellent result from a live recording 7 Sept. 2002
By David Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While this doesn't have the velocity of Martha Argerich's recording, or the smooth glow of Byron Janis's, I'd consider this as a credible candidate for your only copy of Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto. The power of the first movement cadenza alone is worth the price of admission, and at the end of of the third movement, you'll leap to your feet to join in the yelp of applause from the usualy staid British audience. The Scriabin Etudes aren't as familiar, but are useful for demonstrating pianistic brilliance. Lang Lang is likely to be the most important pianist of his generation.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Better Live 16 Feb. 2003
By M Louise Oster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After hearing Lang Lang perform live with the St. Louis Symphony, I must conclude that this CD does not fully do Lang Lang justice. His reading of Rachmaninoff is pleasant but somewhat unconvincing(in some spots not even resembling Rachmaninoff, I would blame the orchestra more them him for this problem). The Scriabin Etudes were interesting in that he interpreted them in some cases almost opposite the orginal score. Still the etudes sparkled with stunning technique. The Rachmaninoff also contained some stunning moments but some of the sense, character, and style was destroyed by the orchestra. In my opinion Lang Lang did outstanding while the orchestra was terrible. I would recommend any fan of Lang Lang to pick up this CD, but any fan of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic should pass this one right by.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Short Review: Updated 24 Aug. 2008
By Jim Fellows - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have enjoyed this recording since it first appeared, and it is still on my player after all these years. The Scriabin etudes are a wonderful bonus. With Lang Lang's autobiography now in print, the story of his life leading up to this recording makes this CD interesting as a historical document of a young pianist emerging on the world stage. Other reviewers sometimes tell us that there are "classic" recordings by better interpreters of this piece. Personally, I have not found the particular recordings most often mentioned to be all that "classic". The one recording of this masterpiece I would most recommend is (strangely?) almost never mentioned: Rachmaninoff's own recording from 1939 with Eugene Ormandy conducting. You can listen to it on You Tube (no video, obviously) as posted by "theoshow2".

Rachmaninoff's own performance, though surprising at first, sets a standard that is perhaps impossible to match. This is his music, and he plays it as a natural expression of his own particular technical gifts and interests. His playing radiates articulation, muscular grace, fluency and subtlety, even at tempos far faster than others' most frenzied attempts. Throughout the performance there is a sense of invention, imagination, and purpose. His Steinway is dark and magical, never imposing any limitations on his performance. In other words, there is no descent into the usual percussive banging, even in the most challenging passages. Who can say today how Rachmaninoff sounded when he played the piece as a young man? The 1939 recording certainly projects a confidence and familiarity that would have been unlikely 30 years earlier.

This is all to say that this is a piece with enormous technical and musical challenges. I still hope to hear a recording, apart from Rachmaninoff's own, that can make sense of it all and reveal the fluidity of its thought process throughout the most demanding passages. Lang Lang's youthful recording is wonderful in its lyrical moments, but like all other modern recordings I've heard, it does not speak to me with the intense beauty and convincing musicality in every passage of the composer's own performance.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Lang Lang - A stylish Virtuoso...or is he? 3 Mar. 2006
By Max Hammer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
My opinion of Lang Lang is very complicated. He is a young virtuoso with impeccable clarity and technique. I have seen him live, and he performs very clearly and with refined pianism. His playing is clean and accurate, no question about it. However, the problem lies with Lang Lang's interpretation. He isn't mature enough to interpret music correctly. Many people know this and criticize him for it, and revere Yundi Li as an alternative. Lang Lang lacks the musical experience and maturity to properly interpret certain styles, and I hope he doesn't try to interpret late Beethoven or the Liszt sonata. That said, however, his interpretations of Russian music are much more fitting. Typically Russian music is more free-spirited and flamboyant than its German counterpart. While his Rachmaninoff is decently-interpreted, his Scriabin is worth mentioning.

Lang Lang interprets Scriabin like no other. There are good and bad things to this. He is so unsure of himself musically that his Scriabin etudes are mere guesswork. Compare his recordings to the great Scriabin legends of Sofronitsky, Horowitz, and even Kissin. Case in point, his uncertainty actually leads him to play Scriabin in a very unique and interesting style. He plays it schizophrenically, which may be appropriate - Scriabin, though brilliant, was crazy (hypochondria and synaesthesia being the smallest examples). Lang Lang's "guesswork" actually works out in these etudes, because they are young, showy pieces, so the schizophrenic, unsure interpretation works out nicely for him. However I think Lang Lang would poorly interpret late Scriabin as it is very mature and atonal.

If you are looking to purchase this CD, let me give you a good summary. The Rach Concerto 3 is well done, clean and accurate, but nothing spectacular: don't expect a 1951 Horowitz recording here, just a clean and accurate recording. The Scriabin etudes are fascinating to listen to and showcase a very interesting interpretation that surpringly works (his Op. 8/3 and 65/3 are unparalleled in my opinion).

Unlike a few others, I have no problems with sound quality. The sound is crystal clear, what I would expect from a modern recording like this. Good luck in your purchasing endeavours!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Lang Lang never gets going--a dull Rachmaninov 3rd 11 April 2012
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I came to this CD after hearing Lang Lang's recording of the Rachmaninov 2nd and Paganini Rhapsody with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theater. With Gergiev, the 2nd Concerto was rather lackluster but the Paganini Rhapsody seemed to get off the ground a bit more. I never felt that Lang Lang was able to fully commit himself or give Russian soul yet he was never dull. Since the disc reviewed here came out before the more famous release with Gergiev, I wondered if Lang Lang had simply lost his former inspiration. In other words, does he deliver the passion and fire that he lacked in his later release?

I didn't need to listen to this 3rd very long before the answer became apparent. Lang Lang is even less committed, sounding tepid. As with his later Rachmaninov release, he has a great conductor on the podium, Temirkanov in this case. But everything goes wrong. Few works in the entire piano literature have the poetic quality that the opening movement contains. But Lang Lang doesn't feel the mystery and lets the music drag. Now and then something will catch the ear, but it's usually fussy phrasing, not genuine musicianship. There's no dark Russian passion either. I can't even commend his technique; I've heard many interpretations that are more confident, that dazzle the ear with sheer virtuosity. The slow movement is one of Rachmaninov's heartrending creations, full of heartrending melancholy. But here it's just a dirge that fails to move me. Even in the finale, Lang Lang doesn't produce electricity. Of course, some excitement comes across (how could it not?) but the overall feeling is unsatisfying. I've heard performances of this concerto that catch the hall on fire, so what value does Lang Lang's fussy playing hold?

The Scriabin etudes that conclude the disc find Lang Lang in a much better mood. There's substance to his playing; it's truly heartfelt and genuine. Sometimes it can still sound a bit fussed over, but I find him convincing here. The only problem is that most people will be buying the disc for the Rachmaninov, which never takes off.
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