If I could give this DVD more than 5 stars I would. The Mozart Sonatas 4 & 5 have an exquisite feather weight touch combined with a vivid imagination, whereas the Sonata #8 in A minor K310 is a bit heavy and sounds like early Beethoven. Its the Four Chopin Ballades that are truly stunning.Ive been listening to these works for over 50 years and never have I heard more feeling, poetry, subtle nuances and countless expressive insights combined with a jaw dropping technique that is always at the service of the composer.The 8 encores are also magnificent and in my opinion this DVD is musical history in the making.An absolute treasure by a living legend.
The recital is divided into two parts: The first half consists of 3 Mozart Sonatas No.5 (G major K283), No.4 (E flat major K282), and No.8 (A minor K310) with the second half being devoted to Chopin's Four Ballades.
The Mozart sometimes comes across like the work of a mid Romantic composer, with a huge range of expression, from thundering grandeur to softly sighing pianissimo. The requisite light touch is always present when called for, but Lang Lang showed himself as quite willing to indulge in rubato and free dynamic interpretation.A few of the more aggressive sforzando accents may be a bit overdone, but the wit and often simple elegance which color his playing show just what a delight Mozart can be.
The bravura passages in the Mozart Sonatas showed exhilarating flair and brilliance while the melodic lines of the andantes and adagios were graceful yet firmly profiled, with secondary voices allotted their due place.Above all, there was a measured yet flexible approach to tempo that gave individual ideas space to breathe, and placed them within their wider contexts with seemingly effortless deliberation.
The 4 Chopin Ballades showed an almost pathological avoidance of any kind of exhibitionism in regards to Lang Langs transcendental virtuosity during the lyrical sections, but when technique is called for he plays the most difficult passages with an ease that borders on the supernatural. The combination of vision, poetry and power in this music is tremendous, and I have never heard them played better.The Ballade No.1 (not to be confused with his performance at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, shown on Youtube, where there is excessive use of the sustaining pedal during the opening)has the most amazing abundance of expressive insights ranging from Pianissimo to Piannississimo during the first few pages, making the glorious central sections thunder and sweep sound even more breathtaking. As for Ballades 2, 3 & 4 these are the greatest renditions I've ever heard.
There are 8 encores: 1) Dance of the Seaweed by Wu Zuqiang & Du Mingxin; 2) Chopin Waltz in D flat (minute waltz) which Lang Lang plays as fast as Rachmaninoff and with just as many subtle nuances; 3) Chopin Nocturne in E flat major opus 55 No. 2; 4) Lecuona's y la negra bailaba; 5) Mozart's Rondo alla Turk; where Lang Lang emphasizes Mozart's wit and humour and has the audience laughing quite a bit 6) Ponce Intermezzo No. 1 in E minor an exquisite work sounding like early Rachmaninoff; 7) Schumann Davidsbundlertanze opus 6 no. 14; 8) Scriabin Etude in D# minor opus 8 no. 12 (this final encore of Scriabin's Etude in D# minor is absolutely electrifying and in my opinion has never been played better)
The DVD menu gives you the option between 5.1 surround or 2.0 PCM stereo.5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound provides 2 surround channels which cover the entire audible range from 20Hz to 20,000Hz.
- Format: Blu-ray, Classical
- Language: English
- Subtitles: Japanese, French, German, English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Sony Music Entertainment
- DVD Release Date: 17 Nov 2014
- Run Time: 123 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B00LPHUIMW