As Lang Lang puts it, “For me, there are few halls around the globe that have the same prestige as Carnegie Hall and the Musikverein. Of course there are other great halls, but I always feel these two have a unique place in people’s hearts. So I felt that after Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein would be the place where I should do another live recording.”
The programme features Lang Lang’s first-ever recording of Beethoven sonatas: the famous “Appassionata”, a milestone in the piano literature, is paired with the composer’s youthful C major Sonata op. 2, no. 3. Virtuosity of a different order is displayed in Albéniz’s impressionistic memories of his native Spain in Book 1 of “Iberia”. The programme closes with one of Prokofiev’s explosive War Sonatas, the revolutionary Seventh Sonata. Finally, to celebrate the Chopin bicentennial we hear three encores of this Polish genius’s most popular works: the “Aeolian Harp” Etude, the “Heroic” Polonaise in A flat major, and the sparkling Grande Valse Brillante No. 2.
This recital, one of 2010’s most eagerly-awaited classical recordings, is available in its entirety on the following multiple formats: standard, deluxe limited edition, Blu-ray, DVD, LP vinyl and Digital formats. A bonus feature on the Blu-Ray is Lang Lang’s performance of some of the album repertoire in 3D. This includes the first movement of Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata, Evocation from Albeniz’s Iberia suite, the explosive finale of Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata and Chopin’s Heroic Polonaise. This forms part of Lang Lang’s commitment to reaching new audiences through innovative technologies, a goal he also aims to realize through his global brand ambassadorship with Sony Electronics.
Lang Lang began playing the piano at the age of three and had already won the Shenyang Competition and given his first recital by the tender age of five. He shot to world-wide fame at seventeen when he triumphed in the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the “Gala of the Century”. Since then he has become one of the most sought-after musicians around the globe and was listed by TIME magazine among the “100 Most Influential People in the World”. Watched by more than five billion viewers, he played at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and performed alongside Herbie Hancock at the 50th Grammy Awards. In December 2007, Lang Lang was guest soloist at the Nobel Prize concert in Stockholm, an event attended by the Nobel Laureates and members of the royal family. He returned as soloist for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony and concert for President Barack H. Obama.
Lang Lang is an inspiration to young musicians everywhere and has made it his personal mission to broaden the appeal of classical music to the widest possible audience. He has founded the “Lang Lang International Music Foundation” with the aim of identifying and supporting exceptionally gifted piano students between the ages of six and ten, and he made a historic appearance on the finale of “Oprah’s Search for the World’s Smartest and Most Talented Kids”, duetting with three young musicians from his foundation. Ever since the pianist shot to fame, China has been in the grip of a piano-learning frenzy known as the “Lang Lang Effect”, and Steinway has recognized the pianist’s popularity with children by creating five versions of the “Lang Lang Steinway”, designed for early music education.
In recognition of his commitment to young people he was made a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 2004. He has also been appointed one of the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leaders”, and was made an official ambassador to 2010’s World Expo in Shanghai where he performed in the opening ceremony.