World-renowned pianist Lang Lang continues his celebration of composer Franz Liszt’s 200th Birthday with Liszt Now. The new video features Live at The Roundhouse, a 60-minute live concert from the 2011 iTunes Festival in London and The Art of Being a Virtuoso, a 71-minute documentary following Lang Lang’s global celebrations of Franz Liszt’s anniversary. Also included is A Visual Journey with Franz Liszt, 55 minutes of bonus content featuring video projections used at the Roundhouse concert set to select studio recordings from Lang Lang’s latest album, Liszt: My Piano Hero.
Filmed live in Vienna's legendary Musikverein concert hall, this release represents Lang Lang's second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling "Live at Carnegie Hall" in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist.
It is extremely hard for any new recording to compete with the stunning 1967 Berlin account that Argerich made with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Abbado… Lang Lang certainly equals the boldness, power and communicative quality of Argerich’s account. Under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle the Berliner Philharmoniker is highly persuasive and sympathetic. Not for the first time the woodwind excel - marvellous. - Michael Cookson; www.musicweb-international.com
…The Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which Lang Lang first encountered in the music of a Tom & Jerry cartoon, lets loose some high spirits that speak of youthful enthusiasm revisited. Deutsche Grammophon's engineers have done their utmost to make the label's new property sound good, and they pick up the overtones that roll around inside the piano as Lang Lang's pedal does its magical work.
For this all-Mozart twofer from Sony, piano virtuoso Lang Lang, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and the Vienna Philharmonic present a program of piano concertos, piano sonatas, and several short solo pieces that give a good sampling of the composer's keyboard output. The roster may provoke some cognitive dissonance, though, because Harnoncourt is best known for historically informed period interpretations of Mozart, while Lang Lang and the Vienna Philharmonic are more associated with a conventional, mainstream performance style. One might expect some compromise between the two camps, yet while the orchestra incorporates some aspects of Classical sound into its playing, it remains a modern orchestra of full size, and Harnoncourt doesn't ask for the tone colors and techniques he would demand of his own Concentus Musicus Wien. For the soloist's part, Lang Lang is rather restrained and sensitive to the character of the music, and apart from some showiness in his cadenzas, he shows less of the ebullience and bravura playing he otherwise shows in Liszt or Rachmaninov.
"…Wang's impeccable technique and tonal beauty certainly aid in pouring this old wine into a new bottle . . . the spins and gyrations become quite beguiling, while Abbado injects his own potent impetus into the mix. A disarming lovely set of Rachmaninov works, beautifully played and gorgeously recorded courtesy of engineer Stephan Flock." ~Audiophile Audition