This week, we are exploring Chinese classical music. This was a hard choice. I could have picked some pieces that a few of my students are working on this year, but opted to introduce them to someone new.
Pianist Lang Lang is a colorful character. The New York Times describes this young musician as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet”. He has performed in sold out recitals and concerts major cities throughout the world. Lang Lang is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and many of the top American orchestras.
I've heard that traditionalists don't like Lang Lang's style because he is dramatic and flashy. However, he's a fan favorite because he is dramatic and flashy.
Here is Lang Lang performing "Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake". So far, my students say they picture geese gliding across the lake, people riding their bikes around the lake and people star gazing. Imagery at its best.
(May 11 addendum) Two of my students today found Lang Lang's movements and expressions highly distracting. One even said that "he looks like he's choking on a piece of gum" when we watched this video:
Ah yes, a whole different set of imagery. This led to a conversation about how our outfits and gestures should reflect the character of the piece we are performing - amidst a great deal of giggling.
Check out some of Lang Lang's recordings by clicking on the icon:
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