Lang Lang

Piano Book

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"With Piano Book I'm going back to my first love, to the pieces that made me want to become a musician in the first place," says Lang Lang. Is it true, or is it a marketing concept from the folks at Deutsche Grammophon? Probably the latter, inasmuch as several pieces on the album (Yann Tiersen's La valse d'Amélie and especially Max Richter's The Departure, composed for a television soundtrack in the mid-2010s) were composed too late to have performed such a function. As if to acknowledge this, the album graphics also describe the program simply as a collection of piano favorites. This noted, what you get here would make an ideal gift for young pianists, who will have encountered many of these pieces in their own piano books. And if Richter and Tiersen are added to those as a result of Lang's sales here, so much the better. Lang certainly gives aspiring players an enviable smoothness and effortless charm to aspire to. There are several notable aspects, beginning with marketing: you can get the album in various versions, including an expanded one that includes actual musical scores (play along with Lang!). This is all to the good. Lang includes a couple of works from the Asian sphere and a little slice of an older time, Tekla Badarzewska-Baranowska's The Maiden's Prayer, Op. 4. Her grave features the sheet music, and via Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys it's still a country standard, so it's nice to see a pianist of Lang's stature revive it. On balance, while this is far from an essential Lang Lang item, it's going to show up in the holiday stockings of a lot of young pianists.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
BWV 846
1 02:19
2 03:26
3 02:31
4 01:49
5 06:47
Children's Corner
6 02:47
7 06:34
Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, "Sonata facile" K 545
8 04:54
Sonatina in C major Op. 36
9 01:31
The School of Velocity
10 00:34
6 Pieces for Piano Vol. 2
11 02:50
12 05:29
13 02:02
Lyric Pieces, Book III
14 03:59
15 00:35
Villageoises. Petites Pièces enfantines pour piano
16 00:44
17 01:33
18 05:36
19 04:26
12 Piano Variations in C major on "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman" K 265 (300e)
20 00:35
21 00:31
22 00:32
23 00:35
24 00:34
25 00:33
26 00:30
27 00:33
28 00:44
29 00:35
30 00:32
31 02:29
32 01:27
33 01:41
blue highlight denotes track pick