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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Piano casts romantic spell

 
 

Lang Lang told the audience he had been playing since he was 2 and a half. Now he’s 23. You do the math.
Lang Lang, the Chinese-born world-famous pianist, has performed in major music capitals of the world, playing with the leading orchestras and conductors of our time. This is the first time, he charmed audiences in College Station, and although Rudder Theater was no Carnegie Hall, it felt as though it were when he played.
It wasn’t just a piano performance – it was entertainment encompassing the art of acting, the enchantment of story-telling and the brilliance of music that connected them. In the program notes, Lang Lang’s own thoughts about each piece ushered the crowd to a sublime setting.
Robert Schumann’s “Fantasie for piano in C major Op. 17” was a moving piece, its rich history at once captivating. Schumann wrote it out of his love and yearning for his future wife, Clara.
Lang Lang said, “Right from the beginning, you are carried away into this real fantasy journey.”
The pianist shifted from delicate and quiet to loud and consuming, a reflection of the tragedies and harsh realities faced by the composer. Lang Lang played the role of each of the characters in the song – Clara, her father, and Robert. Through incredible dynamics, swelling crescendos and a performance force that was unbelievable, Lang Lang relived this drama himself.
Lang Lang circled the globe, playing music that defined different cultures. The audience journeyed to Spain as Lang performed the first dance of “Goyescas,” a piece composed by Enrique Granados, in memory of the great painter Francisco de Goya. Next, he played “Six Traditional Chinese Works” after introducing each piece’s background. The most imaginative song reflected its legendary roots: “The Moon Chased by the Colorful Clouds” described a beautiful lady named Shang Ye who lived in the moon with a rabbit. Later, he told everyone that when he was young, he actually believed it.
The finale, Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody for piano No. 6 in D flat major,” was the ultimate grand ending to this evening’s repertoire. The last few moments of the piece had everyone gaping. His hands leapt furiously in every direction as his body jilted with each striking chord. It was one of the most amazing sights of the night – watching a person so small exhibit such enormous energy. When Lang Lang bowed, he graciously turned to the piano so that it would get its applause from the audience.
Lang Lang put all of his energy into every single note, not just with his hands and arms, but his dancing feet, head and hips. At some moments, with audience members’ eyes closed, falling into the beautiful dream that he created in the softer works, and after his Schumann piece, Lang Lang lingered at the piano bench when the song was over, seemingly not wanting to awaken from the dream either.
Audience members stood in long lines after the performance, waiting for him to sign their programs with the real instruments of the night – his fingers.

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