A reviewer from The New York Times referred to pianist Lang Lang's blinding technical virtuosity as "a little vulgar excess" -- and he meant that in a nice way. Lang's richly emotional concert persona is an apt reflection of his prowess; of course, someone having a good time while playing classical music is exactly the sort of thing that confuses purists. But Lang Lang isn't the sort of "crossover" talent that many record label's classical divisions tend to promote. Instead, like Hilary Hahn, he just happens to be a player of exceptional talent who emphasizes the visceral, rather than academic, strengths of the music. This recital documents a breakthrough performance for the pianist, as he unleashes a somewhat traditional repertoire with a casual liquidity that belies the astounding technical fire coming from his fingers.
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