tue 18/09/2018

Lang Lang, Royal Festival Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Lang Lang, Royal Festival Hall

Lang Lang, Royal Festival Hall

Two minutes of real musicality in a display by today's Liberace of the piano

Lang Lang: What is inspiring? His art - or just his vast skills as a public communicator?

There must be at least 100 more interesting pianists in the concert world than Lang Lang, but perhaps he is just the best publicist around, because nothing else can explain why such a vacuous display as he gave last night at the Royal Festival Hall could bring a standing ovation. Most of the evening felt like being on a plushly cushioned chintz sofa with Tinkerbell, listening to Bach, Schubert and Chopin being served as a cream tea. Lang Lang Inspires is the slogan at the Southbank Centre all this week, but what is inspiring? His art - or just his vast skills as a public communicator, with 40 million Chinese piano students now credited to the Lang Lang effect?

In comes this showman with his precious, kittenish phrasing and facial expressions like a St Sebastian yearning for more and sharper arrows to come pierce his body

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