If you had to choose one or the other ...

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Lance
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If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by Lance » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:58 pm

... which would it be insofar as Chinese pianists go:
a) Yuja Wang
b) Lang Lang

Possibly an unfair question because each offers something to the arts. Speaking of Chinese pianists, I do remember well Fou Ts'ong, who was excellent IMHO. And the Taiwanese pianist, Chia Chou, of Chinese extraction, was also an incredibly fine pianist … many recordings on Dabringhaus und Grimm (chamber music), all very worthwhile. Another thought: it would be interesting to hear a two-piano recital with Wang and Lang, no?
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John F
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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by John F » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:37 pm

Vladimir Horowitz. :D Seriously, I haven't heard enough of Yuja Lang's playing to have an opinion, and my opinion of Lang Lang's playing is mixed and a bit confused. So I wouldn't choose either of them right now.
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Belle
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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by Belle » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:16 pm

I've never been a Lang Lang fan, but I recognize his formidable keyboard technique. I watched a documentary last night, available only on MediciTV, of his recording with Harnoncourt and VPO in 2014 of Mozart Piano Concert 17 (a favourite) and, I think, 24. Lang Lang adored Harnoncourt and this comes across in the program. He took all the advice offered by the late maestro and more, and I was impressed that he seemed to understand some German. Lang Lang spoke about other great artists and what they'd taught him about understanding and playing the keyboard repertoire. Lang Lang is sincere and he's warm-hearted and enthusiastic and has mellowed into a fine musician, of late. Before watching that documentary I would have said I didn't care for Lang Lang at all.

Yuja Wang; her technique is staggering, as is her repertoire. She muddies the water with her outrageous, attention-seeking clothing which is seldom elegant, classy or flattering IMO. She is also the subject of a MediciTV documentary and her comment about her clothing was that it expressed her "narcissism".

As is often the case, however, dazzling technique and phenomenal repertoire are seldom enough. In the case of Daniil Trifonov I think we have the complete package.

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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by barney » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:37 pm

I've been impressed by Yundi Li.
Both Lang Lang and Yuja Wang are highly gifted musicians, and I have enjoyed live concerts by both, whereas I haven't heard Li live. But a couple of CDs are impressive.

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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by diegobueno » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:50 pm

I heard Yuja Wang perform an phenomenal Prokofiev 2nd Piano Concerto in 2007, just before she became the superstar she is today -- and also before she started wearing the short dresses. It was quite clear she has the goods and doesn't need to make a show of herself. I would easily choose her over Bang Bang.

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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by Belle » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:44 pm

There's a documentary, too, about Trifonov available through MediciTV and in that program Sergei Babayan talks about "the Triff" and how he has a tendency to look at his hands as he's playing. Babayan was his teacher at Curtis and he tells how Trifonov fanatically tried to change his keyboard watching by playing in the total darkness, hour after hour, to overcome his tendency. Babayan admired the lengths Trifonov went to correct this 'problem'. In this performance here I note that he's only partially successful!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBca3z7bAtE

I'm not sure what Babayan was on about because most concert pianists seem to look at their hands when playing, looking up at the orchestra only occasionally - or the conductor.

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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by arepo » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:38 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think either Babayan or his student Trifinov taught or was a student at Curtis.
If my memory is correct, Babayan was connected with the New England Conservatory.

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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by Beckmesser » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:00 pm

Belle wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:44 pm
There's a documentary, too, about Trifonov available through MediciTV and in that program Sergei Babayan talks about "the Triff" and how he has a tendency to look at his hands as he's playing. Babayan was his teacher at Curtis and he tells how Trifonov fanatically tried to change his keyboard watching by playing in the total darkness, hour after hour, to overcome his tendency. Babayan admired the lengths Trifonov went to correct this 'problem'. In this performance here I note that he's only partially successful!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBca3z7bAtE

I'm not sure what Babayan was on about because most concert pianists seem to look at their hands when playing, looking up at the orchestra only occasionally - or the conductor.

I have no problem with pianists looking at their hands (except when playing with others). Didn't Horowitz do it all the time? The only other exception is when sight-reading (for obvious reasons). Then there are those whose gaze is fixed on the ceiling.

Belle
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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by Belle » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:26 am

arepo wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:38 pm
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think either Babayan or his student Trifinov taught or was a student at Curtis.
If my memory is correct, Babayan was connected with the New England Conservatory.

cliftwood
I got confused with Yuja, who was at Curtis; it was the Cleveland School according to Wiki.

maestrob
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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by maestrob » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:53 pm

Lance wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:58 pm
... which would it be insofar as Chinese pianists go:
a) Yuja Wang
b) Lang Lang

Possibly an unfair question because each offers something to the arts. Speaking of Chinese pianists, I do remember well Fou Ts'ong, who was excellent IMHO. And the Taiwanese pianist, Chia Chou, of Chinese extraction, was also an incredibly fine pianist … many recordings on Dabringhaus und Grimm (chamber music), all very worthwhile. Another thought: it would be interesting to hear a two-piano recital with Wang and Lang, no?
Unfair question, Lance! :wink: So far, in my listening, I've not been disappointed by either pianist, so I would go to see both if I could. A two piano recital by both star pianists would be a rare treat, I'm sure. Lang Lang has been denigrated on this forum and elsewhere, but so far I find his Mozart exquisite and his other repertoire quite respectful.

Lance
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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by Lance » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:14 pm

Well, my question was not to denigrate either pianist in any way. People have often brought up the question of who was the more "ideal" pianist, Rubinstein or Horowitz? Well, I loved them both and could choose NOT to select one over the other. I have collected nearly all of Lang Lang's recordings and upon first hearing, I immediately recognize his great technical prowess; however, I don't come away frequently with too much emotional expression in his music-making (that seems to be the general observation} Yuja Wang, on the other hand, to me brings more musical emotion and a word I like to use — sensitivity — to what she plays, plus she has the virtuosity to play just about anything. This question just pertained to the Chinese pianists who are fast rising to the top internationally. Outside of the Chinese pianists, we have other superb pianists such as Mark Viner, Hamelin, Trifonov, Filipec, and others who have the whole package and play with individuality but mastery. I'll still take my Rubinstein, Horowitz, Moiseiwitsch, and others of that ilk, maybe because it's they manner in which they "taught" me in listening. It was critic/reviewer/pianist Harris Goldsmith who opened many doors for me in listening practices - right here in this room from which I type! What a keen sense of ears that man had.
maestrob wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:53 pm
Lance wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:58 pm
... which would it be insofar as Chinese pianists go:
a) Yuja Wang
b) Lang Lang

Possibly an unfair question because each offers something to the arts. Speaking of Chinese pianists, I do remember well Fou Ts'ong, who was excellent IMHO. And the Taiwanese pianist, Chia Chou, of Chinese extraction, was also an incredibly fine pianist … many recordings on Dabringhaus und Grimm (chamber music), all very worthwhile. Another thought: it would be interesting to hear a two-piano recital with Wang and Lang, no?
Unfair question, Lance! 😉 So far, in my listening, I've not been disappointed by either pianist, so I would go to see both if I could. A two piano recital by both star pianists would be a rare treat, I'm sure. Lang Lang has been denigrated on this forum and elsewhere, but so far I find his Mozart exquisite and his other repertoire quite respectful.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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maestrob
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Re: If you had to choose one or the other ...

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:35 am

Harris Goldsmith! Now there's a name I haven't heard in a while. Harris came to many of my concerts, was very interested in young talent, and was very encouraging in my efforts. A true gentleman. I still have his name somewhere on my mailing list.....

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