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Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

Lang Lang

Liszt: My Piano Hero (Sony Classical)

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Franz Liszt was treated like a 20th-century rock star in his day, the early 19th century. In honor of his 200th birthday, one of the leading classical pianists of our time, Lang Lang, recorded a selection of his music with the Vienna Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev. Emotionally as well as technically astute, Lang dates his fascination with the European classical tradition from exposure to one of Liszt's Hungarian rhapsodies in a “Tom and Jerry” cartoon aired on Chinese television. He performs two of those passionately Romantic melodies on his new CD, along with a half-dozen other Liszt compositions plus another piece from the Romantic era, Schubert's “Ave Maria.” Lang's fingers capture the music's pulse and every heart-stopping pause.