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Dragon Songs / Lang Lang

Album Summary

>C, Yellow River Composers' : Yellow River Piano Concerto
>Lu, Wencheng : Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake, for piano
>Luting, He : The Cowherd's Flute
>Traditional, Chinese : Dialogue in Song, for piano
>Sun, Yiqiang : Dance of Spring, for piano
>Mingxin, Du : The Mermaid suite, for piano
>Deng, Yuxian : Spring Wind, song
>Zhu, Jianer : Happy Times, for piano
>Traditional, Chinese : Moonlit Night at the Flowery River in Spring, for pipa
>Jiping, Zhao : Silk Road suite, for piano
>Wang, Jianmin : At Night on the Lake Beneath the Maple Bridge, for piano
Performers Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This dedication to the traditional music and culture of China includes both a full-length CD and two hour long DVD. The DVD includes a documentary about the making of Dragon Songs along with concert footage of Lang Lang playing this beloved Chinese classical music in the "Forbidden City." This recording departs from the music of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Mozart and Liszt for which he is most known to embark on a groundbreaking journey through Lang Lang's China.

The first all-Chinese classical release by a big star on a major label is a resounding success. Lang Lang tears into the flashy "Yellow River Concerto" with gusto . . . he imbues with the deepest musicality. It is obvious from the poetry of his playing that Lang Lang feels these pieces deeply and they could not find a more ardent champion." -Gramophone

Notes & Reviews:

After several albums of Western classical music, Chinese pianist Lang Lang returns to the music of his native country on Dragon Songs. The main piece is "Yellow River Piano Concerto," a four-part work running nearly 21 minutes on which he is accompanied by the China Philharmonic Orchestra. It is based on "Great Song of the Yellow River," a choral cantata composed by Xian Xinghai during the Japanese occupation of China in 1939, and is a stirring, patriotic piece. The rest of the music is more sedate, with Lang adapting various folk tunes and short pieces written for Chinese instruments to the piano. He also introduces some Chinese instruments into the pieces, duetting with Fan Wei on pipa (a guitar- or lute-like instrument) on "Spring Flowers in the Moonlit Night on the River," Zang Jiali on the guanzi (a sort of Chinese piccolo) on "Dance from Quici," and Ji Wei on guzheng (reminiscent of a string dulcimer) on "At Night on the Lake Beneath the Maple Bridge." The 63-minute CD is accompanied by a lengthy DVD that includes a 45-minute documentary of Lang's return visit to China for master classes, concerts, and even a little time with his family at "home" (an apartment he says he has slept in twice). There are also video performances of the all of the album's tracks, each one prefaced by introductory remarks by the pianist. Just as "Yellow River Piano Concerto" began the CD, it ends the DVD in a mammoth performance in Guangzhou with four orchestras combined and 100 female piano players, all spread out in a space that looks larger than a football field. ~ William Ruhlmann



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Works Details

>C, Yellow River Composers' : Yellow River Piano Concerto
  • Performers: Yuxia Wu (Pipa); Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Conductor: Yu Long
  • Running Time: 20 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto

>Wencheng Lü (1898 - 1981) : Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake, for piano
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Luting, He : The Cowherd's Flute
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Traditional, Chinese : Dialogue in Song, for piano
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 35 sec.

>Sun, Yiqiang : Dance of Spring, for piano
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Mingxin, Du : The Mermaid suite, for piano :: Straw Hat Dance
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 7 sec.

>Deng, Yuxian : Spring Wind, song
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930s

>Zhu, Jianer : Happy Times, for piano
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Traditional, Chinese : Moonlit Night at the Flowery River in Spring, for pipa
  • Performers: Wei Fan (Pipa); Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 28 sec.

>Jiping, Zhao : Silk Road suite, for piano :: Dance from Quici
  • Performer: Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wang, Jianmin : At Night on the Lake Beneath the Maple Bridge, for piano
  • Performers: Wei Ji (Zither); Lang Lang (Piano)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary