I got a phone call a couple of weeks ago about how wonderful this asian pianist was. He had heard Bang Bang play with the Vienna Phil with Zubin Mehta conducting.
Let us not forget that though beautiful the chopin 2nd piano concerto is no deep well of musical thought.
Lang Lang should be able to get through the piece without problem, if in fact he has the technique that everyone says he possesses. Truthfully he does not have much of a technique and the following snippet from the New York Times review should illustrate that:
"The orchestra’s tone was among the most attractive attributes of the Chopin concerto too, but interpretively, it was a puzzle. Lang Lang was the soloist, and it was presumably at his behest that Mr. Mehta led the introduction at a needlessly breathless clip.
Mr. Lang’s own contribution ranged from a dreamy facsimile of poetry (and occasionally the real thing) to grandstanding assertiveness. He dropped plenty of notes along the way, particularly in the finale, but after the concerto he scooped those up and threw them into his encore, a blustery account of Chopin’s Polonaise in A flat (Op. 53).
That was appalling: in the usually restrained E major section (it’s marked sotto voce), Mr. Lang bounced on the piano bench as if he were riding a pony. And he pummeled the work’s louder, more ebullient passages as if the score had somehow taken human form and kicked his dog. The standing ovation he received must have been meant to acknowledge the sheer audacity of the performance rather than its musicality."
My friend was bowled over by the person, the emotion of the moment, and indeed by the theatrics. Unfortunately, this does not serve the music, or the audience. Just Bang Bang himself
So I have one thing to say, Bang Bang, go play with yourself.....