A showboat, but a great pianist
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I must comment on the footnote to Andy Pincus’ review of Monday, August 12 regarding the pianist Lang-Lang. I had a clear view of him during his performance and there is no question that he is a blatant show-boater. As a trained serious classical pianist for most of my life, I find this behavior very annoying and distracting.
However there is no question as to the talents of Lang-Lang. Yes, his performance of the Beethoven concerto, while a bit self-indulgent -- the first movement cadenza was too long and too bravura for this piece -- was in most respects exquisite. His playing of the Lizst encore was nothing short of amazing. I would not be surprised if his keyboard behavior is the reason we have not seen him at Tanglewood before. Yet there are beloved artists we see all the time who are also major show-biz actors. Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are examples.
I do hope we get to see more of Lang-Lang in the future, and also hope maturity will tone down the histrionics.
PHILIP M. COHEN
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