Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante
Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante in E-flat major, Op. 22, was composed by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1834. The Grande polonaise brillante in E-flat, set for piano and orchestra, was written first, in 1830-31. In 1834, Chopin wrote an Andante spianato in G, for piano solo, which he added to the start of the piece, and joined the two parts with a fanfare-like sequence. The combined work was published in 1836 as Op. 22, and was dedicated to Madame d'Este.
The Grande polonaise brillante is a work for piano and orchestra, although the piano part is often played on its own. The Andante spianato (spianato means "even, or smooth") for solo piano was composed as an introduction to the polonaise after Chopin received a long-awaited invitation to perform in one of Habeneck’s Conservatoire Concerts in Paris. The combined work was premiered by the composer there on April 26, 1835. This was the only time Chopin had ever used spianato as a description for any of his works.
Chopin’s first work, written at age seven, had been a polonaise. The Grande polonaise brillante of 1830–31 was to be the last such he would compose for several years. It preoccupied Chopin in his final months at Warsaw. It was finished at Vienna in 1831.
Andante spianato in G major
The quiet rippling effects of this introductory section are borne in a gentle 6/8, rounded with a chordal trio in C major, and a more processional 3/4. The very serene middle section is not a trio, but only a contrasting episode to complement the overall texture of the movement. Not being a trio, it is not in C major but remains in G major.
Grande polonaise brillante in E-flat major
The polonaise opens in fanfare. It moves into the ebullient and fearless dance form of which he was such a master. Chopin’s unexpected and brief excursions, the many electric shocks of surprise and alarm, and the sheer poetic gusto with which he approached these materials was astonishing and, for years, unequalled. In 1836 it was arranged as a piano quartet and, two years later, the solo piano work known today. (Wikipedia)
This review is from: Lang Lang: Live at Carnegie Hall (DVD)
One has to watch this DVD to find out exactly why Lang Lang's reception as a concert pianist has caused such a wide gap between critics and audience.
I could not imagine, not even now that am quite well-acquainted with his performance style, that he could bring such genuine vitality to pianoforte performance, and at the same time, so devastatingly but convincingly distort the music that he is playing.
Purists will undoubtedly `spam' his totally unorthodox performance upon viewing this DVD. Some may even say his style borders on vulgarity: look at his expression in the approach to the finale of the last movement of Haydn's Sonata.
However, the video also tells quite a lot about the artist himself, if one could sift through the jumbling notes and flashy virtuoso, and take a honest look at the various `expressions'.
Lang Lang was about 21 or 22 when this was being shot. He has not changed (or improved) his performance style much since. As one of his very early teachers Prof. ZHU Ya-fun so aptly pointed out, Lang Lang was the `monkey king' among her young students: he could barely sit still, and if so, only at the pianoforte. Alas, Lang Lang has not managed to `out grow' this trait.
Most child prodigies suffer from slow developments when grown up. Lang Lang does not appear to be the exception.
So is the music really so `bad' as most critics pointed out without hesitation, or is the performance so `dazzling' as most amateur viewers claim?
The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Granted that Lang Lang possesses all the requisite technique and prowess, there is reason to demand from him a more `decent' or mature performance. This, however, would be to deny Lang's true nature. I for one am most appreciative of Lang Lang's intellectual honesty - he never feigns the style of other renowned performers like Horowitz, but INVARIABLY plays as himself. What the critics object so vehemently - that everything he plays is `Lang Lang', and not Schubert, or Beethoven, or Chopin - only holds water if the performance is a genuine expression of the performer himself/herself and not feigned, as most other non-Western performers do at the early stages of their performing careers. And to the `accusation' of being non-Western, this is a true statement as regards Lang Lang, since he grew up with Chinese traditional music, his father being a Chinese musician performing a traditional Chinese instrument showed in this DVD.
The recommendation for this DVD lies in the superlative keyboard technique and genuine musical communication by the young pianist. For truly great interpretation of these pieces, look for the old wine instead of the new.
This review is from: Lang Lang Live in Vienna (DVD)
Watching Lang Lang tackle Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata is like watching little David felling Goliath. Lang Lang's technique is eye-popping and his interpretation is from a youth with much feeling and strength. This is true of his whole program which includes the Beethoven C Major Sonata Op.2, No.3, Albeniz's Iberia Book 1, Prokofiev's Sonata No. 7, and three Chopin encores: the Aolian Harp Etude, the Heroic Polonaise, and the Grande Valse Brilliante. The picture and sound are excellent. You can't go wrong buying this DVD. It is much more valuable than the surprising low price for which it is selling.