Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lang Lang

I heard him being described as 'The JLo of the piano' and was hooked! Zubin Mehta conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Homi Bhabha Auditorium was the initial attraction. But with the 26 -year- old musical genius from China thrown in, wild horses couldn't have kept me away. Described by the New York Times as the " hottest artist on the classical music planet," Lang Lang is a phenomenon. He started playing the piano at age 3. By the age of 5 he had won his first prize and given a public performance.By 17 he was a star. Over 5 billion people viewed his performance at the Beijing Olympics. Some of you may have watched him at Obama's Inaugural.... but one has to be right there when he hits the keys to understand - no, to feel - the magic. Understand the passion. It is powerful enough to make you want to rip out your heart and lay it at his feet! Such virtuosity, such confidence, such showmanship! To hear him play Chopin (Piano Concerto No.2 in F Minor Op.21), is to hear a personal angel caressing the ivory. Lang Lang plays with his heart, not fingers. He emotes as he plays... his facial expressions and body language are a treat to watch. That's the big difference. I don't know how those slightly stuffy Austrians in the orchestra reacted to him, but it was obvious from the rapturous response he received from the doting desi audience that Mumbai had fallen head over heels in love with the man often called " the most exciting keyboard talent in the world..." I noticed Aamir Khan along with his wife, the delightful Kiran Rao, giving him a standing ovation. We exchanged notes a little later, and the expression in Aamir's eyes said it all. Perhaps Aamir will be inspired enough to play a musician in his next movie?? While on Aamir, it is really so refreshing to see the man who has been voted 'the most powerful person in Bollywood' behave like a regular guy at all times. Here was was mingling easily and casually with the snooty Mumbai elite. No fuss. No atempt at drawing attention to himself. Aamir was clad in a trendy jacket. Lang Lang in a bandgala ( Mao suit?).
At a Moet and lobster dinner following the concert, Zubin took time off to thank the sponsors - Rolex - as only he can, by being direct and unembarrassed. Lang Lang, who had stuck to Indian cuisine during his stay at the Taj, remained low key, even as a few members of the orchestra improvised a version of 'Happy Birthday' and sang for a colleague. Our hosts, Dorab and Verra Randeria ( second generation Rolex representatives), made sure all was well, adopting discretion that emerges from generations of quiet refinement. Aaah.... in these troubled and awful times, nothing like divine music to soothe the soul. Music and Moet .

15 comments:

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Aamir - lambi race ka ghoda.
Amitabh > Ajay Devgan > Aamir
favourite always !

Subhajit said...

Ma'm,

Have you read Aamir's interview in Mumbai Mirror today? Quite a few revelations.

Regards,
Subhajit

Bindu Nayar said...

Lang Lang is simple stupendous...adore his work

oo7 said...

he's a magician.

Zlaek said...

Wish I ever got a chance to see that live.

Mr. Lang is a magician.

Anon said...

Lang Lang was simply amazing! Wish I could have gotten tickets for his show today. He has so much expression & emotion like you rightly said he plays from the heart. It was such a privilege to watch & hear him. Did hear some cynical comments about him being just a good showman. Ended up responding that anyone who had his incredible talent had every right to do as he pleased. I do believe its atleast partially his love for the piano & the music not all showmanship! Anyways who cares it was a treat just to see & hear him. Was pleasantly surprised to see Aamir Khan's unfilmi behavior mark of a true star that he can be so down to earth & have no nakhras. Good to know some of our bollywood stars know how to conduct themselves with propriety! Keep on blogging please missed your blog post last night!

Sameer said...

Amir is my all time favorite...a true acting genius...he know the art, the details in it....shahrukh has it's own strength but I think I will go more towards Amir. On youtube, I was watching his performance at 1989 Fimfare awards function and it was amazing to see him in that naive state of mind but still very confident about what he wanted. He definitely is 'lambe race ka ghoda'

Not heard Lang Lang yet, so will definitely make it a point to hear his music. Glad to hear Mumbai is getting back to what it does best - entertain others :)

Kedar said...

the cynic in me says: just another case of us indians going ga-ga over a foreign musician? the comparison may not be a good one, but remember how someone called yanni had become a darling of the media not too long ago. i do not mean to comment on lang lang's competence or awesome-ness here, but tell me how many times have mainstream journalists written about our homegrown classical music maestros. i'm not talking about a bismillah khan or a hariprasad chaurasia here. but about newer talents that are at least as good as this chap or even better but don't get nearly half the appreciation! why? one reason maybe, not everyone understands or knows how to appreciate 'classical music'. well, do you think everybody 'understands' the western piano. i'm willing to bet a hundred bucks they don't know squat about Chopin's piece in F minor! all said and done, this lang lang better be really really good!

Sidhusaaheb said...

It's quite magnanimous of you to have written so positively about Amir, after what he had to say about you and your opinions in the NDTV 24x7 interview aired soon after the 'Indian of the Year' awards presented by the channel.

SSQuo said...

My sister was hoping to catch the concert, I hear he's tremendous. Being a pianist myself, I am in complete awe when I watch such geniuses at play coz you can see the amount of hardwork, patience (with oneself too!) and of course talent showcase itself.

I recently attended a concert by Regina Spektor and she's just lovely, so talented - a pianist, a singer and quite a quirky one, so love that about her.

Kashmirviews said...

gOOD ONE

Kashmirviews said...

gUYS i HAVE posted an article 'The filth and Fury' -hope you like it..

varry said...

@Kedar

Oh man u r so right . I feel we indians easily develop a fascination and a slavish adoration of something that even smacks of being foreign.This feeling of appreciating foreign art elevates us to a pedestal from where we can look down upon our fellow indians.This falsely places us in a virtual esoteric group which empowers us to pass judgements on renditions.

maha said...

nice posting...


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