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Thread: The railing against Lang Lang and Yuja Wang... how much due to racism against Asians?

  1. #106
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marttyb View Post
    I have been curious about the resistance I have towards Yuja Wang and it's taken me a while to understand it. I acknowledge her virtuoso prowess. But if it came to a choice to see her or Lang Lang, I'd go to the latter. His tone and depth are better than hers.
    I think there's a perception with some Asian that their virtuoso is off the charts but there's a mechanical tinny quality to many of their interpretations. Otherwise people are jealous of their prowess.
    I'm not as familiar with Lang Lang, but what I've heard from Yuja Wang is incredible. Mechanical? I've never gotten that vibe from her. She DOES play a lot of very demanding works that require technical prowess and skill, but when it's needed she pours the romanticism just as well as any other pianist of her calibre.


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  3. #107
    Junior Member Esterhazy's Avatar
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    It’s jealousy and because they sell big time.

  4. #108
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esterhazy View Post
    It’s jealousy and because they sell big time.
    Do you really think that?
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I think there is something lost in the modern pianist with the Romantic repertoire. Check out this video. Some things can't be gleaned just from looking at the score. I believe there's a sort of heritage. From what I've heard, I don't think Lang Lang or Yuja Wang really studied up on those roots, and their interpretations don't have that sense of cohesion.

    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

  6. #110
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    I think there is something lost in the modern pianist with the Romantic repertoire. Check out this video. Some things can't be gleaned just from looking at the score. I believe there's a sort of heritage. From what I've heard, I don't think Lang Lang or Yuja Wang really studied up on those roots, and their interpretations don't have that sense of cohesion.

    Yes, Arrau certainly DID know his stuff. I think you'd find that Lang and Wang are also well studied up on the music AND the context in which it was written.

    Compare with Russian-American pianist Lola Astanova. Now THAT's someone who has invested heavily mainly on her technique and, of course, her legs. Power to her. I find her technical prowess astonishing, but she's a bit lacking in terms of actual depth. But it doesn't even matter. Sometimes I'm in the mood for technical skill, and other times I'm looking for emotion and passion.

  7. #111
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    ^ I'm wondering if there is more that got passed down from the Masters that's more exclusive, outside of the Conservatory, or somehow got corrupted along the way since the golden age of the piano. I feel a certain mix got lost in the Romantic repertoire.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

  8. #112
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    ^ I'm wondering if there is more that got passed down from the Masters that's more exclusive, outside of the Conservatory, or somehow got corrupted along the way since the golden age of the piano. I feel a certain mix got lost in the Romantic repertoire.
    It's possible. I'd wager someone said the same a hundred years ago about the Classical repertoire during the Romantic age.

  9. #113
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Compare with Russian-American pianist Lola Astanova. Now THAT's someone who has invested heavily mainly on her technique and, of course, her legs. Power to her. I find her technical prowess astonishing, but she's a bit lacking in terms of actual depth. But it doesn't even matter. Sometimes I'm in the mood for technical skill, and other times I'm looking for emotion and passion.
    Never having heard of Lola, I went to a few websites where her body and music-making are available. She is quite a physical presence; there was even a photo of her in enticing underwear. As for the music-making, I was surprised at the musical content. Overall, I don't consider her a serious artist; she's an entertainer.

  10. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Yes, Arrau certainly DID know his stuff. I think you'd find that Lang and Wang are also well studied up on the music AND the context in which it was written.

    Compare with Russian-American pianist Lola Astanova. Now THAT's someone who has invested heavily mainly on her technique and, of course, her legs. Power to her. I find her technical prowess astonishing, but she's a bit lacking in terms of actual depth. But it doesn't even matter. Sometimes I'm in the mood for technical skill, and other times I'm looking for emotion and passion.
    Both Lang Lang and Yuja studied with Gary Graffmann so they are well taught. Yuja was an established artist before she had her teen rebellion / miniskirts phase. I don’t know about Lola who seems to market herself by her body.

  11. #115
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Yes, Arrau certainly DID know his stuff. I think you'd find that Lang and Wang are also well studied up on the music AND the context in which it was written.

    Compare with Russian-American pianist Lola Astanova. Now THAT's someone who has invested heavily mainly on her technique and, of course, her legs. Power to her. I find her technical prowess astonishing, but she's a bit lacking in terms of actual depth. But it doesn't even matter. Sometimes I'm in the mood for technical skill, and other times I'm looking for emotion and passion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    Never having heard of Lola, I went to a few websites where her body and music-making are available. She is quite a physical presence; there was even a photo of her in enticing underwear. As for the music-making, I was surprised at the musical content. Overall, I don't consider her a serious artist; she's an entertainer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Parley View Post
    Both Lang Lang and Yuja studied with Gary Graffmann so they are well taught. Yuja was an established artist before she had her teen rebellion / miniskirts phase. I don’t know about Lola who seems to market herself by her body.
    In spite of how she "markets" herself, Lola Astanova actually has credentials.

    She started touring as a concert pianist at the age of eight. A laureate at the 1996 International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow.

    From Wikipedia:

    In 1998, she was featured in the UNESCO documentary "Prodigies of the 20th Century". In 2003, she emigrated to the United States; her debut there was at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the following year.

    Astanova became a star of the October 2007 Classical Superstars Fantasy Concert alongside Valery Gergiev and Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater, hosted by ABC's television host Regis Philbin. The concert was featured in the 100th anniversary issue of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book and offered for $1.6 million. In August 2008, The National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced Ms. Astanova's performance on the famed Steinway concert grand piano of Vladimir Horowitz at the "Notes of Hope" benefit hosted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    On 19 January 2012 Astanova made her Carnegie Hall debut, with the New York Times noting that "her taste for drama and her extreme physical abandon end up emphasizing that there isn’t a great deal of emotion in her playing"

    That last sentence echoes what I commented earlier.

    As for the high heels, bare legs, and tight dresses, well, in June 2012, she was named among Top 10 Style Icons in Classical Music by Limelight magazine.

    As for her actual PLAYING: Here's two videos. The first is her official video for the Fantasie-Impromptu, which, while technically perfect, does point out that "lack of emotion" to which the NYT alluded.

    Her precision is truly remarkable.

    No, there are no job openings to be her piano bench.

    Watch this video closely. There is a beautiful grand piano in it.



    .

    She played Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with Gerard Schwarz (Clarinet) and the All-Star Orchestra, featured in the All-Star Orchestra "Visions of New York" television special which received the 2016 Emmy Award for Special Event Coverage (Other than News or Sports).



    .

    She IS the real deal. One doesn't play like this without years and years of dedication, practice, and more practice.

    And as for her legs . . . they DO seem unreasonably long . . . so long (when fitted with heels) that she has to sit further back than looks comfortable . . . her legs just don't seem to fit underneath.

    ONE THING that seems somewhat amusing is that just 10 years ago, before she discovered "fashion", she seemed to be quite the serious pianist, with legit chops to go with it. The "emotion" missing from her more recent flashier performances is evident HERE.

    Look at THIS. One doesn't simply sit down and play some Rachmaninoff.



    .

    Strangely enough, she has deleted most of her early videos/performances from her official Youtube channel. Perhaps she wants to distance herself from how she looked back then, or maybe she'd simply prefer that you watch and listen to her newer stuff.
    Last edited by pianozach; Jun-20-2021 at 20:58.

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