Recorded during live concert performances, Lang Lang痴 second Telarc release justifies the positive buzz surrounding this young pianist痴 rapidly ascending international career. He brings plenty of finger power and long-lined drama to Rachmaninov痴 ubiquitous Third Concerto, yet takes plenty of time to let the lyrical, soaring tunes spin without an inkling of self-indulgence. He admirably adjusts the piano part to accompany when he doesn稚 bear the melodic burden, and gets more expressive mileage from transitions than many pianists do.
For once, the thicker, more difficult first movement cadenza doesn稚 sound unwieldy and elephantine. The piano is a little too prominent in the mix next to Temirkanov痴 sensitively detailed, flowing orchestral support. While Lang Lang has not fully internalised the quivering underbelly of Scriabin痴 passionate keyboard writing, his poised and secure readings of 10 Etudes still boast plenty of dynamism, idiomatic nuance, and roaring, Horowitz-like octaves. Watch this pianist!--Jed Distler