an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

It’s Lang Lang vs Lang Lang at the OK Corral

You may recall a little flutter in the dovecotes when a certain Chinese pianist walked out on the yellow label in 2009 and signed for Sony for a reported three million bucks.

Sony insist that sum is greatly exaggerated, but it did not stop Lang Lang’s arch-rival Yundi Li from announcing that he was paid more when he switched from EMI to DG. Also a vast exaggeration, I am assured.


Sony have begun to cash in on their investment with The Chopin Album, which has shot into the top three of the charts.

No sooner did it hit the listings than the dirty tricks department at Deutsche Grammophon got to work. And here’s the result: Lang Lang Chopin.

Confused? That’s the intention.

DG, with a bunch of reissues, are trying to cut in on Sony’s market. It’s an old-fashioned Christmas turf war for the  non-cognoscenti. The cognos, of course, will stick with Lipatti, Horowitz and Pollini.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. «…The cognos, of course, will stick with Lipatti, Horowitz and Pollini….»

    …and Arthur Rubinstein (of course!)

  2. Didn’t something similar happen in the Karajan era?

  3. Demidenko’s fairly recent Chopin disc is superb.

  4. Scott Colebank says:

    But will he autograph the new DG CD after concerts and if not, what excuse will he use?

  5. Well, while I don’t begrudge anyone buying Lang Lang (some people like that sort of thing), I would pick Sokolov or Cortot or Weissenberg or Ohlsson first. (But never the bland-on-record Rubinstein, whose reputation as a Chopiniste is overrated.)

  6. He’ll autograph anything, I know!

  7. Not to mention Argerich of course! Mind you, when Horowitz was alive he got reviews from some critics just as snotty as Lang Lang gets. Oh to be a critic. As someone once said most critics are failed musicians. They hate success as they know what failure is all about and tend to harp on it when they can!

  8. Let’s consider that most listeners under thirty, even if they be “cognos” are not much interested in Lipatti (who?), or Horowitz…

  9. Esteban, you underestimate listeners under 30. Many of my younger classical enthusiast friends are interested in historical recordings, particularly the pre-stereo pianists such as Rachmaninoff, Cortot, and Moiseiwitsch.

an ArtsJournal blog