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Reviews: Tchaikovsky/Mendelssohn: First Piano Concertos - Lang Lang

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Reviews: 2
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Review by WalterM May 6, 2004 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The piano placement is very forward and almost overwhelms the orchestra. The performance is good but not great. There is a spcious soundfield in the front channels with ambience in the rears giving it a very open sound. The piano is a little too forward for my tastes but the sonics are terrific.

Reviewed in Multichannel format.

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Review by Allen December 20, 2007 (7 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Lang Lang seems to be a very polarizing figure these days.

But I am not commenting on his performance or interpretation here. Rather, I would like to focus on the sonics of this title, and compare the cd stereo, sacd stereo and sacd 5.0 surround sound.

3 years ago when I first heard this album in its CD format, I thought this was a very very laud album, the piano took the stage from orchestra completely, with sonics emphasizing on the bass bang bang. At the time, I was joking with friends that DG must be using some sound engineers from pop music industry, and a concerto is almost turned into a rock&roll equalization of bang bang. That observation still holds in Lang Lang's latest Dragon album. When first encountered, it is quite interesting and spicy, but when overdosed, it starts to taste bad.

The CD layer of the hybrid sacd release has exactly the same characteristics as the CD release.

The sacd stereo playback, on the other hand, has a very different detailed warm sound. The orchestra is much less jammed in layout with less equalization pumping the low frequency. The result? it sounds much more classical and balanced. With piano taking less emphasis, the dialog between piano and orchestra becomes standing out as music flows. This is quite an improvement.

The sacd multichannel playback sounds quite the same as the sacd stereo. The volume from rare channels are very week. What is a little surprising to me is that the central channel also sounds very week, and very very far away from piano - it completely focus on reverberant stage. This must be the early experimental 5.0 surround sound work in DG, with limited sound improvement over the sacd stereo.

Nevertheless, sacd sound is superior to the cd version.

I like Lang Lang, but not bang bang.

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