The 32: part 7

No 3 in C major, Op 2 no 3

Of the many successful and famous pianists currently out there, Lang Lang gets the most slagging, often from patronising and dreary Gramophone critics, who can’t see past boring types like Paul Lewis,  regularly droning  on about how they “sublimate” their personality to that of the composer etc etc. Somehow, one can’t imagine Beethoven himself doing the same.

Lang Lang is technically brilliant, confident, and continually tries something new and personalised. The fans love him, he sells records and sells out his concerts. He does brash and dramatic very well, but in this early Beethoven gem, just released, he is light, uncontroversial and charming. The sound is good, and it’s live, nearly always a good thing. The sonata would be hailed as a sublime masterpiece if it was by the inconsistent and over-productive Mozart. For the genius of Beethoven it’s merely very very good.


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