People around the globe celebrate the lunar year last week, and as one of them, I did my own celebrating by watching a classical music performance on TV featuring Chinese pianist - Lang Lang and his collaborators.
Lang Lang, a world renowned classical pianist, appeared in the China Spring Festival Gala this year. He played a transcription of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee." For most of the audience, both the piece and performance felt very familiar. Hearing "Flight of the Bumblebee" is not a surprise to anyway, but seeing how Lang Lang and duo electric cellists were able to make it a new audio and visual experience was a special performance for the audience. Lang Lang's act included two electric cellist and a vocalist. Mazas's "Czardas"is another familiar tune to most listener,but what they weren't expecting was to hear it with voice. In this boisterous and crowed-rousing act, Lang Lang saved the virtuosic vocalist as a surprise for the end of the show. While watching this performance on TV, I was surprised and excited by the combination of classical music in a modernized atmosphere. There was a large visual element in this production, from the cellist spinning his instrument to the flare of "Czardas" , to Lang Lang standing up playing the piano with one hand and striking the piano strings with a mallet in the other hand.
This performance proved that classical music can include vagarious ideas on stage and bring a fresh interpretation to familiar pieces not only in a splendid concert hall, but also in an arena where the audience is bound to participate between and during acts.