Sunday, April 30, 2006

Lang Lang @Carnegie Hall, Apr. 26th

For this past Christmas, I bought my Mom and me a pair of tickets to see Lang Lang, the former child prodigy pianist from China who's now 23. I decided to take the day off of work and make a whole Mom-Daughter day out of it. I was just asking for trouble, wasn't I?

Actually, the day went off without a hitch. I met Mom at Port Authority -- she took the bus in from Jersey, and for once, she did not puke after getting off of the bus. We headed downtown to Temple. I invited her to come see me train and to meet Shifu, now that kung fu is such an important part of my life.

I was a little nervous about bringing her. Kung fu is one of the few things in my life that I can say I have felt truly passionate about. So I was eager for her to check it out and perhaps understand why I love it so much. And happily I was able to introduce her to Shifu. They spoke a little bit in Mandarin, so I have no idea what they were saying, but hopefully she didn't say anything to embarass me too much. (She later told me she told him how all I talk about now is kung fu!) I think I was also a little nervous cos I felt that by bringing my mother, I was showing Shifu how much it all means to me...

...Sorry there, folks! I have drifted far from music!

So, after class, we had a nice lunch in the LES, went back to my apartment to chill a bit, then headed out for a fancy dinner near Carnegie Hall.

We got to our seats, which turned out to be in one of the boxes on the side, so it was kind of neat. There were 8 stools of varying heights in the box, and my mom and I had the two in the rear. We could move the stools for maximum view, so I could also move it near my Mom's. We also had a far, but decent view of the piano.

Lang Lang played a program comprised of favorites by Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and Liszt. I was surprised to have even played a few of the Schumann (Scenes from Childhood). Hearing those songs made me think a lot of the 10 years I played piano when I was young, and how my Mom really pushed me to take lessons and practice. I used to be so annoyed that I had to devote so much time to piano, but now I understand that it really taught me things like to appreciate the arts and to develop a discipline that I'll always have as part of my life.

Lang Lang's performance was exciting -- he's known for really tearing up the keys and being superfast, but I don't think it knocked me out in terms of virtuosity. He played a version of "Hungarian Rhapsody" by Liszt that is always thrilling to hear, but he managed to lose me. As one of his encores, he played "Flight of the Bumblebee" even faster than it normally is. So, I was a little disappointed, but my Mom ate it all up, which is all that really matters!

I took her back to Port Authority and put her back on the bus to Jersey. A whole day with Mom, no blow ups, and I think she had a great time. An overall success, I dare say!

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