Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 4
Label: Deutsche Grammophon (DG)
With his first Beethoven recording, Lang Lang takes on two standards: the broad Concerto No. 4 and the joyful Concerto No. 1. Conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and his well-appointed Orchestre de Paris (who were, after all, the first orchestra to play Beethoven in France), this recording displays the pianist's technical dexterity and singular exuberance. The dynamic interpretations, especially on the fourth concerto, might cause conservative listeners to blanch, but the pure jubilation of Lang Lang's performance makes these a perfect introduction to the works.