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Lang Lang is mesmerizing with Naples Philharmonic / Naples Daily News

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The emotive, and occasionally scary, piano superstar Lang Lang came to Artis-Naples for a special concert Sunday, and everyone who was there for an evening of his style or his superlative command of dynamics and expression came away delighted. Watch him play; it's mesmerizing, especially when he flings his hands skyward, helicopters that land with precision on his trillls. Close your eyes and listen to him play; it's still mesmerizing, with a range of dynamics that range from stomp-on-it power to a dreamy meandering legato, particularly in the Andante of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 he was performing.

This special concert with the Naples Philharmonic flipped the program style somewhat; the music for the first half of the concert WAS firmly saddled warhorses: Glinka's Overture to "Ruslan and Lyudmila," and a suite of "Swan Lake." Lang Lang, on the other hand, was performing a fairly unknown quantity in Rachmaninoff's first piano concerto; it's played so seldom, like  Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2, that most of us figure Rachmaninoff started with his famous second.

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