16 September 2022
By Ellie Palmer
The release forms part of The Walt Disney Company's 100th anniversary celebrations
Lang Lang's latest venture, an album featuring reworked Disney hits, is out today via Deutsche Grammophon.
The album includes 'Beauty and the Beast', 'The Bare Necessities' from The Jungle Book, 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin and 24 other famous pieces. Many of them have been re-written for Lang Lang by some of the world's leading arrangers. Andrea Bocelli provides vocals for 'You’ll Be in My Heart' from Tarzan; singer-songwriter and pianist Jon Batiste revisits his Oscar-winning Soul score with 'It’s All Right'; and Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra performs the Oscar-nominated song 'Dos Oruguitas' from Encanto. There are also guest appearances from guitarist Miloš, Chinese erhu player Guo Gan, and Lang Lang’s wife Gina Alice, plus the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Robert Ziegler.
'The Disney Book' is out now on all major platforms
Sir Stephen Hough, Natalie Tenenbaum and Randy Kerber are also involved as arrangers. The team wanted the arrangements to evoke the sound-worlds of the likes of of Debussy, Chopin, Liszt and Horowitz, yet still maintain that famous Disney 'magic' feel. Hough comments, “I’ve been a huge admirer of Lang Lang for years and I was delighted to be asked to arrange some Disney songs for him. I loved the challenge of transforming these popular songs, beloved by generations of children and parents, into solo piano pieces, rooted in the classical tradition of the great transcribers of the past.”
Lang Lang comments, "Animation sparked my imagination and transported me to other worlds. The music was a big part of this experience – and led to my life-long love of classical music. There is such a variety of styles in Disney songs; truly, something to inspire everyone. I hope that people of all ages will enjoy this recording and experience the joy that we all felt the first time we saw a Disney film.”
Lang Lang gives a full interview about the new release inside the upcoming issue of Pianist, out on 23 September. You can order your copy here.
Available in all digital formats as well as a number of physical versions including standard, deluxe and limited editions, there is an accompanying concert tour that includes a trip to London’s Royal Albert Hall on 24 October 2022.
Main image: ©Simon Webb.
You can watch the official new music video for his new piece, 'Beauty and the Beast', below.