Disney music is reinterpreted by Lang Lang in a new album

Lang Lang, a pianist, will soon release “The Disney Book,” a collection of 27 songs drawn from The Walt Disney Company’s enduring motion pictures, in conjunction with the company’s 100th anniversary.

Lang Lang said the project took him several years to complete because he and his production team wanted to make sure the new arrangement would be on par with the music of great composers like Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and so on. Lang Lang spoke to Korean reporters on Tuesday in an online interview.

“I’ve always wanted to do an animation album, but it was difficult because everyone is familiar with the songs and the associated visuals. It was difficult to redo it on the piano since I didn’t want it to sound like elevator music, according to Lang.

The album features renditions of popular songs from “Snow White,” “Encanto,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Frozen,” “Cinderella,” “Pinocchio,” and many more, all of which have been specially arranged for Lang Lang by renowned arrangers like Stephen Hough, Natalie Tenenbaum, and Randy Kerber. Special international collaborators are also featured on the CD, including Jon Batiste for his own score from “Soul” with “It’s All Right,” Sebastián Yatra for “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto,” and Andrea Bocelli for “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan. Gina Alice, the wife of Lang Lang, performs “When You Wish Upon A Star” in both English and Korean.

Pianist Lang Lang performs at Disneyland Park in California. (Richard Harbaugh)
Pianist Lang Lang performs at Disneyland Park in California. (Richard Harbaugh)

Lang Lang gave a preview of the new arrangements’ construction. Lang Lang claims that “Frozen” is in the Rachmaninoff style, while “Bare Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” is redone in a modern jazz style; tracks from “Lion King” and “Dumbo” would remind listeners of Debussy.

Lang Lang's
Lang Lang’s “The Disney Book” (Deutsche Grammophon)

A continuation of Lang Lang’s dedication to music education is “The Disney Book.” “The Disney Book” intends to encourage individuals of all ages to discover classical music, much like Lang Lang’s 2019 CD “Piano Book,” which includes some of his favorite compositions to inspire aspiring young players.

We established the Lang Lang Foundation after realising that many kids share my desire of becoming a pianist. Over the years, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not enough to support children who have already been exposed to music and show promise since there are so many children who are seriously disadvantaged by a lack of music instruction, according to Lang Lang.

I know that music can encourage one to become their best self because music transformed me, Lang continued.

On September 16, the new album will be made available on the Deutsche Grammophon label in association with Disney Music Group.

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