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Updated: 2015-10-16 07:37:59

( China Daily )

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Lang Lang [Photo provided to China Daily]

At the time, he was playing Tchaikovsky's The Seasons, including pieces such as January: At the Fireside and December: Christmas, for his new album.

During the recordings, he stayed at the palace for two days.

The special features of the Hall of Mirrors, with 17 mirror-clad arches reflecting the arcaded windows while overlooking the gardens, made everything seem surreal to Lang Lang, he says.

"As he played them in Versailles' Hall of Mirrors, he recalls gazing up at the paintings overhead, and as the notes emerged from his fingers, he saw the scenes portrayed as if for the first time, music and image fused in this remarkable setting," wrote James Jolly, music critic and editor of Gramophone, one of the world's most respected classical record magazines, of Lang Lang's new album.

Besides Tchaikovsky's The Seasons, Lang Lang also chose Chopin's four scherzi for the new album. Chopin's pieces were from 1831 to 1843, covering the period in which the Polish composer experienced war, moved to France, had a relationship with French writer George Sand and died following an illness.

"Both composers were great musicians and poets. They influenced me when I first started playing the piano," says Lang Lang, adding that he has a valuable handwritten letter by Tchaikovsky, which was written in French.

Lang Lang also says Tchaikovsky and Chopin have played a major role in his career.

When he was 17, the Chinese pianist stood in for African-American pianist Andre Watts at a Ravinia Festival concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the work he played was Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto.

That concert marked the beginning of Lang Lang's international career and brought him to the attention of German-born pianist and composer Christoph Eschenbach, who became his mentor later.

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