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Yevgeny Sudbin plays Beethoven & Mozart Concertos Hybrid SACD - DSD

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, February 25, 2014
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Yevgeny Sudbin plays Beethoven & Mozart Concertos + Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5 + Yevgeny Sudbin
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The third instalment of Yevgeny Sudbin's complete Beethoven BIS piano concerto cycle. A prime coupling of two works both written in the richly evocative and dramatic key of C-minor. Mr. Sudbin's 'mother-of-pearl sheen pianism is backed by a special underlying sensitivity...Delectably light-fingered brilliance and virtuosity...' - Gramophone The much-lauded for his Beethoven BIS symphony cycle conductor Osmo Vanska leads the Minnesota Orchestra. Hybrid 5.0 Surround Sound Super Audio CD

Review

The young Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin has already shown himself an unusually insightful pianist, an impression reinforced by the eloquent and searching performances captured here. Listen to the sensitivity of his phrasing in his first appearance in the Mozart: each entrance growing softer, more hesitant, as the music strays further from the home key, then darkening as the music is drawn, inexorably, back to the darkness of C minor. Unlike many other Russian pianists of his generation, Sudbin's playing has lightness, flexibility, and a variance of touch perfect for making Mozart sound fresh. But there's also no shortage of power when it's called for, as in the finale of the Mozart and the opening movement of the Beethoven, which is bracing but never heavy. Sudbin even provides his own extroverted cadenzas for the Mozart, and though he writes self-deprecatingly of them in a program note, they are riveting and need no apology.

As impressive as the soloist is, this release is even more important for marking the reemergence of the Minnesota Orchestra after a crippling lockout that came close to ending the orchestra's illustrious career. Though the orchestra is again performing, mistrust between its board and players remains, as does a question about the future of Osmo Vänskä, who resigned as music director during the crisis. What a joy, then, to hear the orchestra play so marvelously. Though Vänskä accompanies with tact and deference throughout, the unity and polish of its playing shines through. Here's hoping this wonderful CD betokens brighter days ahead. --Boston Globe, May 2014

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Minnesota Orchestra
  • Conductor: Osmo Vanska
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (February 25, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: BIS
  • ASIN: B00GP909EC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,587 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fountainhead on May 4, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Ever since I first become aware of Yevgeny Sudbin through his Scriabin and Scarlatti discs some years ago, he has become one of my very favorite pianists. He is that rarest of performers: a truly individual creative artist whose playing, through uncanny musical awareness, perceptiveness and spontaneity continually surprises and delights, keeping one on the edge of one's seat.

I have subsequently acquired all of Sudbin's recordings, and have only once been disappointed. Interestingly, that recording was his one other outing with Osmo Vanska, featuring Beethoven's fourth and fifth concertos. Granted, I've always found Vanska to be a "dull-as-dishwater" conductor, but I thought that some of Sudbin's magic might rub off on him. Instead, Vanska's dullness seemed to rub off on Sudbin, producing the one instance where I found his playing, in the fullest sense of the word, generic.

Happily, that is not the case with this new recording, featuring the C Minor concertos of Mozart and Beethoven, a compelling pairing in and of itself. Here, Sudbin is in top form, and some of his magic seems to have infected Vanska as well, who actually shows some personality for a change, with real attention to inflection and nuance. Some may find Sudbin's cadenzas for the Mozart uncomfortably over-the-top and romanticized, but I have to admit that I loved them for that very reason; I absolutely adored the fugue in the last movement cadenza. His account of the Beethoven is fleet fingered but with sufficient gravitas, and as with the Mozart I was mesmerized throughout, my attention never flagging for an instant.
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Format: Audio CD
I second the lead reviewer's enthusiasm over this CD and for the same reasons. Sudbin has been overshadowed by the current vogue for attractive young female virtuosos and the grip of post-Soviet pianists of almost superhuman technical ability. But he's held his own, with a healthy output of CDs. I think it was wise of him to step outside the usual Russian repertoire to prove that he can be impressive in Mozart and Beethoven (not many Russians keyboardists are). Like Mikhail Pletnev, who issued a daring Beethoven concerto cycle a few years ago, Sudbin actually has novel ideas and doesn't wear the rut of conventionality half an inch deeper.

But first a bow to Vanska's conducting. As we held our breath to see if the Minnesota Orch. would rise from the ashes, their acclaimed music director resigned and then, in an act of real generosity, agreed to return to a diminished and fractured orchestra. You'd never know that such turmoil existed listening to these performances. Vanska shows what it means to have a talented conductor on the podium instead of a famous pianist waving his right hand from the keyboard. The accompaniment in the K. 491 concerto, taking advantage of such beautiful woodwind writing, is really the best I've heard in a long time.

In the era of HIPness, it should be noted that without being romanticized, this is Mozart writ large, not miniaturized. Sudbin does some modest decoration in repeats, and we certainly don't hear a full-sized orchestra. the one point of controversy will likely be the first and last movement cadenzas, written by him. In a note Sudbin warns that he didn't want to ape Mozart's style but to take the opportunity for something new and fresh.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dong-Gi Hong, M.D. on June 19, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I bought this SACD after reading Fanfare Magazine review by Jerry Dubins who writes honestly and non-condescendingly. I am not a musically trained person. Nevertheless, I whole heartedly agree with him. This is a clear headed, sensitive and beautiful recording.
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