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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Domenico Scarlatti - 18 Sonatas (Yevgeny Sudbin, 2004)


Composer: Domenico Scarlatti
  1. Sonata in B flat major, K 545
  2. Sonata in F minor, K 466
  3. Sonata in F minor, K 365
  4. Sonata in D major, K 435
  5. Sonata in B minor, K 87
  6. Sonata in C major, K 487
  7. Sonata in F sharp minor, K 448
  8. Sonata in D major, K 492
  9. Sonata in G minor, K 30
  10. Sonata in G major, K 455
  11. Sonata in G minor
  12. Sonata in E major, K 20
  13. Sonata in A major, K 429
  14. Sonata in G minor, K 426
  15. Sonata in G major, K 427
  16. Sonata in B minor, K 197
  17. Sonata in B minor, K 27
  18. Sonata in A major, K 24

Yevgeny Sudbin, piano
Date: 2004
Label: BIS




As Yevgeny Sudbin’s extremely thoughtful and well-written notes make clear, he’s as intelligent an artist as he is talented. Coming hard on the heels of Konstantin Scherbakov’s marvelous Scarlatti recital for Naxos, this fantastic disc must stand with the finest available recordings of this music on piano, unquestionably on a level with Pletnev and Horowitz. There are far more delights than I can easily list here, including Sudbin’s supple touch and perfectly apt articulation in the scherzo-like K. 492 and K. 455, or his dazzling guitar imitations in K. 429 (my personal favorite on the disc) and the concluding K. 24. His timing and sense of rhythm seem perfectly in tune with every surprising twist and turn of Scarlatti’s capricious genius, and every interpretive maneuver, no matter how daring, serves the music.

I’m thinking particularly of K. 30, the famous “Cat’s Fugue”, in which Sudbin characterizes every entry of the subject in a manner both captivating and effortlessly natural, or his sultry probing of the dark inner recesses of K. 466. There isn’t a single track among these 18 sonatas that doesn’t offer a virtual clinic in pianistic sensitivity, virtuosity, and idiomatic identification with the repertoire. Listen to the moody K. 197 in B minor and note how much expressive potency Sudbin wrings from the music through subtle accentuation and touch, all the while preserving the sense of line and phrasing to the end of each musical paragraph.

In short, this is absolutely great piano playing, and it’s matched by one of the most beautiful keyboard recordings to come along in a quite a while. If you love Scarlatti–never mind the opportunity to make the acquaintance of a stellar young artist clearly capable of wonderful things–you simply must hear this. I’ve already played it more than a dozen times, and I can’t wait to get back to the polyphonic riches of K. 365, or the Spanish ebullience of K. 435, or… [4/1/2005]

-- David HurwitzClassicsToday

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Domenico Scarlatti (Naples, 26 October 1685 – Madrid, 23 July 1757) was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style and he was one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period. Like his renowned father Alessandro Scarlatti, he composed in a variety of musical forms, although today he is known mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas.


Yevgeny Sudbin (born 19 April 1980 in Saint Petersburg, Russia) is a Russian concert pianist. He studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin, the Purcell School and the Royal Academy of Music. Among his teachers are Christopher Elton, Murray Perahia, Leon Fleisher, Stephen Kovacevich, Dmitri Bashkirov, Fou Ts'ong and Stephen Hough. Sudbin's recordings for BIS have met with critical acclaim and are regularly featured as CD of the Month by BBC Music Magazine or Editor’s Choice by Gramophone.


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