Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Concertos 4 & 5 (Yevgeny Sudbin)


Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  1. Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58: I. Allegro moderato
  2. Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58: II. Andante con moto
  3. Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58: III. Rondo. Vivace
  4. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 'Emperor': I. Allegro
  5. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 'Emperor': II. Adagio un poco moto -
  6. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 'Emperor': III. Rondo. Allegro, ma non troppo

Yevgeny Sudbin, piano
Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor

Date: 2010
Label: BIS



Sudbin and Vänskä launch their concerto cycle in style

With this release Yevgeny Sudbin and Osmo Vänskä launch their Beethoven concerto cycle in a novel and intriguing fashion. Going in at the deep end with the most lyrical and magisterial of the concertos, Sudbin makes it clear that he has little use for Beethoven weighed down, as it were, with excess baggage, with the heft and earnestness of a more conventional view. Instead, his delectably light-fingered brilliance and virtuosity shines a new light on some of the most familiar scores in the repertoire, making a supposed division between Mozart’s Apollonian and Beethoven’s Dionysian genius seem little more than a cliché.

True, listeners used to a greater intensity and expansiveness may balk at the nervy rapidity of Sudbin’s reflexes, recalling the greater ease and breadth of past masters of the Beethoven concertos such as Gilels or Arrau, or the more speculative or interior stance of, say, Radu Lupu. But if Sudbin occasionally suggests “time’s winged chariot hurrying near”, the mother-of-pearl sheen of his pianism is backed by a special underlying sensitivity. In the grandest of Beethoven’s two cadenzas for the Fourth Concerto, Sudbin’s spine-tingling pace takes him close to the edge; but hearing him in the phantom entry to the Emperor Concerto’s finale reminds you that you are listening to a wholly individual artist. Such mercurial pianism keeps Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra on their toes but they follow their soloist as to the manner born. BIS’s sound and balance are excellent and the rest of this cycle is eagerly awaited.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: *****


Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis and an opera, Fidelio. Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music.


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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