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Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 24 [Yevgeny Sudbin, Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä] [BIS: BIS1978] [Hybrid SACD, SACD]

Yevgeny Sudbin , Minnesota Orchestra , Ludwig van Beethoven , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Osmo Vänskä Audio CD

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Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 24 [Yevgeny Sudbin, Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä] [BIS: BIS1978] + Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 & 5
Price For Both: £29.01

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1. Ludwig van BEETHOVEN | Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor, Op 37 - Yevgeny Sudbin/Minnesota Orchestra
2. Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART | Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor, K 491 - Yevgeny Sudbin/Minnesota Orchestra

Product Description

Product Description

The sequel to BISSACD1758 (2010), Yevgeny Sudbin and Osmo Vänskä go one step further and include Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24, which is often regarded as having been the inspiration for Beethoven's work. The mood is dramatic, even Romantic memorably described as an 'explosion of passion, of dark tragic emotions'.

Mozart's piano concerto calls for the performer to come up with cadenzas of their own for the first and last movements. Sudbin pushes the boundaries of the acceptable in an electric performance.

There is a true give-and-take relationship between Sudbin and the Minnesota Orchestra, which yields highly engaged and creative performances in these mainstays of the piano repertoire.


'A fine BIS recording captures the music with audiophile accuracy and naturalness which incorporates seamlessly the brilliant range of sound, dynamic range and color made by Sudbin's Steinway D. Recorded...even more sumptuously in SACD mode, the sound is an equal partner in presenting the tremendous efforts of the musical crew.' ***** --Audiophile Audition, 28/03/2014

'Sudbin's evenly measured runs, with just enough lift in the middle of each phrase to keep the performances from sounding too academic, evinces a superb technique. Similarly his elegant and stylishly executed turns are almost cheeky as he exhibits the balance required between power and delicacy demanded from the best Beethoven performers.' --Limelight, 02/03/2014

'Mozart's concerto calls for the performer to come up with cadenzas of their own for the first and last movements. Here, Sudbin pushes the boundaries of the acceptable in an electric performance. An unmissable, and often startling, recording.' --Classic FM

'Those looking for a modern version of the Beethoven that touches all the bases will find none finer. Both the sound and Horst A. Scholtz's notes are on par with the earlier disc - and, as with Vänskä's current Sibelius traversal, one can only hope that problems in Minnesota do not prevent the completion of an impressive cycle.' --International Record Review, April 2014

'Mozart's concerto calls for the performer to come up with cadenzas of their own for the first and last movements. Here, Sudbin pushes the boundaries of the acceptable in an electric performance. An unmissable, and often startling, recording.' --Classic FM

'The marriage of strength in exposition and sensitivity in accompaniment is more or less beyond compare. The shaping of the concerto is well-nigh ideal. The first movement has pace and presence, out of which large vistas naturally emerge...The recorded quality is exceptional.' --Gramophone, May 2014

'Mozart's concerto calls for the performer to come up with cadenzas of their own for the first and last movements. Here, Sudbin pushes the boundaries of the acceptable in an electric performance. An unmissable, and often startling, recording.' --Classic FM

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sudbin at the top of his game; ten stars. 4 May 2014
By Fountainhead - Published on
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. The Minnesota Orchestra distinguishes itself here, with particularly ravishing playing from the wind section, and the recording is first class, with exquisite balances from top to bottom and beautiful clarity of detail.

I have only two minor quibbles. First, as much as I love Sudbin's ornamentation in the Mozart, I have yet to hear a performance of a Mozart piano concerto that fully fleshes out the solo part in the way I imagine it could be done. Also, unlike most of his other recordings, in which Sudbin provides his own highly entertaining and informative program notes, here he provides merely a short introduction to the actual notes.

In short, grab this recording. Sudbin is a truly great pianist, and a refreshing corrective to all the Yuja Wangs and Bang-Bangs out there. If you're not yet familiar with him, this is a great place to start, and then check out his other BIS recordings.

Unhesitatingly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars **** 1/2 Sudbin and Vanska work together very well, producing two concerto readings with something to say 10 May 2014
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
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. That's what he's done, in an idiom quite removed from Mozartean style (thee are no extant cadenzas by the composer), and I was entertained. My only quibble is that the finale is rather stately, more poised than exuberant.

The Beethoven Third is in C minor, the same key as the Mozart, but where Cto. no. 24 displays a minor-key mood mostly in an air of refined melancholy, Beethoven's minor-key world is stormy and at times defiant (this is the key of the Fifth Sym., after all). In that regard the concerto moves only halfway into the full-scale drama of Beethoven's fully mature idiom, but I still want to hear a reading, like the classic one with Serkin and Bernstein, that looks forward. Vanska's acclaimed Beethoven symphony cycle was "new" style, with punchy accents, fast tempos, and semi-HIP touches. Here some of those stylistic gestures are also present, so the interpretation doesn't fulfill m ideal.

It's very good nonetheless, with soloist and conductor sharing the same musical impulses and therefore blending well. Sudbin gives a declarative statement of the solo part, standing forth as he should, like the heroic protagonist of the Emperor Cto. His technique is very even in runs and trills. There's not a blemish, and yet he doesn't lapse into mechanical note spinning. I think real originality eludes him, however - just listen to what Pletnev makes of the concerto in his DG cycle. Being a Chopinist, Sudbin has a special touch in the slow movement, where indeed he's at his most supple and personal, maybe too much so for a listener who wants to hear something closer to Haydn's classicism. The finale is direct and energetic although a bit too contained for me. Serkin and Pletnev are both considerably slower but more distinctive in their playing.

In all, this is a thoroughly enjoyable pairing and a real success for both soloist and orchestra, even if it falls short of the heights.
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and elegant performance. 19 Jun 2014
By Dong-Gi Hong, M.D. - Published on
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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