Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Downloads available from eclassical.com: http://www.eclassical.com

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Fantaisie in F minor, Op 49 [12:03]
Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 1 [4:49]
Nocturne in C minor, Op 48 No 1 [6:01]
Mazurka in F minor, Op 7 No 3 [2:23]
Mazurka in D, Op 33 No 2 [2:42]
Mazurka in B minor, Op 33 No 4 [5:12]
Ballade No 3 in A flat, Op 47 [7:18]
Mazurka in B flat minor, Op 24 No 4 [4:34]
Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op 50 No 3 [4:53]
Nocturne in E flat, Op 55 No 2 [4:22]
Ballade No 4 in F minor, Op 52 [10:53]
Yevgeny SUDBIN (1980-)
À la minute (paraphrase of Chopin’s “Minute” Waltz) [4:38]
Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
rec. February 2009, July 2010, January 2011, St George’s, Bristol, England
BIS SACD 1838 [69:44]

Experience Classicsonline

 

 

 
I’ve had a great deal of pleasure from playing Yevgeny Sudbin’s new Chopin recital and really thinking about how he performs this music. Make no mistake: these are thoughtful, immensely intelligent performances all, and with each successive listen my admiration increases.
 
How to describe Sudbin’s Chopin? It can be brisk, at times, and at others can be as hefty and powerful as Liszt. It can be as still as a lone cloud in the sky, too. There is always a sense of momentum which makes transitions especially clear and which may make the fastest passages - such as the central agitations of the Fantaisie in F minor - feel rushed on first acquaintance. After a while, though, these aren’t rushed any more; they feel natural. One gets the sense of a keen performer doing his best to understand how this music flows, how it can be communicated at its clearest.
 
Compare, for instance, Daniel Barenboim’s rather square Warsaw recital, released on DG in 2011. Barenboim’s Fantaisie in F minor is 13:31 to Sudbin’s 12:00. More than anything else Barenboim feels studied. His playing is heavy, as if he had sat before the piano spending too much time thinking the interpretation out. There are fiddly pauses and chords which feel pulled down by weights. Sudbin may dash through certain of the faster episodes, but he understands the relationships between the work’s parts, and his performance sounds off-the-cuff. It really captures the work at its most impressionistic, successfully conveying a sense of exploration, of journey, of – there’s no avoiding the word any longer – fantasy.
 
It wasn’t until my fourth complete listen that I finally read the liner-notes. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but Sudbin has written one of the best essays I’ve read on Chopin, explaining his performance philosophy better than I could: “the music’s raw, direct appeal to human emotions presents huge dilemmas when it comes to execution … It is not easy to articulate these interpretative challenges properly but, simply put, the notes as they stand have such an incredible power of expression that imposing yourself can often diminish the piece’s expressive impact. This can make our job (as interpreters) deceptively easy or impossibly difficult.” He also quotes a remark by Chopin: “Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
 
This should give us an idea. Sudbin, turning 32 this year, could play this music as a young(ish) firebrand, with hotheadedness and a penchant for emotional extremes; he could go to the opposite extreme and aspire to cool objectivity. He does neither: he doesn’t quite let the music speak for itself, but he doesn’t impose himself either. Sudbin amplifies Chopin. He never seems disconnected from Chopin’s spirit. I know this is extremely high praise; it’s meant to be.
 
A few moments stand out as especially powerful: the self-assured but prayerful major-key line at the end of the nocturne Op 27 No 1, the urgently shattering reprise of the main theme in the nocturne Op 48 No 1, and the whisper-soft darkness of the final notes of the B flat minor mazurka. Another of my favorite mazurkas, Op 33 No 4 in B minor, receives a suitably mysterious reading. Sudbin clearly has a penchant for Chopin’s dark side: there are only three works here - most notably the third Ballade - in major keys, and the program’s bookends are in F minor, the Fantaisie and the Ballade No 4, the second theme of which has unusual poise and gentleness without being still. Sudbin brings crystal clarity and emphatic finality to the ballade’s stunning coda, a combination achieved by Richter, Moravec, and few others. Then there’s the encore, in which Sudbin takes the famed “Minute” waltz and imagines how it might have sounded if it had been written by Rachmaninov: a combination of mad virtuosity and playful wit which sets the cap on a tremendous listening experience.
 
Is this a ‘classic’ Chopin recital? I’ve wavered back and forth on the question; after all, ‘classic’ suggests something rather beyond reach, beyond the pale of criticism, and I do wish Sudbin had been just a little less headstrong in the Fantaisie and a nocturne or two. This is a consistent, deeply felt approach to the music which seems always to bring out the best in composer and performer. Sudbin’s Chopin achieves what he intends: he allows himself entry into the deepest and darkest of the composer’s emotions, but without imposing himself upon them. “Deceptively easy”, indeed, for one might think, listening to this disc, that playing so naturally and fluidly must be the simplest thing in the world. Quite the reverse is true, and if Sudbin’s Chopin is viewed as a classic in coming years, this will be the reason why.
 
Brian Reinhart
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.