One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,196 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


paid for

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K491 [30:37]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 [35:38]
Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
Minnesota Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä
rec. June 2011 (Beethoven) and May-June 2012 (Mozart), Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, USA
BIS BIS-SACD-1978 [66:05]

“It’s weird”, I thought, before listening to this album, “Mozart’s Concerto No. 24 and Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 are very similar, but you rarely see them together on an album.” Then I listened and realized why: they are, in fact, so similar that playing them back-to-back creates a risk of burnout, even in performances as good as these.
They’re both in C minor. Their opening themes sound a little alike. They both trade in grand heroism, with plush slow movements and turbulent finales. Listening to them together, you get the very strong impression that Beethoven was keeping close to his source.
Yevgeny Sudbin helps this along by turning up the dial a little bit in the Mozart, and dialing a little back in the Beethoven. The cadenzas, which he wrote himself, provide the standout moments: the first Mozart cadenza is overtly Beethovenian, including, at 12:40, a deliberate quote of the opening melody from Beethoven’s third concerto. The Mozart finale’s cadenza includes a short (abortive?) fugue of Sudbin’s own devising, which is surprising and a little harsh, while the first-movement cadenza in the Beethoven concerto contains the most breathtaking playing on the whole CD.
The Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä are perfect, almost too much so, reminding me of my criticism of these forces’ symphony cycle: that it sounds like Beethoven played by well-engineered robots. That cycle had many fans who will love this. I can say, though, that the woodwinds - particularly clarinets - make beautiful sounds in the Mozart larghetto, full of Viennese elegance.
Some critics have noted that Sudbin makes the simplest passages (runs, trills) into the greatest pleasures. This is true. His playing is so precisely voiced, and so crystal-clear, that it’s hard not to be enthralled by passages which, to other pianists, are the busy work. This alone would make the recording a standout. The cadenzas add interest, and most of you will probably like the coupling and orchestra more than I did. Recommended in the expectation that time will increase my appreciation for the musicianship here.
Brian Reinhart
Previous review: Stephen Greenbank (March 2014 Recording of the Month)

Masterwork Index: Beethoven concerto 3 ~~ Mozart concerto 24