Russo-British pianist Yevgeny Sudbin has traversed the Rachmaninov concertos at a deliberate pace, issuing a recording of the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40 in 2007 and rounding out the set with this reading of the Second and Third in 2018. His Rachmaninov is carefully wrought, subtly intertwined with the orchestral part rather than trafficking in high contrasts, and here the effect is heightened by Sudbin's unusual interpretation of the opening Moderato of the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18. Instead of the usual slower introduction, Sudbin follows Rachmaninov's notation, resulting in a consistent tempo throughout. This sounds great, but Rachmaninov did not play it this way. At any rate, each movement tends to begin with a kind of studied simplicity and then gains momentum and power as it proceeds. The cooperation of an orchestra attuned to what the pianist is doing is important in Sudbin's case, and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo he has one of his most fortunate finds. BIS' Maida Vale Studio sound is also ideal for the project. This is not Rachmaninov to shake the rafters, but it is sensitive and well made. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18|
|Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30|