Listeners who heard Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin's earlier recording of Rachmaninov's solo piano works knew he was an astonishing pianist with romantic temperament, superhuman technique, and, best of all, consummate taste -- but until they've heard this coupling of the first piano concertos of Tchaikovsky and Medtner, they'll have no idea how astonishing a pianist Sudbin really is. This is piano playing in the grandest of grand manners -- the strength, the power, the sheer scale of Sudbin's performances are awe-inspiring -- but better yet are Sudbin's interpretations. Even after almost a century and a half of abuse, Tchaikovsky's First Concerto sounds vibrantly, thrillingly alive in Sudbin's fire-breathing performance. And even after almost a century of neglect, Medtner's First Concerto sounds deeply, passionately seductive in Sudbin's hot-blooded performance. With bound-for-glory playing from the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra under conductor John Neschling and the sky's-the-limit recording by producer Marion Schwebel and engineer Martin Nagorni, this disc will thrill any fan of great piano playing -- and the addition of Sudbin's transcription for solo piano of Medtner's song Liebliches Kind! will melt the hearts of any fans of purest emotionality.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23|
|Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 33|
|Aus "Claudine von Villa-Bella" I ("Liebliches Kind"), song for voice & piano, Op. 6/5|