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Yevgeny Sudbin plays Rachmaninov and Medtner

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YEVGENY SUDBIN

Medtner: Fairy Tales (selection), Sonata Tragica op 39 no 5, Sonata-Reminiscenza op 38 no 1 and more; Rachmaninov: selection of six preludes from op 23 and 32

BIS Records

BIS-1848

4 stars

Yevgeny Sudbin has already recorded the three piano concertos by Rachmaninov’s friend Nicolai Medtner (sadly, Medtner’s concertos lack the attribute of memorable, hummable melodies), so it now comes as a pleasure to hear him in a selection of the solo piano works, where his razor-sharp articulation and rhythmic stamina comes brilliantly to the fore. He is no sentimentalist, though. Other pianists have milked the Sonata-Reminiscenza for more juice, yet none with a better sense of proportion. The selection of six Rachmaninov preludes are up against very stiff competition, however Sudbin has his own personal idea about each one and he is free of any exaggeration or idiosyncrasies. I especially enjoyed his gutsy and non-overly sentimental way with the G minor opus 23 no 5 and the D flat opus 32 no 12 preludes. And they come as a nice comparison the opening Medtner work on the disc, the Prologue from Stimmungsbilder opus 1, which shows Sudbin’s more sentimental, introverted side. All in all, a well thought out selection of two Russian romantics. 

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