Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 and 5

Album review
Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 and 5


Piano Concertos 4 and 5

Label: BIS
Media: SACD
Genre: Classical

Yevgeny Sudbin has graced us with thoughtful, sunny readings of the popular Emperor Concerto and the less-often- heard Fourth. He has a pleasant tone, and a transparent, refined approach with more charm and fleetness than force or fire. The orchestra matches him throughout— textures are never dense or overbearing, and phrases are clean and precise. The Fourth’s brooding slow movement should begin more threateningly, and its slack shaping barely drags itself into the rondo finale, though that’s full of delightful interplay. The whole orchestra seems caught up in the joy of the Fifth; even the lower strings sound excited playing the mundane accompaniment. And somehow, Subdin’s trills sound like two aspects of the same note rather than two alternating notes. The gaiety of the piece is contagious; the scales are brilliant, without a hint of pedantry. Our pianist’s phrasing isn’t the most searching, his tone the most colorful, or his technique thunderous, but his many strengths make up for it. The SACD sound is clear and vibrant, and the disc sounds good on standard CD players also. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Yevgeny Sudbin
  • primary artist, Minnesota Orchestra
  • composer, Beethoven
  • SACD

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