The piano concerti of Beethoven are well-recognized masterpieces. For me, the Concerto #4 is really sublime, and the slow movement is one of my great favorites in the piano literature.
The Minnesota Orchestra is a terrific group of interpreters, and the conductor gives us an interpretation with moderate tempos and plush orchestral passages married to strategically – placed violins and chamber music-like balance. Accompaniment figures brim with energy, like the vivid and razor sharp lower strings throughout the G-major concerto.
Conductor Osmo Vanska also makes incredibly informed and intelligent choices, never simply playing the music as it always has been performed by others.
Of course, despite the wonderful work from the podium, the real star of the show is Yevgeny Sudbin. Like Vanksa, he never takes the music for granted and makes some really fascinating, but thoroughly logical interpretive choices.
Sudbin’s approach is so musically satisfying that it leads to thorough satisfaction. This CD represents fantastic Beethoven on every level and a joy from start to finish, even in music as well-known as this. It is as if an old layer has been removed and we are hearing this music in a fresh and fantastically satisfying light.
Here’s a video of Yevgeny Sudbin, performing Scriabin’s Valse Op. 38:
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Tags: Yevgeny Sudbin, Beethoven Concerto #4, Beethoven Concerto #5