Sudbin Concert Review

Yevgeny Sudbin concert review: Cabrillo College

It is not often that the small town of Aptos, California is able to attract an artist of the caliber of Yevgeny Sudbin. For me this was great, because my home is in Aptos. The night before, I had travelled for 45 minutes one way to listen to the Tokyo String Quartet. Last night, however, my travel required 10 minutes to arrive early at the Cabrillo College parking lot and head for the new Crocker Theater.

It was unfortunate that the public had to endure a commercial talk on behalf of the Yamaha Piano Company before the music began. I felt that this was somewhat of an insult to the performer.

Sudbin’s playing is very impressive! In his opening work, the Haydn Sonata in B Minor, Hob. XVI:32, he immediately established that he has the sensitivity and technique to be taken very seriously. He performed the Haydn with the seriousness required in the second movement, as well as the humor and percussiveness required by the final Presto.

Sudbin’s performance of the four Shostakovich Preludes demonstrated that he knows how to capture the wit and sarcasm so characteristic of these pieces; and I immediately decided that I wanted to hear more of these Preludes, and also more of Yevgeny Sudbin’s playing.

Next on the program we heard a terrific performance of the Chopin Ballades 3 and 4. The performer showed us great variety in textures, strong transitions in tone color and sound intensity and fascinating technique.

After intermission, Sudbin’s virtuosity was completely out there for the listener’s admiration: He played the Liszt Transcendental Etude, Harmonies du soir, and Ravel’s great masterpiece, Gaspard de la nuit. What a display of sound that was! And the whole choice of the compositions on the program was actually strongly satisfying, as well.

After a well-deserved standing ovation, Sudbin played two Rachmaninoff Preludes as an ovation. Wonderful concert!

Here is Yevgeny Sudbin, performing Ravel’s “Gaspard de la nuit” Ondine:

Tags: Yevgeny Sudbin, concert review, Cabrillo College April 23 2011

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