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Rachmaninov - Solo Piano Works
“From beginning to end, we are in the presence here of a major, world-class artist – a fearless technician with an all-encompassing command of his instrument; a musical dramatist of exceptional acumen and sophistication; a poet who moves seamlessly between unbridled rhetoric and extreme intimacy; a stylist who catches the particular spirit of everything he plays.” Piano Magazine
“In the case of the very expansive Chopin Variations… Sudbin makes a persuasive case for this unjustly neglected work, demonstrating not only breathtaking technical control throughout, but also a capacity to extract the most wide-ranging character and textural variety from the music he plays here. Similar qualities abound in a tremendously riveting account of the revised version of the Second Sonata... an extraordinary disc by anyone's standard.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****
“After the richly deserved acclaim that greeted his debut disc of Scarlatti, Yevgeny Sudbin moves onto home ground. And here, surely, is a young virtuoso in the widest, most encompassing sense.
Sudbin makes an unforgettable case for the Chopin Variations, a florid and uneven work, though at its finest (in, say, Variation 21) as memorable as anything in Rachmaninov. Omitting the quickly aborted fugue of Variation 12 and choosing the quiet rather than rumbustious coda, he is breathtakingly fleet in Variations 7-8 and goes through Variations 9-10 with all guns firing. Hear him in the whirling measures of Variation 20 (complete with sky-rocketing ossia) in page after page of dark, lyrical introspection and you will be hard pressed to recall a more talented or deeply engaged young artist.
The Second Sonata, played here in Sudbin's own Horowitz-based conflation, is equally inspired, going out in a spine-tingling final blaze of glory. In the two song transcriptions he sounds warmly committed to their floral enchantment.
Again, whether in love's joys or sorrows, Sudbin evinces a deft and super-sensitive virtuosity; and even though competition in both the Variations and the Sonata is intense he creates an entirely individual aura. His own personal and informative notes provide a crowning touch to this well recorded, deeply heartfelt recital.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
BBC Music Magazine
Instrumental Choice - December 2005
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Polina Leschenko: Forgotten Melodies
Choc winner, young virtuoso Polina Leschenko is back with a highly anticipated all Russian album. Starting her program with two wonderful Waltzes by composer and pianist Mischa Levitski, Polina then proceeds with a stunning performance of Rachmaninov’s second sonata - in the revised version of Horowitz . The second half of the program is devoted to a highly moving rendition of the complete first cycle of the Forgotten Melodies - including the Reminiscenza Sonata - by romantic composer Medtner.
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Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No. 2
Alessandro Mazzamuto (piano)
On this new hybrid SACD the young Sicilian virtuoso Alessandro Mazzamuto makes his recording debut with three of Sergei Rachmaninov’s works for solo piano: the Sonata No. 2 (in its original version from 1913), the five Morceaux de Fantasie, and the Variations on a Theme of Corelli.
The Sicilian pianist Alessandro Mazzamuto was the winner of the Lodovici Prize, awarded by Martha Argerich during the 2011 Busoni Competition to the contestant who showed the greatest flair for a recording project: that is to say, originality of performance and the ability to root out and explore the poetic contents of the scores.
Sergei Rachmaninov began his Piano Sonata No. 2, op. 36 in Rome in 1910 and completed it in Moscow in 1913. The five Morceaux de Fantaisie, op. 3 were written in 1892 and represent the young composer’s first important milestone. The Variations on a Theme of Corelli, op. 42 (1931) is his last significant work for solo piano and one of his most accomplished cycles of variations.
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