Romeo & Juliet: Tchaikovsky on the Piano (Yevgeny Sudbin)

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Instrumental

Label: BIS

Media Format: Super Audio CD

Media Runtime: 74

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: BIS2198

BIS2198. Romeo & Juliet: Tchaikovsky on the Piano

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Ruslan and Lyudmila, Movement: Overture Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(The) Nutcracker, Movement: Waltz of the Flowers Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Bella Sudbin, Piano
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
Dumka (Russian rustic scene) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(The) Seasons, Movement: No. 11, November (On the troika) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(The) Seasons, Movement: No. 6, June (Barcarolle) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(2) Morceaux Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(6) Morceaux, Movement: No. 4, Nocturne in C sharp minor Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(18) Morceaux, Movement: Tendres reproches, C sharp minor Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(18) Morceaux, Movement: Valse à cinq temps, D Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(18) Morceaux, Movement: Chant élégiaque, D flat Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
(The) Sleeping Beauty, Movement: Valse Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano
Romeo and Juliet - Fantasy Overture Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Composer
Yevgeny Sudbin, Piano

It must have been quite a headache for BIS to come up with a title for Yevgeny Sudbin’s latest album. They chose ‘Romeo and Juliet’, which may be the longest piece but still represents only just over a quarter of the total duration. The sub-heading ‘Tchaikovsky on the Piano’ refers to this transcription and those of the two ballet waltzes, as well as the nine solo pieces they enclose, but that gives no indication of the character that radiates from both playing and music, never mind the coruscating Glinka arrangement that kicks everything off.

‘At the piano with Zhenya, Bella, Misha and Petya’ would admittedly be too matey, but it does capture more of the intimacy and sheer fun that characterise the disc. ‘Fun’ appears at least twice in Sudbin’s own booklet note. Here he explains how he has lost count of how many times he has had to listen to the Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture while waiting in the wings for a concerto appearance, and how his bravura arrangement constitutes his affectionate penance for his impatience with Glinka’s fanfares. Here, and in the Romeo and Juliet Overture, Sudbin’s capacity for quasi-orchestral texturing and digital aerobatics is perfectly showcased: scintillating, and then some.

In the two waltz transcriptions (the Sleeping Beauty being adapted from the young Rachmaninov’s version), Sudbin is joined by his 12-year-old daughter, to whom the best tribute I can pay is that I could never tell who is taking the primo and who the secondo. As for the solo pieces, they bring out the more tender side of Sudbin’s understanding, as he shapes lines with sovereign freedom yet with no hint of narcissism.

The programme was recorded in three different locations but still sounds all of a piece. I suppose I can imagine some finding Sudbin’s fortissimo a little on the hard-edged side. Not me, though, because he deploys it with such imagination, flair and wide-ranging colour.

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