WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Scarlatti: 18 Sonatas / Sudbin


Release Date: 03/11/2016 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2138   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $19.99
SuperAudio CD:  $14.99
In Stock




Notes and Editorial Reviews



Reviews:

Back in the May 2005 issue of Gramophone, Bryce Morrison extolled the virtues of a Scarlatti disc by a young Russian pianist. His name was Yevgeny Sudbin and it was his debut on BIS. Ten years on, Sudbin decided it was time for another installment: 18 more sonatas, as enterprisingly and imaginatively programmed as on that first disc.

In the playing itself, there’s the same familiar mix of virtuosity and refinement that marked out the first CD. Sudbin embraces the full resources of his Steinway Model D to recreate this music for a modern age, describing what he does in his eloquent booklet essay as ‘in effect a piano transcription’.
Read more Just as Horowitz had his pianos doctored to create the right sound and reactivity for Scarlatti’s unique musical vision, so Sudbin changes textures, shifts phrases up an octave and avails himself of the sustaining pedal in a way that will have purists fleeing for cover. Yet even they should perhaps give pause before rejecting such vitally alive musicianship.

The triumph of this disc is not that it makes you think ‘what wonderful playing’, but ‘what wonderful sonatas’. Again and again you marvel at Scarlatti’s endless invention. And, tellingly, Sudbin ends on a profound note with the tenderly inward Kk32, again given a lusciously vocal quality, which is beautifully captured by BIS’s sensitive recording. A winner.

– Gramophone

Yevgeny Sudbin has waited ten years before offering a second selection of Scarlatti sonatas. In his always intelligent booklet notes, he refers to playing Scarlatti on the piano as akin to making “transcriptions” of the originals, so different is the modern instrument from those at Scarlatti’s disposal. Perhaps. It might be more accurate to say that Sudbin plays these pieces like transcriptions. A modern piano can do just about anything a harpsichord can do, some things more easily, others less so, but in the event Sudbin has chosen to exploit the resources of his instrument fully. The result is highly pianistic, often provocative, and quite different from his first Scarlatti recital, where brilliance and spontaneity ruled the day.

The brilliance certainly remains; the spontaneity less so. It’s surely no coincidence that the program opens with an outwardly “studied” piece–a splendidly clear account of one of Scarlatti’s few fugues, the Sonata in D minor, K. 417, and that ten of the included sonatas are rooted in minor keys. Sudbin’s approach works most convincingly, unsurprisingly, in the slower, intimate pieces that call for a long lyrical line: the sonatas K. 208, 213, 99, 32, and the marvelous K. 328 in F sharp major, among others. There are moments where you might be forgiven for thinking that you were listening to a Chopin nocturne; the music acquires great poetry and timelessness.

On the other hand, the popular K. 141, with its manic repeated notes, fails in this rushed adaptation, with its blurred articulation and pounding left hand chords. Angela Hewitt, in her recent Scarlatti recital on piano for Hyperion, shows how it can (and should) be done, and it’s all the more curious since Sudbin manages the similar writing in K. 119 in D major with idiomatic flair. He takes great liberties with repeats in both the “A” and “B” sections of these works, altering dynamics, articulation, ornamentation–you name it. This can be enchanting, as in K. 159 in C major, where the imitation of horns coming from a distance on the first half repeat is simply magical. At other moments, however, you might get the impression that Sudbin is trying just a bit too hard. In this he resembles his colleague, Mikhail Pletnev, whose Scarlatti recital for Virgin was similarly idiosyncratic, but also remarkably personal and affecting. Certainly Sudbin characterizes every note, and his willingness to explore some delightful but relatively lesser-known works (K. 125 and K. 373, in G major/minor for example) can only be applauded. If this sequel isn’t quite as enticing as Sudbin’s original, then, it is different: more reflective, perhaps more mature in some ways. In any case, no one can accuse him of serving up more of the same, and BIS’ engineering is uniformly outstanding. Recommended, then, especially for connoisseurs.

– ClassicsToday Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 417/L 462 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
2.
Sonata for Harpsichord in A major, K 208/L 238 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
3.
Sonata for Harpsichord in C major, K 159/L 104 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
4.
Sonata for Harpsichord in C minor, K 56/G 356 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
5.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 213/L 108 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
6.
Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 125/L 487 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
7.
Sonata for Harpsichord in G minor, K 373/L 98 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
8.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D major, K 119/L 415 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
9.
Sonata for Harpsichord in F minor, K 69/L 382 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
10.
Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 425/L 333 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
11.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D major, K 29/L 461 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738 
12.
Sonata for Harpsichord in C minor, K 99/L 317 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
13.
Sonata for Harpsichord in G minor, K 12/L 489 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738 
14.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D major, K 479/L S16 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
15.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 9/L 413 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738 
16.
Sonata for Harpsichord in F sharp major, K 318/L 31 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
17.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 141/L 422 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
18.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 32/L 423 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1739 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Outstanding February 1, 2017 By Steven G. (Minneapolis, MN) See All My Reviews "Brilliant performances of great character in outstanding sound." Report Abuse
Review This Title