Friday, 28 January 2011

CD Reviews (The Straits Times, January 2011)

HAYDN Piano Sonatas

It is gratifying to note that more young pianists are taking on the challenge of playing Haydn’s keyboard Sonatas. While not possessing Mozart’s utter charm or Beethoven’s fist-shaking passion, the secret is in bringing out Haydn’s wit and wry humour. Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin’s readings are never dry or scholarly, but always alive to Haydn’s turns of phrases, dynamic and harmonic surprises. He liberally sprinkles on his own ornamentations whenever appropriate, never sounding unidiomatic or obtrusive. Aided by lush piano sound, he turns the three unassuming essays exercises into little epics.

He also includes the pensive Andante and Variations, possibly Haydn’s greatest single movement for piano and the chirpy Fantasia in C major, allied to the quirky finale of Sonata No.60 in C major. As an encore, Larking With Haydn, Sudbin’s own transcription of the finale of Haydn’s Lark Quartet takes flight, capping an enjoyable outing with classical music’s most underrated genius.

SCRIABIN’s Piano Concerto
with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra
conducted by KRISTJAN JÄRVI
Esplanade Concert Hall
Friday, 28 January 2011, 7.30pm
Tickets available at SISTIC

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