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Yevgeny Sudbin: Rachmaninoff Prelude in Gm (in lieu of Scarlatti)

Weekend Music

My friend Robert introduced me to Sudbin's Scarlatti album some months ago. I was initially a little cool to it, writing to Robert that Sudbin seemed too fast in the fast parts and too slow in the slow parts. Also, most of the sonatas were unfamiliar to me, and I had to get to know them. But after a couple of listens I changed my mind completely. I've had a particular love for Scarlatti since first hearing Landowska's recordings when I was in college, or soon after. I now like this recording as much as any other Scarlatti I've heard, and more than many.

The piano has never been my favorite instrument. I know it has an expressive range greater than any other solo instrument (with the possible exception of the organ), and I know there is a huge treasure-chest of great music written for it, but the basic clanging percussive  sound of it has never appealed to me greatly in itself. You could almost say I like the music written for it in spite of the instrument itself, and have never had the slightest desire to play it.

Yet Sudbin's Scarlatti has done something to me that no other piano recording has ever done: it has made me wish I could play the piano. This came to me about halfway through my third or fourth hearing of the Scarlatti, when I found myself thinking how wonderful it must feel to produce such sounds with one's hands. I think my hands actually started moving a bit, with a sort of physical longing to feel such richness for themselves, just the way one's tongue might long to taste something delicious.

I am, however, unable to find on YouTube any Scarlatti played by Sudbin. So here's something else. I like this, and the video is pretty. I really don't know much of Rachmaninov's music aside from the famous piano concertos. I think I will be buying Sudbin's Rachmaninov album.



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Found a link on Sudbin's Web site to some samples of his Scarlatti, here


Sudbin is a pianist whom I have admired for a few years now. I haven't heard the Scarlatti recording that you have, though I'd now like to.

He made a recording of Scriabin's music that won a lot of praise; Scriabin's music generally does not appeal to me, and though I can't say Sudbin changed that, it is a very impressive disc.

He was also the pianist on what is perhaps my favourite chamber music recording of the last five, and maybe ten, years: Weinberg's cello sonatas. Amazing music, and wonderfully played.

Thanks, Marianne. I think I'm actually going to buy that cd, even though I already have it in mp3 format. I want the notes and the potentially better sound quality.

I'm going to have to check out those cello sonatas, Craig.

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