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Lee Passarella
Audiophile Audition, March 2013

Right from the big, bell-like chords that kick off Liszt’s Funérailles through the accelerated march that ends the piece—an angry, resolute apotheosis to his Hungarian countrymen killed in the 1849 uprising against Austrian rule—Sudbin faithfully recreates Liszt’s harrowing and finally liberating and uplifting tribute.

Sudbin’s Transcendental Etude No. 10 is suitably hair-raising, but then he’s able to turn on an emotional dime, rending the Etude No. 11 in shimmering patterns of light and dark, with the subtlest inflections of tempo and dynamics.

The intersection of the fleshly and divine occurs for both Petrarch and Liszt in Sonnet 123, where, as Sudbin expertly expresses things, “Liszt manages to capture this celestial serenity and tenderness in an extraordinary way, by the amorphous nature of the speed (Lento placido), by expressive indications (dolcissimo, dolcemente) and by using a dynamic range between p and ppp. This last sonnet is like a hallucinogenic, amorous dream…” Sudbin spins the dream in a gorgeous haze of notes.

It’s evident that Sudbin has lived with all these pieces a long while and has thought deeply about them individually and as parts of an extraordinary recital—one that I urgently recommend. © Audiophile Audition Read complete review





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