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RAVEL, LISZT, SAENT-SAENS: Yevgeny Sudbin Plays Ravel, Liszt & Saint-Saens (Hybrid SACD)

RAVEL, LISZT, SAENT-SAENS: Yevgeny Sudbin Plays Ravel, Liszt & Saint-Saens (Hybrid SACD)

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Following a series of highly acclaimed recordings dedicated to individual composers, Yevgeny Sudbin has combined works by Liszt, Ravel and Saint-Saëns into a recital with the three-stranded theme Love, Delirium and Death. First to make its presence felt is death, in Funérailles, Liszt’s grandiose elegy for his Hungarian countrymen who died in the 1849 uprising against Habsburg Rule. It reappears in Ravel’s depiction of a hanging – Le Gibet (The Gallows) from the triptych Gaspard de la Nuit – and closes the programme in Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre in which Death personified provides the music for a morbid ballet of corpses, playing a fiddle and tapping his foot on a tombstone. Love enters the programme with the Petrarch Sonnets, originally song settings by Liszt of three of the many poems in which Petrarca immortalized Laura, the object of his life-long but unrequited passion, and later reworked for piano solo by the composer. A similarly hopeless attraction is described in Ravel’s Ondine – the tale of a water nymph tempting a mortal to join her in the depths of the lake. Delirium, finally, is present throughout the disc – most manifestly in the nightmarish portrait of the goblin Scarbo, but also as an essential ingredient in many of the other works. The programme thus poses a huge challenge for the performer in terms of transmitting a wealth of super-charged emotions and images while simultaneously negotiating immense technical demands – a worthy task for Sudbin, whose Scriabin interpretations were described in BBC Music Magazine as being ‘as terrifyingly changeable and emotionally all-engulfing as the music itself’, while his Rachmaninov disc to the reviewer in Piano Magazine revealed ‘a musical dramatist of exceptional acumen and sophistication; a poet who moves seamlessly between unbridled rhetoric and extreme intimacy; a stylist who catches the particular spirit of everything he plays…

Franz Liszt
01 Funérailles 10'55

Franz Liszt
from Études d’exécution transcendante, S.139 13'09
02 Étude No.10. Allegro agitato molto 4'28
03 Étude No.11. ‘Harmonies du soir’ 8'41

Franz Liszt
3 Sonetti del Petrarca 17'11
04 Sonetto 47. Benedetto sia ’l giorno 4'59
05 Sonetto 104. Pace non trovo 5'42
06 Sonetto 123. I’ vidi in terra angelici costumi 6'30

Maurice Ravel
Gaspard de la nuit 22'21
07 Ondine 6'33
08 Le Gibet 6'22
09 Scarbo 9'26

Camille Saint-Saëns
10 Danse macabre 8'10

Album total 73'46

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