Chopin: Ballades Nos 3 and 4; F minor Fantasy; Mazurkas; Nocturnes – review

Yevgeny Sudbin

This is a rather curiously arranged programme. Yevgeny Sudbin starts weightily enough, with one of Chopin's most extraordinary achievements, the F minor Fantasy. But he follows that with an extended sequence of nocturnes and mazurkas, before returning to large-scale works with the last two of the Ballades, separated by more mazurkas and another nocturne. In fact, Sudbin is at his most convincing in those larger musical canvases, whose sense of theatricality, emotional range and formal complexities he projects very vividly; the haunted, dark-hued account of the Fantasy is particularly impressive. But the smaller pieces respond less well to Sudbin's treatment: it's not heavy-handed, but places extra expressive weight on pieces that need a much more refined and delicately coloured approach. Chopin's exquisite pastels are overwhelmed by too much moulding and point-making.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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