Author Topic: Nicholas Medtner  (Read 46247 times)

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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #140 on: September 23, 2016, 09:30:13 AM »
Slow in brewing, but better late than never: an excellent review of the Parikian/Milne set of the violin sonatas.

Nikolai MEDTNER: Complete Works for Violin and Piano

Offline Madiel

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #141 on: November 01, 2016, 03:29:25 AM »
Anyone know where I can get Milne's Hyperion CDs of the complete Skazki at an even half-decent price?



It seems to be bafflingly rare, and those copies on offer are hideously expensive. About the cheapest I've seen was a used copy on Amazon for US$71.58.

It's possible to get downloads for a bearable price (17 pounds from Hyperion themselves), but I prefer discs.

I'm intending to buy his other Hyperion recording, of Arabesques, Dithyrambs etc. The fact that that one is still readily available makes me all the more mystified about the rarity of the Skazki. I know it was released in 2007 (compared to 2012 for the other one), but plenty of other Hyperion releases of that age seem to be around.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #142 on: November 01, 2016, 05:00:54 AM »
The Hyperion site informs that the Milne Skazki issue is out of print; the cheapest chance for a physical medium seems to be to order an "archive" CDR from them.

http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA67491/2

"This service offers a production-quality CDR with printed label, inlay (tray) card and, at the minimum, a 2pp booklet (including cover artwork and complete track listing), packaged in a normal jewel case.
In many instances we will provide complete printed booklets, but please note that this is not always the case. Pricing is £13.99 per CD, regardless of the original sale price of the disc(s).
"

Personally, I dislike CDR's of this kind and I consider downloads more suitable for sampling than as legitimate music purchases, but these do seem like the only options for now. I'll let you know if I stumble upon a decently-priced copy of the original CDs.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #143 on: November 01, 2016, 05:10:30 AM »
Yes, I'm aware of the archive CDR option. I didn't count that as a better alternative than downloads. Maybe these days CDRs are good when properly made, but I'm suspicious. I'd actually trust a FLAC file more I think.

At least with Hyperion you can easily download the original booklet.

Meanwhile, I have sent enquiries to (1) Finland and (2) Chile.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #144 on: November 01, 2016, 05:21:48 AM »
I got the Derzhavina 2CD set which includes the 8 Stimmungsbilder op.1, 3 Pieces op.31, the Sonata Triad, and the complete Stimmungsbilder op.38-39, including their 2 sonatas.

http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=phoenix156

It is a very "Russian", robust way of playing the pieces, at times quite different from the other recordings I know of some of them.
Probably not superlative performances, as stated in a review, but interesting for the variation, and the repertoire.

http://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-14738/
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 12:20:24 PM by Turner »

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #145 on: November 01, 2016, 06:45:48 AM »
I'm quite interested to hear the three Piano Concertos. They look like quite substantial works.

Offline lescamil

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #146 on: November 01, 2016, 07:09:34 AM »
I'm quite interested to hear the three Piano Concertos. They look like quite substantial works.

Listen to the Tozer set. You won't hear a better complete set out there... yet. The only quip I have is that he does the short cadenza in the second concerto.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #147 on: November 01, 2016, 08:33:01 AM »
I'm quite interested to hear the three Piano Concertos. They look like quite substantial works.

They are. Despite what initial impressions of what you hear might suggest, expect Beethoven rather than Rachmaninov in how the music is organized and presented and you'll be OK in delving into the Medtnerian world.

Recommendations:

First Concerto: Zhukov, Alexeev, Sudbin, Tozer
Second Concerto: Demidenko and Sudbin
Third Concerto: Demidenko, Ponti and Sudbin


For the Zhukov, look further up in the thread for some youtube links. Madge's set is also interesting, if you happen to find it cheaply. The Tozer set is recommended, but not as a first foray into the works (he plays beautifully, but his fire is generally very subdued). Don't you even come near the Scherbakov recordings on Naxos.

If you haven't already, read the thread for further suggestions and reviews.


Offline Wanderer

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #148 on: November 01, 2016, 08:41:04 AM »
Listen to the Tozer set. You won't hear a better complete set out there... yet. The only quip I have is that he does the short cadenza in the second concerto.


Tozer is very lyrical but also very mellow, and these are not mellow works. His approach works best in parts of the First and Third Concertos. While he provides insights, these are mainly to those already familiar with the music. A further disadvantage: he criminally omits the superb and very substantial main cadenza in the Second Concerto in favour of the short one. I cannot recommend his set as a first and/or only option for these works.

Offline lescamil

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #149 on: November 01, 2016, 09:52:17 AM »

Tozer is very lyrical but also very mellow, and these are not mellow works. His approach works best in parts of the First and Third Concertos. While he provides insights, these are mainly to those already familiar with the music. A further disadvantage: he criminally omits the superb and very substantial main cadenza in the Second Concerto in favour of the short one. I cannot recommend his set as a first and/or only option for these works.

I realize this, but as a complete set where you have all three together, which one is better? The thing with complete sets is that they are rarely completely well rounded in their quality.
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Turner

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #150 on: November 01, 2016, 10:04:48 AM »
Concerning the piano concertos, another vote for no.1 with Zhukov, no.2 with Demidenko, no.3 with Ponti (the last-mentioned very different from any other recording).
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 12:21:15 PM by Turner »

Offline Dax

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #151 on: November 01, 2016, 12:44:30 PM »
My favourite 2nd concerto pianist is Abram Shatskes with USSR SO under Svetlanov.

Medtner himself is pretty good . . .

Anyone know either of these?

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #152 on: November 01, 2016, 02:49:55 PM »
My favourite 2nd concerto pianist is Abram Shatskes with USSR SO under Svetlanov.

Medtner himself is pretty good . . .

Anyone know either of these?

Yes. I must say I disagree, however :-). I have the Shatskes (includes solo piano works played by others) and some Medtner/Medtner.
Shatskes apparently knew the composer, though, and that recording does contain some unusual traits.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 02:51:59 PM by Turner »

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #153 on: July 25, 2017, 12:06:30 PM »
What a nice surprise was to discover the Piano Quintet!! (Hyperion - Alexeev, The New Budapest Quartet)

Right now, I can't explain with enough words my impression provoked by the tremendous mastery of this astounding piece: features such as joyful, sentimental, lovely are mixed with a undisputed compositional skill that only masters can have.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #154 on: February 23, 2021, 04:05:20 AM »
.

A Gramophone review of this new Chandos release of Medtner's songs/lieder.

"Thanks to the likes of Hamish Milne, Geoffrey Tozer and Marc-André Hamelin, Nikolay Medtner’s piano music has reached a wider audience on disc. It’s good to see other champions stepping forwards to do the same for the composer’s songs. Medtner wrote 108 of them and Iain Burnside’s excellent two-disc survey of around half of these for Delphian, featuring six singers, was warmly welcomed by Geoffrey Norris. It was joined last May by Ekaterina Levental and Frank Peters, launching the first volume of a complete edition (Brilliant Classics). And now the Russian pairing of Sofia Fomina and Alexander Karpeyev have recorded 22 of them for Chandos.

Interesting parallels are often drawn between Medtner and Rachmaninov, particularly as both were supreme pianists who went into exile. But all of Rachmaninov’s songs were composed before he left Russia, whereas Medtner, who did not leave until some years after the Russian Revolution, continued writing them. Two of the published sets here (Opp 36 and 37) were composed in the direct aftermath of the events of 1917, while the other two (Opp 45 and 46) were written in the little port of Erquy in Brittany in the summer of 1924, after a short stay in Paris. Also unlike Rachmaninov, Medtner set poets such as his beloved Goethe in the original German rather than in translation. Medtner had partial German ancestry and nearly half of his songs are set to German poetry.

A parallel with Rachmaninov that does stand is the frequently fiendish piano-writing and Medtner scholar and enthusiast Alexander Karpeyev is equal to the task, with some wonderfully tempestuous playing in works such as ‘Arion’ or the virtuoso piano part of ‘Elegy’, regarded as one of Medtner’s finest songs. ..."

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #155 on: February 23, 2021, 08:32:12 PM »

Tozer is very lyrical but also very mellow, and these are not mellow works. His approach works best in parts of the First and Third Concertos. While he provides insights, these are mainly to those already familiar with the music. A further disadvantage: he criminally omits the superb and very substantial main cadenza in the Second Concerto in favour of the short one. I cannot recommend his set as a first and/or only option for these works.

As for the piano works, should I go for the recordings by Tozer and/or Hamelin?
Now I have the Marco Polo disks and Milne set.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #156 on: March 01, 2021, 11:28:13 PM »
As for the piano works, should I go for the recordings by Tozer and/or Hamelin?
Now I have the Marco Polo disks and Milne set.

I'd suggest you go for the Hamelin set. And you can also investigate Tozer's Medtner via streaming.

Offline amw

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #157 on: March 02, 2021, 08:29:03 AM »
Hamelin is the best available Medtner interpreter by some distance, though it's also worth investing in Medtner's own recordings (which are, in fact, often very similar interpretively).

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #158 on: March 02, 2021, 10:11:19 AM »
Well, I prefer Milne to Hamelin. And many other, individual pianists have contributed with more ... individuality in the works, than Hamelin tends to, IMHO.
Medtner himself has some interesting, expressive angles, but technically, he seemed past his prime, this resulting in some sketchy or robust playing now and then.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 12:10:52 PM by MusicTurner »

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Nicholas Medtner
« Reply #159 on: March 02, 2021, 08:31:54 PM »
Well, I prefer Milne to Hamelin. And many other, individual pianists have contributed with more ... individuality in the works, than Hamelin tends to, IMHO.
Medtner himself has some interesting, expressive angles, but technically, he seemed past his prime, this resulting in some sketchy or robust playing now and then.

Yes I like the Milne recording. I will get the Hamelin discs for a comparison with others.