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Medtner/ Rachmaninov: Sonatas [Steven Osborne] [Hyperion: CDA67936]

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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  • Medtner/ Rachmaninov: Sonatas [Steven Osborne] [Hyperion: CDA67936]
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  • Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Nikolai Medtner, Sergei Rachmaninov
  • Audio CD (1 Sept. 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00M2D7MT0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,920 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Nikolai Medtner Skazki Op 20 Allegro con espressione [2'49]
  2. Nikolai Medtner Skazki Op 20 Campanella Pesante, minaccioso [3'45]
  3. Nikolai Medtner Sonata in B flat minor Romanza Andantino con moto, ma sempre espressivo [6'55]
  4. Nikolai Medtner Sonata in B flat minor Scherzo Allegro [4'34]
  5. Nikolai Medtner Sonata in B flat minor Meditazione Andante con moto [3'20]
  6. Nikolai Medtner Sonata in B flat minor Finale Allegro non troppo [8'37]
  7. Sergei Rachmaninov Variations on a theme of Corelli Op 42 [17'48]
  8. Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor Op 36 Allegro agitato [9'57]
  9. Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor Op 36 Non allegro [7'32]
  10. Sergei Rachmaninov Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor Op 36 Allegro molto [6'42]

Product description

Product Description

Steven Osborne has become increasingly admired for his performances and recordings of Russian Romantic piano music, playing with a remarkable level of authority and a rare combination of technical ease, tonal lustre and idiomatic identification. Here he presents an impressive selection from two masters who lived and worked contemporaneously. Both were renowned concert pianists, and both wrote superbly for their instrument. Yet their reputations could not be more divergent. Rachmaninov utterly loved; Medtner only now becoming rehabilitated.

Medtner's 'Sonata Romantica' was composed in 1930 in Paris, and first performed by the composer in Glasgow the following year. It was the twelfth of his fourteen piano sonatas. Not only its title but also the expressive content of its four movements, played without a break, make it virtually a manifesto for Medtner's art. Apart from sonatas, Medtner's favourite genre was the Skazka ('Tale'). It has been pointed out that the usual English translation of 'Fairy tale' does not do justice to the power and depth of many of these pieces, some of which almost approach Chopin's Ballades in their expressive scope. The two Skazki of Op 20 recorded here were composed in 1909.

In a recent performance of Rachmaninov's Piano Sonata No 2, a great Romantic showpiece, Osborne was described by the Washington Post as 'a master of momentum and color, a wielder of power and a sure navigator through huge landscapes: his Rachmaninov was both coherent and daringly free'.

Review

This is a programme of two near-contemporary pianist-composers strongest repertoire that I d be delighted to hear from Steven Osborne in concert. It s worth bearing in mind that while the great conductor Yevgeny Svetlanov's favourite work was Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances, he thought the lesser-known Medtner's piano writing the most perfect. Individuality shines in the composer's 'Sonata Romantica', composed in 1930 in the Russian's Paris exile. It s infinitely less tumultuous, more clearly profiled and even more playful than Rachmaninov's specimen also in B flat minor, also a work of genius though Osborne gives us perhaps too much of the original, extended version rather than the telescoped revision in his composite performance. *** --Sinfini Music, 21/8/14

The music of Nikolay Medtner (1880-1951) takes on a particularly impressive dimension when championed by a pianist of the calibre of Steven Osborne. Nourished by the same Russian roots as Rachmaninov, Medtner was nevertheless a composer of striking individuality. Sometimes the worlds of the two composers hover close to one another, as in Medtner's Campanella , one of his Skazki (fairy tales) of 1909, but Rachmaninov could never have written the Sonata Romantica of 1930: Medtner s harmonic palette and ways of working out the material are his alone. Osborne s performance is a true wonder of power, clear definition, sensibility and structural sureness. His ability to immerse himself in Medtner's musical language is outstanding, just as his affinity with Rachmaninov is manifest in the lucidity and litheness of the late Corelli Variations and in the riper, earlier Second Sonata. Taking a cue from Horowitz and other, more recent pianists, Osborne plays his own hybrid of the sonata's two versions. ***** --Telegraph, 15/9/14

This is another terrific addition to the shelves, and if it helps the continuing rediscovery of Medtner, so much the better. GRAMOPHONE EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone, Oct'14

Osborne's performance seems effortlessly to encompass the expressive span of this deeply impressive piece, and it is among the best I've heard. --IRR, November '14


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on 3 September 2014
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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on 11 October 2014
Format: Audio CD
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