Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67221/4
Recording details: August 1996
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: September 1998
Total duration: 26 minutes 8 seconds

'A set that does deserve celebration. Indispensable to all lovers of Medtner's subtle and enriching art … superlatively played and presented. Such writing positively demands a transcendental technique and a burning poetic commitment, a magical amalgam achieved with delicacy, drama and finesse by Marc-André Hamelin' (Gramophone)

'Hamelin and everyone involved with the production of this release deserves the highest praise' (Fanfare, USA)

'I was breathless with admiration' (Hi-Fi News)

'Merci de contribuer aussi magistralement à la redécouverte de Nikolai Medtner' (Répertoire, France)

'Ce coffret est un monument de l'histoire du disque, comme il n'en pas eu beaucoup depuis une décennie' (The Samedi Culturel)

Vergessene Weisen 'Forgotten Melodies', Op 39
composer
June 1919 to October 1920

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The second cycle of Forgotten Melodies consists of five pieces, the first and last pairs linked thematically. The opening Meditazione is one of Medtner’s most potent inventions, a disquieting study of tormented introspection in which tension is relieved only in the very last bars by an unexpected resolution into the major key. The following Romanza is no less disturbing, the same dark brooding transformed into a haunted waltz. Primavera (‘Spring’), on the other hand, proclaims the composer’s exultation in the year’s rebirth. It was completed in March 1920 under the stimulus of the arrival of a Russian spring with its dramatically rapid thaw of snow and bracing air, a time of year Medtner especially loved.

There are hints that Canzona matinata (‘Morning song’), carefree in its outer sections but melancholy in the middle, depicts the morn of life, youth, with its generally sunny but occasionally black moods, in contrast to the struggles and tragedies of later life. The latter theme is implicit in the final work of the cycle, the Sonata tragica, which the composer always insisted should be preceded by a performance of the Canzona matinata. A remarkable intensity of emotion is concentrated in its single movement. Typically for Medtner, the two apparently contrasting main themes, the first tragic and launched by what sounds like a blow of fate, the second consolatory, prove to be one and the same in different guises. In the development there is an almost literal restatement of the sombre central theme from the Canzona matinata but there is little relief. Tension mounts in the recapitulation, and the work moves inexorably towards a devastating coda, which concludes with the blow of fate with which the sonata began.

from notes by Barrie Martyn © 1998

Other albums featuring this work
'Medtner: Forgotten Melodies' (CDA67578)
Medtner: Forgotten Melodies
'Medtner: Demidenko plays Medtner' (CDH55315)
Medtner: Demidenko plays Medtner
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55315  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch