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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67328
Recording details: October 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: May 2002
Total duration: 15 minutes 39 seconds

'Hamish Milne’s poetic insight comes as no surprise … This is rather a find … Civilised, rewarding listening, warmly recommended to anyone for whom aesthetic novelty matters less than purely musical value' (Gramophone)

'Sumptuous recording, with brilliant and thoughtful playing by Hamish Milne … Piano enthusiasts looking for new material – especially those interested in Russian music – will certainly enjoy this' (American Record Guide)

'This is altogether exceptional playing … it made me want to dust down my two volumes of Alexandrov's music and take them straight to the piano to find out what other treasures they have in store. May it please be the first of several' (International Record Review)

'Hamish Milne, on this new Hyperion release is a persuasive advocate for this music … Recommended? But of course, and let’s hope that more Alexandrov appears, and soon' (Fanfare, USA)

'Imagine a cab ride where the driver is in the same league as Formula One driver Michael Schumacher. There’s something similar to be said for this Hyperion release, in which we have the privilege to hear a forgotten but phenomenal composer through the mind of such a distinguished and world-class pianist as Hamish Milne' (Pianist)

'Milne expounds all this music … with evident affection and belief, and with all the musicality and technical mastery it demands, in an absolutely first-rate recording' (International Piano)

'Hamish Milne believes in this music 125 percent, and he sails through the composer’s daunting challenges with complete technical command and a gorgeous tone to match' (ClassicsToday.com)

'On a envie de remercier le pianiste Hamish Milne pour son interprétation magnifique, très soignée, et surtout pour nous permettre de découvrir une musique aussi belle, doucement expressive et envoûtante’ (Répertoire, France)

Piano Sonata No 3, Op 18
composer

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Alexandrov’s Third Sonata, Op 18, was written in 1920 and twice revised by the composer, in 1956 and 1967. One of its first interpreters was Maria Yudina. In his 1923 review of this sonata Zhilyayev drew attention to the enormously increased importance it had on contemporary Russian music, and placed Alexandrov not alongside but ‘immediately behind such great modern Russian composers as Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Medtner’. The brooding style of the third sonata and the way that the Interlude (tonally strongly reminiscent of Rachmaninov) is integrated into the one-movement structure, along with many other details, all reflect the influence of Medtner – and as with Medtner, the way the material develops is given more prominence than the melodic elements which only come into their own in the Interlude. Myaskovsky – who more keenly than Alexandrov but likewise following Medtner strove for intellectual concentration, thematic tightness and conflicting structures – was therefore perhaps wrong to have described Alexandrov too exclusively as an idyllic lyrical composer:

Anatoly Alexandrov is in actual fact a lyrical composer; his poetry is deeply honest and at the same time exquisitely formed, a veil of dreaminess hangs over it which never, however, degenerates into melancholic or elegiac sentimentality. He is a lyrical pantheist who harbours a great love of the world. He strives for light, sun and, above all, the idyllic – which does not at times exclude mystery and immensity.

from notes by Christoph Flamm © 2002
English: Roland Smithers

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