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Hyperion Records

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Twilight: Haystacks (1899) by Isaac Levitan (1860-1900)
Track(s) taken from CDH55315
Recording details: September 1992
Snape Maltings, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Ates Orga
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: May 1993
Total duration: 10 minutes 13 seconds

'Few can touch this stunning Demidenko programme, excellently recorded and featuring playing of the highest order' (BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide)

'I must be careful not to make this sound like an indiscriminate rave review, but what do you do when a disc of this calibre drops through your letterbox? An exceptionally fine disc indeed' (Gramophone)

'More of the masterful pianism we have come to expect from this artist … delectable sounds and exquisite sensibility' (Classic CD)

Theme and variations in C sharp minor, Op 55

Other recordings available for download
Hamish Milne (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Theme and variations in C sharp minor Op 55 is a kind of pendant to the Romantic Sketches for the Young, Op 54, which the publisher Zimmermann had requested in the hope of generating increased sales for his aloof and recondite protégé. Although Medtner undertook the task with some reluctance, he didn’t stint on his skills of craftsmanship in its execution. The theme is a slightly prim minuet in ‘ancient style’ albeit with a few of the composer’s subtle harmonic twists. The variations follow the classical mould in as much as they clearly trace the melodic and harmonic outline of the theme as a template (as opposed to the more free variations in the two Improvisations, Op 31 No 1 and Op 47). This fastidious approach does not preclude the introduction of a deeper and more philosophical note in an eloquent passacaglia (Variation 5), redolent of the hymns of the Russian Orthodox church which are increasingly evident in Medtner’s later works.

from notes by Hamish Milne © 2012

Other albums featuring this work
'Medtner: Arabesques, Dithyrambs, Elegies & other short piano works' (CDA67851/2)
Medtner: Arabesques, Dithyrambs, Elegies & other short piano works

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