Medtner: Arabesques, Dithyrambs, Elegies & other short piano works

‘Write one such piece and one can die.’ So pronounced Rachmaninov, no less, after hearing the second of Medtner’s Arabesques. This is just one of the delights in the enticing selection box offered by Hamish Milne, a long-standing and ardent champion of Medtner’s music. These two discs explore the many miniatures—in size though not in ambition—that he wrote throughout his life. The very opening of his Mood Pictures shows a remarkable sophistication for a man barely out of his teens, while the magnificent pair of Elegies forms a fitting conclusion to a set that reminds us that it is sometimes among the ‘miscellaneous’ works that the greatest gems are to be found.

CDA67851/2  155 minutes 39 seconds (2 discs)
‘No pianist has done more for Medtner's reputation than Hamish Milne, and on this two-CD set of shorter works … he tells you that a still neglected and misunderstood composer demands to be heard ...
‘The humorous Dithyramb No 2 is surely a masterpiece, and Milne happily strides its Olympian terrain with unforced richness of tone’ (BBC Music Magazine)
‘Medtner had a gift for crystallising images within a concise musical frame. There are delights aplenty, and Milne brings out their beguiling expressive range’ (The Daily Telegraph)