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MEDTNER: Works for Violin and Piano (Complete), Vol. 1

Composer(s):Medtner, Nicolas
Artist(s) Stewart, Paul, piano • Kayaleh, Laurence, violin
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.570298
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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If the piano works of Nikolay Medtner are finally achieving the recognition they merit, the same cannot yet be said for his compositions for violin and piano. This first of two discs of Medtner’s five violin and piano works opens with his last and greatest work for these instruments, Sonata No. 3, ‘Epica’, completed in 1938. Unashamedly Romantic and distinctly Russian with its frequent allusions to folk-dances and Orthodox liturgical chants, the Sonata reflects both Medtner’s recent conversion to the Orthodox faith and his bitter acceptance of permanent exile from his homeland. This bleak and mournful work includes an Andante of heartbreaking beauty. The sombre yet impassioned Three Nocturnes were inspired by Goethe, one of



Review By David Denton,Naxos,August 2007

Though there are occasional flurries of interest in Nikolay Medtner, we know precious little of the music that came from the Moscow-born pianist and composer, Rachmaninov once describing him as 'the greatest composer of our time'. It was an outrageous exaggeration but reflected the high opinion of his colleagues while he was working in Russia. That was all to turn sour in 1917 when at thirty-seven, and seen as bourgeois, his wealth and position vanished in the Revolution, though he and his wife here prevented from leaving Russia until 1921. Looking for a new home in Central Europe, the couple eventually arrived in England where they at last found sanctuary. He quickly gained champions, but his soul was still in Russia, and by the time the Second World War was ended his style of



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