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Pianos and Pianists - Consultant Editor Ates Orga


Medtner and Rachmaninov

'I love him very much, I respect him very much, and ... I consider him the most talented of all the modern composers. He is - as musician and as man - one of those rare beings who gain in stature the more closely you approach them. That is the fate of the very few! and may this bring him much good. But that is Medtner [1880-1951]: young, healthy, bold, strong, armed - a lyre in his hands'

- Sergei Rachmaninov to Marietta Shaginian, Ivanovka, May 8th 1912

'It is precisely because of his fame that it is difficult to speak of Rachmaninov [1873-1943]. This fame is more than his: it is the glory of our art. This rare identification of his personal fame with our whole art is evidence of the authenticity of his inspiration ... His value and power as pianist and conductor reside in his imagination, in his inner perception of the original musical image. His performance is always creative, always as if the composer were playing it - and always as if it were "for the first time". He seems to be improvising, making a song not heard before ... His own music's chief themes are the themes of his life - not the facts of life, but the unique themes of an unique life'

- Nikolai Medtner, Rossiya i Slavyanstvo, Paris, May 1st 1933


Hear Medtner play his Second and Third Piano Concertos
on Testament

with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Issay Dobrowen

recorded for HMV in Studio 1, Abbey Road, London May 1947

Producer: Walter Legge. Balance Engineers: Robert Beckett, with
Arthur Clarke (No. 3)
Digital remastering & audio restoration: Andrew Walter,
Abbey Road Studios
Liner notes: Malcolm Binns
Executive Producer: Stewart Brown

Testament SBT 1027 ADD mono
licenced from EMI Records Ltd
released 1993


'Gaunt, other-worldly, distinguished, neglected, living with his wife and his grand piano in the simplest seclusion in the north of London [Golders Green]'
- Christopher Stone on Medtner around the time of the original recordings