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Medtner: Forgotten Melodies 1 & 2 / Marc-andre Hamelin

Release Date: 06/13/2006 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67578   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Marc-André Hamelin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Nikolai Medtner's Sonata-Reminiscenza (Op. 38 No. 1) and Sonata Tragica (Op. 39 No. 5) are components of the composer's Op. 38 and Op. 39 "Forgotten Melodies". Accordingly, Marc-André Hamelin's complete Medtner sonata survey for Hyperion included these works in their cyclical contexts. Hyperion now couples both cycles, along with the two Marches from Op. 8, for a single-disc release that should attract collectors who wish to sample Hamelin's Medtner without having to invest in a multi-disc set.

Few pianists can negotiate Medtner's complex polyphony and labyrinthian textures with the same suppleness, ease, and utter transparency that Hamelin brings to this
Read more repertoire. Notice the acute rhythmic verve with which he articulates the smallest note values, as in Op. 38 No. 7's Danza silvestra, or how the pianist's huge sonorities in the Sonata Tragica's pulverizing climaxes never lose definition. In Primavera (Op. 39 No. 3) the sparely pedaled cascading runs and trilled chords are uncommonly even and light, so much so that they make Geoffrey Tozer's accomplished pianism seem thick by comparison. On the other hand, you can argue that Tozer divines a wider range of melodic inflections and harmonic underpinnings in more lyrical selections (the Romanza Op. 39 No. 2, for example).

What matters most is that Hamelin realizes his conceptions with complete authority from top to bottom and proves that Medtner's phrasings, dynamics, and tempo indications need little intervention other than for one to play simply, clearly, and beautifully. That's easier said than done, unless you happen to be Marc-André Hamelin--the one and only! [6/28/2006]
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Forgotten Melodies (8) for Piano, Op. 38 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1920; USSR 
Forgotten Melodies (5) for Piano, Op. 39 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918-1920; USSR 

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