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Medtner: The Complete Skazki / Hamish Milne


Release Date: 06/12/2007 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67491   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

How fitting for Hyperion to feature Hamish Milne in a milestone release that gathers all of Nikolai Medtner's Skazki (Fairy Tales) in one collection. After all, Milne has long championed Medtner's music, and in fact recorded lots of it for the CRD label beginning in the late 1970s, including quite a few of the Skazki. The pianist remains as sensitive as ever to the composer's polyphonic rigor and subtle harmonic palette (more akin to Fauré and early Poulenc than to his Russian contemporaries), and with a luminous tone to match. He achieves the latter with little help from the sustain pedal, letting his fingers take care of the legato. A telling example of this is the graceful A major Op. 51 No. 3, where Milne's careful observance of Read more long versus short phrases imparts a tart edge to the music's surface sweetness.

Although Milne has plenty of technique, he favors poetry over panache, allowing himself more room for rubato and melodic inflection. In certain instances I prefer Milne's more lithe and incisively executed earlier versions of faster pieces such as the Bird's Tale (Op. 54 No. 2) or the tarantella-like Op. 26 No. 2, yet the sustaining power and architectural sweep he brings to the less descriptive, more abstract orchestral-inspired numbers (the Allegro Appassionato e Tempestoso Op. 35 No. 4) constitutes nothing less than big piano playing. Milne's own booklet notes are scholarly, informative, and passionate.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fairy Tales (2) for Piano, Op. 8 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905; Russia 
2.
Fairy Tales (2), Op. 20 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Russia 
3.
Fairy Tales (3) for Piano, Op. 42 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1923; Russia 
4.
Fairy Tales (3), Op. 9 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1906; Russia 
5.
Fairy Tales (4) for Piano, Op. 26 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1912; Russia 
6.
Fairy Tales (4) for Piano, Op. 34 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1916-17; France 
7.
Fairy Tales (4) for Piano, Op. 35 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Russia 
Notes: Composition written: Russia (1916 - 1917). 
8.
Fairy Tales (6) for Piano, Op. 51 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: ?1928; France 
9.
Fairy Tales (2) for Piano, Op. 48 by Nikolai Medtner
Performer:  Hamish Milne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1926; USSR 

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