Medtner & Rachmaninov

Currently, the artist I can’t get enough of is Steven Osborne; especially his Medtner/Rachmaninov album. I even made some fan art in the form of cello quartetting the slow movement of the Medtner Sonata Op. 53/1 which you can see at the bottom of this post. (Thank you Acapella Maker App for making it all possible!)

The Medtner Op. 20 Campanella completely fascinated me to the point of obsession. I had to be sure that it wasn’t in fact only the piece producing such a wonderful effect on me; as it turns out, the other recordings I’ve listened to really don’t quite have the raging and terrifying weight that Osborne brings to the music.
I recently found an analogy to describe how I feel about Medtner’s music: if you hit a gong consistently with the same amount of force, the sound will become larger and larger. I feel that Medtner’s music often has a similar self propelling sort of inner drive (especially in the Campanella and 2nd and 4th movements of the 53/1 sonata).

Of course, if I’m going to talk about Medtner, the natural segue would be to talking about Yevgeny Sudbin’s effervescent and mystical Medtner and Rachmaninov recording. I don’t want to describe his playing as having a lighter touch, but it has more of a lying back in joy or sorrow quality which allows the soul to fly quietly. I especially recommend (everything, but if you really must know…) the Medtner: 8 Stimmungbilder N.1 Prologue and the Forgotten Melodies – Sonata Reminiscenza and Rachmaninov: Op.23 n4 and Op.32 n5 Preludes.

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