Paul Stewart – Medtner: Complete Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 (2016) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Nikolay Medtner – Complete Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2 – Paul Stewart (2016) 
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 55:20 minutes | 977 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Booklet, Front Cover | © Grand Piano/Naxos
Recorded: 4-6 March 2015 (1-6) and 23 October 2015 (7-8), Salle Claude Champagne, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Nikolay Medtner’s 14 piano sonatas are considered the most significant achievement in this genre by any composer since Beethoven. After the success of his First Piano Sonata (GP617) he turned to Goethe for inspiration, and the life and love-affirming Sonata-Triad Op. 11 translates the poet’s words of passion, suffering and redemption into sound. The capricious, mysterious and beautiful Sonata-Skazka is a masterpiece in miniature and was once Medtner’s most performed work. Dating from his years of exile, the eloquent themes of the fourteenth and final Sonata-Idyll linger long in the memory.

Nikolay Medtner sought sanctuary in London in 1921 having been stripped of his wealth and academic position during the wrath of the Russian Socialist Revolution. Though he was well received when he arrived, it mattered little to the British public or to the music establishment that Rachmaninov had described him as “the greatest composer of our time”, or that he had enjoyed a major career as an outstanding concert pianist. For he and his wife, their souls remained in Russia, and his style of composition was in a world that had been overtaken by the brave new world embracing atonality. He had completed all but his fourteenth and last piano sonata by the time he arrived in England, and though he continued composing, he was really a broken man. He was twenty-eight when he completed the Sonata-Triad to reflect a poem by Goethe that begins ‘Passion leads to suffering’, the music containing passages of moving intensity. Almost half an hour long, it rather dwarfs the Sonata-Skazka begun two years later, and the two-movement Sonata-Idyl completed on his arrival in London. All three call for a pianist well versed and technically able to project the big romantic gestures, the Canadian pianist, Paul Stewart, well able to meet any virtuoso challenge, his highly detailed programme notes that come with the disc, evidence of his knowledge and belief in the composer. Thankfully he has moved away from the ill-conceived use of a piano in Medtner’s era in his previous disc, this release offering a very beautiful sounding instrument. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

Nikolay Medtner (1880-1951)
Sonata-Triad, Op. 11
1. No. 1 in A-Flat Major 11:04
2. No. 2 in D Minor, “Sonata-Elegy” 7:23
3. No. 3 in C Major 10:07
Märchen-Sonate in C Minor, Op. 25 No. 1
4. I. Allegro abbandonamente 5:49
5/6. II. Andantino con moto – III. Allegro con spirito 7:44
Sonata-Idylle in G Major, Op. 56
7. I. Pastorale: Allegretto cantabile 4:10
8. II. Allegro moderato e cantabile (sempre al rigore di tempo) 8:51

Paul Stewart, piano