Nikolai Medtner Piano

Medtner for Ben

This is the first appearance of Nikolai Medtner (b 1880 – d1951) on this site.

My cyber friend and spiritual comrade Ben, in California, urged me to investigate his music. Since he was admired by Rachmaninoff (and actually collaborated with him) I was motivated to find and listen to more (I had only one piece by him in my library) After listening to a number of pieces I’ll stick with his buddy Rachmaninoff, when I want that Russian melancholy, wistful and nostalgic stuff! They do sound very close in the overall mood they generate.

Forgotten Melodies op38 (1) Sonata-Reminiscenza- Allegretto tranquillo

  • Ben Leet
    April 23, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Hi Jim, I want to tell you that I’m still listening to Medtner. It’s April 22, 2015, so for 3 plus years, and he’s still very interesting. I bought the Hamish Milne recording at Hyperion of Arabesques, Dithyrambs, Elegies. I put them on two discs, and I only listen to the second disc. Medtner can be over-bearing, his composing technique is so powerful he can take a simple idea and drag it out, over play and over dramatize it, and it can be wearisome, tactless. But when he is captured by a mood, like this pleasant Reminiscence, the mood shifts fit together coherently. I went to YouTube, found this nice concert,
    Send me a note, tell me how it goes. Ben

  • Ben Leet
    December 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Much obliged. Ben. I’ve read some bio material at Hyperion, see Medtner looks like the guy who played Scrooge in Christmas Carol. He said once that artists must “earn their works by hard labour, like miners, and not try to pluck them like flowers by the wayside.” And someone said of him he seemed like “a gnome, a Nibelung seeking refuge in the dark fissures of the earth.” Interesting?