Skazki: Piano Works by Nikolai Medtner (2019)

Medtner

Gunnar Sama

DSD 512 Exclusive

In this recording, pianist Gunnar Sama plays music from five of Nikolai Medtner's albums, composed over the course of some 30 years.

Medtner's music fascinates and surprises, in the midst of what also seems to be well known. You may imagine that you have heard the melodies before, in childhood or in a dream. But, even if you haven’t, it is as if you have been waiting for this music to return. In some mysterious way, it evokes the memory of the unheard.

He named many of his piano pieces Skazka (tale). Some of them carry subtitles, but it is uncertain whether the composer had specific narratives in mind, as the name would suggest.

The influential Soviet musicologist Boris Asafyev may have been right when he claimed that "these are not descriptive tales or tales that illustrate an event. These are tales of personal experiences – of conflicts in the inner life of man".

"This recording features a brand new C. Bechstein D282 from Berlin. The choice was not difficult since Bechstein was Medtner’s favorite piano. He had a Bechstein in the flat in London, but I do not know if the grand piano he had owned while living in Moscow was also of the same make. Incidentally, the Moscow piano was given to the painter Anna Ivanovna Trojanovskaja (to whom the Skazki Op. 42 are dedicated) when the composer and his wife, Anna, left the country in 1921. After the communists had taken over the family’s factory (Medtner’s father owned a lace factory) and flat, Medtner and Anna had no place to live. Anna Trojanovskaja let them stay in a cottage in Bugry, some distance south-west of Moscow, and received both a piano and a composition as recompense. Some years later, another homeless musician often practiced on the piano that once belonged to Medtner: Svjatoslav Richter. But that is another story."

-- Gunnar Sama, 2019

"These are our first sessions with a C. Bechstein Concert Grand piano fresh from the factory, so beautifully prepared by piano technician Trond Hellstrøm. This instrument enables a whole new sonic palette. Gunnar Sama recording piano music by Nicolai Medtner with 2L."

-- Morten Lindberg, Producer and Recording Engineer, 2L 

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Gunnar Sama

Gunnar Sama had his debut in 1975 at the Universitetets Aula in Oslo after studies with Liv Glaser at The Academy Barratt Due, and studies for the Diploma at The Norwegian Academy of Music with professor Robert Riefling. Sama has also studied with professor Ryszard Bakst at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and with professor Jiri Hlinka.

He won 2nd price at the «Premio Jaen» piano competition in Spain in 1976. Gunnar Sama has worked as an accompanist at The Norwegian Academy of Music.

In addition to the traditional repertoire, Sama has a special interest in unfamiliar works and composers.

photo: from booklet 2L156 

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Skazki: Piano Works by Nikolai Medtner (2019)

Medtner

Gunnar Sama

    International Piano

Sama´s interpretations are lyrical and sensitive while still conveying the tension and unexpected elements of Medtner´s harmonic language.

Farhan Malik

    International Record Review

This superbly recorded album is a significant addition to the Medtner discography.

Donald Manildi

Skazki: Piano Works by Nikolai Medtner (2019)

Medtner

Gunnar Sama

Digital Converters: Horus, Merging Technologies
Editing Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Executive Producers: Jorn Simenstad & Morten Lindberg
Financial Support: Fond for utøvende kunstnere, The Norwegian Academy of Music and Drammen Municipality
Mastering Engineer: Morten Lindberg, Tom Caulfield (DSD 512)
Microphones: DPA Microphones
Notes: DSD 512 Stereo files created by Tom Caulfield at the NativeDSD Mastering Lab using Jussi Laako's latest EC modulators from Signalyst
Piano: C. Bechstein Concert Piano D282
Piano Technician: Trond S. Hellstrom
Power Line Conditioner: JMF Audio PCD302
Producer: Morten Lindberg
Recording Engineer: Morten Lindberg
Recording Location: Sofienberg Church, Norway in October 2018
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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2L156: Skazki: Piano Works by Nikolai Medtner
01:09:39   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Quatre Morceaux, Op. 4 - I. Etude
Medtner
00:03:17   Select quality & channels above
2.
Quatre Morceaux, Op. 4 - II - Caprice
Medtner
00:03:04   Select quality & channels above
3.
Quatre Morceaux, Op. 4 - III. Moment musical (Gnomenklage)
Medtner
00:02:12   Select quality & channels above
4.
Quatre Morceaux, Op. 4 - IV. Prelude
Medtner
00:02:30   Select quality & channels above
5.
Drei Novellen, Op. 17 - I. Andante (Daphnis und Chloe)
Medtner
00:03:36   Select quality & channels above
6.
Drei Novellen, Op. 17 - II. Tempo giusto
Medtner
00:04:48   Select quality & channels above
7.
Drei Novellen, Op. 17 - III. Allegro, molto sostenuto
Medtner
00:06:19   Select quality & channels above
8.
Skazki, Op. 35 - I. Andante maestoso
Medtner
00:03:46   Select quality & channels above
9.
Skazki, Op. 35 - II. Capriccioso, con grazia
Medtner
00:06:01   Select quality & channels above
10.
Skazki, Op. 35 - III. Cantabile, narrante
Medtner
00:03:47   Select quality & channels above
11.
Skazki, Op. 35 - IV. Allegro appassionato e tempestoso
Medtner
00:03:59   Select quality & channels above
12.
Skazki, Op. 42 - I. Russian Tale (Allegro sostenuto)
Medtner
00:06:21   Select quality & channels above
13.
Skazki, Op. 42 - II. Con moto disinvolto e grazioso (Phrygian Mode)
Medtner
00:02:16   Select quality & channels above
14.
Skazki, Op. 42 - III. Moderato, narrante
Medtner
00:05:12   Select quality & channels above
15.
Drei Hymnen an die Arbeit, Op. 49 - I. Vor der Arbeit (Allegretto molto tranquillo)
Medtner
00:03:36   Select quality & channels above
16.
Drei Hymnen an die Arbeit, Op. 49 - II. Am Amboss (Allegro, molto pesante e poco rubato)
Medtner
00:03:12   Select quality & channels above
17.
Drei Hymnen an die Arbeit, Op. 49 - III. Nach der Arbeit (Allegro vivace)
Medtner
00:03:41   Select quality & channels above
18.
Song transcription by Boris Shatkes, Op. 36 No. 3 - When roses fade
Medtner
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