Skazki: Piano Works by Nikolai Medtner

Gunnar Sama

15.9933.49
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Original Recording Format: DXD

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 

Tracklist

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

Total time: 01:09:39

Additional information

Artists

Mastering Engineer

Morten Lindberg, Tom Caulfield (DSD 512)

Genres

,

Label

Qualities

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Channels

, ,

Original Recording Format

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

Composers

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

SKU

2L156

Release Date July 7, 2019
SKU 2L156

Press reviews

International Piano

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

International Record Review

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

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