Nikolai Medtner 1880 - 1951


Nikolai Medtner was an outstanding Russian pianist of the 20th century and a major composer who continued the late romantic tradition with aristocratic refinement and subtlety, and sometimes tragic depth * Life spanned pre-revolutionary Russia, the Bolshevik Revolution and years of exile in Western Europe and in England * Mostly wrote music for his own instrument, the piano, and for himself to play, including three concertos and many sonatas and ‘skazki’ [fairy-tales] * Also fine chamber music and more than 100 songs to both Russian and German words * Close friendship with Rachmaninoff important to both men and a strong influence on their music * In last years was sponsored by the Maharajah of Mysore who paid for the recording of almost his entire output, one of the greatest achievements of mid-20th century recorded sound

Works by Nikolai Medtner include:
Piano Concerto No.1 (1914-18) for piano and orchestra
Four Fairy Tales (1912) for piano
Violin Sonata No.1 in B minor (1909-10) for violin and piano

"Inspiration comes, where thought is saturated in emotion, and emotion is imbued with sense." – Nikolai Medtner

"Medtner, a true knight sans peur et sans reproche" – Issay Dobrowen