Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Medtner in England


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0674
Release Date: 2023-08-18
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871067424
Artists: , ,
Liner Notes

SOMM Recordings announces Medtner in England, a revelatory new recording exploring the musical life of Nikolai Medtner, featuring violinist Natalia Lomeiko, pianist Alexander Karpeyev and baritone Theodore Platt.

Born in Moscow, Medtner was to adopt England as his home, dying in London, aged 70, in 1951. The English capital seemed to provide him with a liberating creative space as the three featured works here eloquently suggest.

Simultaneously composed between 1935 and 1938 were the two-movement Op. 56 Sonata-Idylle in G major – which moves from its ‘Pastorale’ opening to, as composer and pianist Francis Pott comments in his authoritative booklet notes, “a valedictory late-summer haze” – and its immediate successor, the four-part, symphony-sized Epica Violin Sonata No. 3, “an act of remembrance” for Medtner’s brother, Emil.

Both works are the product of a period in which Medtner was attempting to “pare down the virtuosity of his piano writing”. And both, in their intricate design and execution, illustrate his productive struggle with the ambition.

From his more than 100 songs, the posthumously assembled miscellany of the Op. 61 Eight Songs span the near quarter-century from 1927 to the year of Medtner’s death. Employing poems by Pushkin, Lermontov, Eichendorff and Fyodor Tyutchev, they are variegated exercises in temperament and mood that look back towards Schubert and forwards to Medtner’s own distinctive way in setting words and conveying emotions.

Natalia Lomeiko and Theodore Platt are making their debuts on SOMM Recordings, Alexander Karpeyev’s previous SOMM release, Composers at the Savile Club(SOMMCD 0601), was “a recital eminently worth investigating” said BBC Music Magazine in its five-star review, while MusicWeb International declared it “will be greatly enjoyed”.

SOMM’s previous Medtner release, three Piano Sonatas performed by Alessandro Taverna (SOMMCD 0142), received a four-star review from The Guardian, with Gramophone insisting “Make no mistake… this first-class recording… is well worth hearing”.

On This Recording

Violin Sonata No. 3 in E minor, ‘Epica’ Op. 57 ab
  1. I. Introduzione: Andante meditamente – Allegro
  2. II. Scherzo: Allegro molto vivace e leggiero
  3. III. Andante con moto
  4. IV. Finale: Allegro molto
Sonata-Idylle in G major, Op. 56 b
  1. I. Pastorale: Allegro cantabile
  2. II. Allegro moderato e cantabile
Eight Songs, Op. 61 bc
  1. No. 1 Reiselied
  2. No. 2 Nachtgruß
  3. No. 3 What is my name to you?
  4. No. 4 If life deceives you
  5. No. 5 Prayer*
  6. No. 6 Noon
  7. No. 7 Oh my foreboding soul
  8. No. 8 Repose
*First Recording

aNatalia Lomeiko, violin
bAlexander Karpeyev, piano
cTheodore Platt, baritone


“All the music is well done. Violinist Lomeiko, in a hair-raisingly tough part, has a full tone with the finger dexterity needed to clarify many ornamented and melismatic passages. Karpayev as both accompanist and soloist furnishes beautiful playing. Baritone Theodore Platt sings with accurate pitch and, in the German poems especially, good diction.” —Dan O’Connor, American Record Guide


Karpeyev is en pointe […] taking what is a dizzyingly agile part in his stride— Michael Beek, BBC Music magazine ⭐⭐⭐⭐


…rendition of the ‘Epica’ is razor-sharp in execution, flexibly phrased with a variety of dynamics and colours, and brimming with commitment. Karpeyev is also impressive in the  … Sonate-Idylle— Ken Meltzer, Fanfare Magazine


“…this is attractive and communicative playing. Karpeyev has the technique for Medtner’s demanding writing. … He … displays a good ear for color” —Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine


Karpeyev makes the whole movement sparkle with joie de vivre and a playfulness which belies the virtuosic demands.  [He …] responds brilliantly to the kaleidoscopic mood swings but also perceives how they form an absolutely coherent whole— Claire Seymour, Opera Today


“the attraction of Medtner in England is in its programme as a whole, and with glorious performances and superlative recording quality this is a disc no Medtner fan will want to be without — Dominy Clemons, MusicWeb International


“Serenity and ‘a valedictory late-summer haze’ can be found in the music on this inspiring and intriguing CD, as well as dynamic scherzo passages, and – in the Violin Sonata – the satisfying momentum of an Allegro Molto finale in which Natalia Lomeiko and Alexander Karpeyev convince us that Medtner deserves to be far better known” — Stuart Millson, The Quarterly Review


“With its ideal balance between the two instruments […] Lomeiko’s [and Karpeyev’s] interpretation offers a very noteworthy way to enjoy this excellent sonata” — Uwe Krusch on Sonata-Epica, Pizzicato.lu


“Lomeiko and Karpeyev are on top of every intricacy in the score and bring it to vivid life. They are in the character throughout and well balanced” — Podbean.com