Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

Sonatas by Nicolai Medtner


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0142
Release Date: 2014-08-01
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871014220
Liner Notes

Sonatas by Nicolai Medtner
Sonata Reminiscenza Op. 38 No. 1 in A minor
Sonata Romantica Op. 53 No. 1 in B flat minor
Sonata Minacciosa Op. 53 No. 2 in F minor

Alessandro Taverna, piano

An exciting new addition to our catalogue in the New Horizons Series in which SOMM supports young musicians of great talent by providing them with the opportunity of promoting their careers worldwide in top quality recordings.

Born in Venice in 1983, Alessandro has already won numerous awards, including First Prize in the Minnesota International Piano Competition, Second Prize in the London International Piano Competition playing the Chopin concerto No. 1 with James Judd and the LPO at the Royal Festival Hall (“magisterial account… suffused with grave beauty — this young Italian is remarkable… 50 minutes of flawless poetry ”  The Independent) and Bronze Medal at the Leeds International Piano Competition (Chopin No. 1 again with the Hallé under Sir Mark Elder). In September 2011 he won the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize as well as the Premio Giuseppe Sinopoli. Alessandro has already built an impressive career and has toured extensively in Europe, US, Canada and South Africa. On hearing him the late Lorin Maazel invited him to perform, last year, the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto with the Munich Philharmonic in Vienna’s Musikverein.

Alessandro’s success at the Leeds Piano Competition has led to many engagements throughout the UK including his debuts with the Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. A documentary of his life and his performances at the Leeds Piano Competition was shown on BBC4. He has also recorded for BBC Radio 3, Radio Classica in Italy, Slovenian National Radio and Television and for Classic FM in South Africa.

Alessandro Taverna studied with Sergio Perticaroli at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome, and with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover. He was also selected for the prestigious Lake Como Piano Academy where he had the opportunity to work with distinguished artists such as Malcolm Bilson, Andreas Staier and FouTs’ong.

The Russian pianist composer Nikolai Medtner was a younger contemporary and a great friend and colleague of Rachmaninov. He too, left Russia after the 1917 Revolution, eventually living in London, where he died. In London, HMV recorded his three piano concertos and many of his other piano compositions played by Medtner himself. Rachmaninov dedicated his Fourth Piano concerto to him and Medtner dedicated his own Second Concerto to Rachmaninov. His contribution to piano music was important. Although reminiscent of Rachmaninov, his music has great originality – it is brilliantly laid out for the piano and shows great mastery of musical structure. He wrote substantially for the piano — no less than fourteen Piano Sonatas, three piano concerti, a piano quintet  and 38  ‘Skazki’ – ” Fairy Tales” among other shorter pieces.  Taverna has made a special study of Medtner’s piano music and the three Sonatas on this CD show the composer’s stylistic range very well.

On This Recording

  1. Forgotten Melodies: Forgotten Melodies, Op. 38: No. 1. Sonata reminiscenza: Allegretto tranquillo
  2. Sonata romantica: I. Romanza: Andantino con moto, ma sempre espressivo
  3. Sonata romantica: II. Scherzo: Allegro
  4. Sonata romantica: III. Meditazione: Andante con moto
  5. Sonata romantica: IV. Finale: Allegro non troppo
  6. Sonata minacciosa: Sonata minacciosa, Op. 53, No. 2: I. Allegro sostenuto, concentrando
  7. 3 Arabesques: 3 Arabesques, Op. 7: No. 1. Ein Idyll: Allegretto tranquillo e dolce