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Medtner: Sonata Romantica; Skazki; Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2; Corelli Variations / Steven Osborne, piano

Album Summary

>Medtner, Nikolai : Fairy Tales (2), Op. 20
>Medtner, Nikolai : Sonata romantica for piano in B flat minor, Op. 53/1
>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Variations on a Theme of Corelli, for piano, Op. 42
>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Steven Osborne has become increasingly admired for his performances and recordings of Russian Romantic piano music. Here he presents an impressive selection from two masters who lived and worked contemporaneously. Medtner's Sonata Romantica was the twelfth of his fourteen piano sonatas. It stands as a virtual manifesto for the composer's art. The recording's other major work, Rachmaninov's Piano Sonata No.2, is a great Romantic showpiece. Osborne's interpretation brings out all the work's power and majesty.

The Observer, 1st September 2014
[The Sonata Romantica is] not easy to love (unlike his short, charming Skazki which opens this disc) but Steven Osborne puts a persuasive case. In contrast, Rachmaninov's Piano Sonata No 2 in B flat minor, majestic and lyrical, is immediately rewarding... and Osborne's imaginative playing makes [the Variations on a theme of Corelli] seem only too short.

The Telegraph, 15th September 2014
Medtner's harmonic palette and ways of working out the material are his alone. Osborne's performance is a true wonder of power, clear definition, sensibility and structural sureness. His ability to immerse himself in Medtner's musical language is outstanding.

MusicWeb International, 10th October 2014
Osborne has made his performing edition out of love for the [Second Sonata], one of his favourite pieces to play, and has created a fantastically thrilling and ultimately enjoyable version of which one feels that Rachmaninov would have thoroughly approved...While the music speaks for itself Osborne plays everything on the disc magnificently.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2014
What comes across most winningly is the ebb and flow of the work: the more inward passages are allowed to breathe; the extrovert ones are absolutely fiery. It's not a work that could ever be summed up by a single interpretation...But this is another terrific addition to the shelves, and if it helps the continuing rediscovery of Medtner, so much the better.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Osborne uses more of the original version than Horowitz and talks eloquently about the long and enlightening process of cutting and pasting the two versions into his own performing edition. He says it has become one of his favorite works to play. The recording brings Horowitz to mind quite often. It is a fitting conclusion to a superb program.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/21/2012-12/23/2012).



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Works Details

>Medtner, Nikolai : Fairy Tales (2), Op. 20
  • Performer: Steven Osborne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/21/2012-12/23/2012)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1909

>Medtner, Nikolai : Sonata romantica for piano in B flat minor, Op. 53/1
  • Performer: Steven Osborne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/21/2012-12/23/2012)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: ?1929-30

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Variations on a Theme of Corelli, for piano, Op. 42
  • Performer: Steven Osborne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/21/2012-12/23/2012)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1931

>Rachmaninov, Sergey : Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36
  • Performer: Steven Osborne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (12/21/2012-12/23/2012)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1913