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Nicolas Medtner: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 33
II. Tranquillo, meditamente
III. Tempo I
IV. Allegro molto
Nicolas Medtner: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60, "Ballade"
I. Con moto largamente
II. Interludium: Allegro, molto sostenuto, misterioso
III. Finale: Allegro molto-Svegliando, eroico
“Naxos completes its Medtner concerto cycle with Scherbakov. To have such Romantic richness – once the province of specialists – offered on a bargain label is cause for celebration in itself; to have it performed and recorded with such tireless commitment is a double blessing. That said, the performances on the first disc suffered from the soloist's poetic parsimony and an oppressive ill balance from Naxos. But this second disc is successful on all counts. Scherbakov, praised by Richter and recently hailed as a 'modern Rachmaninov', is now more attuned to Medtner's widely fluctuating idiom, complementing his virtuosity with inwardness and conviction. Sample the passage beginning at 6'30" in the Third Concerto's finale and you'll hear the sort of eloquence that warms the hearts of all true Russians. Commissioned by Moiseiwitsch, an early and courageous champion of Medtner, the Third Concerto, subtitled 'Ballade', flows like some primeval river of the imagination, its burgeoning course inspired by Lermontov's WaterSpirit, while the First Concerto's often epic gestures blend a bittersweet Russian Romanticism with themes of an almost Elgarian cut. Scherbakov's agility at, say, the con moto (8'38") is never at the expense of a composer whose bravura is always poetically motivated. Lovers of Romantic piano concertos need look no further.”
“Scherbakov, praised by Richter and recently hailed as a 'modern Rachmaninov', is now more attuned to Medtner's widely flunctuating idion, complementing his unquestioned virtuosity with inwardness and conviction… you will hear the sort of eloquence that warms the hearts of all true Russians.”
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