Excited to share with you the latest results of my comparatively rare (but however passionate) activity as a performer. Here are two documents of my involvement with Nikolai Medtner‘s piano and chamber music, taken from a concert in November 2018 at Villa Oppenheim Berlin, which formed part of the first-ever festival in Germany exclusively dedicated to that composer. Both pieces belong, in my opinion, to the foremost achievements of Medtner’s musical expression: The Sonata-Vocalise, Op. 41 No. 1, an outstanding example of his treatment of the textless voice, holds a unique position in genre history, whereas the Sonata-Elegy, Op. 11 No. 2, pioneers in terms of formal architecture and thus stands out from most other single-movement piano sonatas of the early twentieth century. Since these are live recordings with only a few minor edits and digital improvements, the outcome is far from being technically perfect. Nonetheless I feel lucky to underpin my research on Medtner with a thorough interpretive approach to his music, and I am particularly grateful to soprano Anna Hofmann who, through her beautiful performance, made this concert one of my dearest memories on stage. Hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.
Thrilled to announce the first International Nikolai Medtner Festival medtner classics, taking place at various venues in Berlin during next week, October 29 to November 3, 2018. I am particularly honoured to contribute some introductory notes to the opening and closing concerts, and to appear as both performer and scholar in a lecture recital on Thursday, November 1, 6 pm, at Villa Oppenheim. I will be presenting my thoughts on Medtner’s Sonata-Elegy, Op. 11 No. 2, and also join a panel discussion to debate the composer’s Berlin period with acclaimed musicologists and historians. After that, I will share the stage with fabulous soprano Anna Hofmann for a performance of the rarely-heard Sonata-Vocalise, Op. 41 No. 1. Please refer to the International Medtner Society for the full programme and line-up. All events are free of charge, and everybody is cordially invited!
I was lucky enough to receive a wild card for participation in the 18th annual conference of the German Society for Music Theory (GMTH), being held the following weekend at Bremen University of the Arts, and focusing on counterpoint as a central paradigm of music analysis and theoretical teaching. If you happen to be around, I’d be inexpressibly delighted to have your company for my paper presentation »Fugal Writing in Sonatas«, taking place on Saturday, 6 October, 4:30 pm, in room 1.01. I will discuss intersections of the fugue and sonata principles in the music of Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Myaskovsky, Szymanowski, and Hindemith.
300 pages. 156000 words. 982000 characters. 710 footnotes. Around 300 works cited. 128 music examples. Roughly 6 years of work. — That’s my PhD dissertation in musicology, submitted today to the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts, and titled »The Sonata as an Ageless Principle«. It is a study of Nikolai Medtner‘s early piano sonatas, examined as manifestations of a traditional genre and central paradigm of instrumental music, and analysed from various perspectives. To those of you interested in the forthcoming open-access publication, I will send a notification as soon as it is available online in full. For the time being, here is an abstract of the thesis and a pre-published chapter on the general features of Medtner’s musical language.