Medtner Newsletter Archive

ISSUE NO. 7 – September 2018

Dear community,
This is the seventh issue of the Medtner newsletter. It’s about time that I keep you posted on a number of recent developments and publications, and I am particularly happy to share with you the line-up of the forthcoming Berlin Medtner Festival.
As always, I’ll be happy to spread notifications of your events, recordings, or publications related to Medtner. Let me know if there is anything to announce in one of the next issues.
In case you don’t want to receive the newsletter any longer, a short notification is sufficient to unsubscribe.
Best wishes from Berlin,
Wendelin
Table of Contents
[1]  Berlin Medtner Festival Line-up
[2]  New Recordings
[3]  Writings and Dissertations
[1] Berlin Medtner Festival Line-up

The 2018 Berlin #Medtnerfest will be something to really look forward to. Here is a short overview of the schedule, including five concerts and an exclusive preliminary event. Admission to the concerts is free throughout, yet donations will be greatly appreciated. Please spread the news of the festival using the hashtag #Medtnerfest, and check the Medtner Society’s website closer to the festival in order to obtain more recent information.
This message also includes the 28-page brochure of the International Nikolai Medtner Society as a PDF attachment (in German language).

– Monday, 29 October, 7 pm / 8 pm: »When the Wind Narrates«
Preliminary Event with Severin von Eckardstein (please contact the Medtner Society for details).
Orania Hotel, Berlin-Kreuzberg

– Tuesday, 30 October, 7 pm: Opening Concert »Medtner, the Wanderer«
Sonatas, skazki, and violin nocturnes. Artists: Darya Dadykina, Petya Hristova, Alexander Karpeyev, Drew Steanson, and Alexander Won Ho Kim.
Schwartzsche Villa, Berlin-Steglitz

– Wednesday, 31 October, 3:30 pm: »Keyboard Storms: Medtner and the Sonata«
Sonatas, Op. 25 No. 2 and Op. 53 No. 2. Artists: Darya Dadykina and Vasily Gvozdetsky.
Museum of Musical Instruments, Berlin-Tiergarten

– Thursday, 1 November, 6 pm: »Medtner Berlin: A Musical Journey Through Time«
Lecture-recital and discussion. Artists: Anna Hofmann, Wendelin Bitzan, Rimma Kachalova, Yuliya Grauman. Special guest: Christoph Flamm.
Museum Villa Oppenheim, Berlin-Charlottenburg

– Friday, 2 November, 7 pm: »Medtner, the Storyteller«
Tale recitation and skazki. Artists: Darya Dadykina, Vasily Gvozdetsky, and Simon Moser.
Rathaussaal, Berlin-Charlottenburg

– Saturday, 3 November, 7 pm: Closing Concert
Sonatas, songs, and works for two pianos. Artists: Petya Hristova, Gustav Piekut, Heike Charlotte Päuser, Rimma Kachalova, Yuliya Grauman, and Drew Steanson.
University of the Arts, Joseph Joachim hall, Berlin-Wilmersdorf

[2] New Recordings

American pianist Cahill Smith has released his debut CD with a beautiful rendering of Medtner’s Forgotten Melodies, Opp. 38 and 39, on Blue Griffin Records. You can also check out his YouTube channel with a number of live recordings worth listening to.
London-based pianist Alexander Karpeyev recorded a disc with an intriguing programme of music by Russian émigré composers, including Medtner’s Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27, and along with works by Prokofiev, Grechaninov, Rachmaninov, and Stravinsky. The CD is available from Claudio Records, and the sonata is also on YouTube.

[3] New Writings on Medtner

Boston-based pianist Haeshin Shin has recently completed her DMA thesis titled »Nikolai Medtner’s Forgotten Melodies: Sources, Analysis, and Interpretation« at Boston University‘s College of Fine Arts (full text available).
American pianist Nathan Uhl contributed an analysis and performer’s guide to »The Opus 41 Vocalises of Nikolai Medtner«, published as his DMA thesis at Arizona State University (full text available).
Canadian pianist Benjamin Bertin has written his D.Mus thesis at the Université de Montréal named »Unifying Dionysus and Apollo«, dealing with Medtner’s Sonata-Skazka, Op. 25 No. 1, and E minor Sonata, Op. 25 No. 2. You may contact him if you are interested in his writing.
American pianist Frank Huang regularly blogs on Medtner’s music. Among his recent posts are articles on the triangle relationship of Nikolai, Anna, and Emil Medtner, as well as an introduction to the Stimmungsbilder, Op. 1, and Forgotten Melodies, Op. 38.

My own PhD thesis named »The Sonata as an Ageless Principle«, a study concerned with genre history and analysis of Medtner’s piano sonatas, has just recently been submitted to the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. I’ll be excited to share it with you as soon as it is available.


ISSUE NO. 6 – April 2018

Dear friends and Medtner devotees,

Today the sixth issue of the Medtner newsletter is coming your way.
As always, I’ll be happy to spread notifications of your events, recordings, or publications related to Medtner. Let me know if there is anything to announce in one of the next issues.
In case you don’t want to receive the newsletter any longer, a short notification is sufficient to unsubscribe.
Happy Easter, and best wishes from Berlin,
Wendelin

 

Table of Contents

[1]  St Petersburg Conference
[2]  New Recordings
[3]  New Writings
[4]  Complimentary Gift

[1] Research on Medtner at St Petersburg Conference

An international community of researchers will gather in St Petersburg the following weekend, when the pan-Russian conference »The Cultural Space of Russia: Genesis and Transformations« is hosted by the Faculty of World Culture of the St Petersburg State Institute of Culture and Arts. A section of the conference, titled »Academic Genres and New Acoustic Paths in Native Russian Musical Culture«, is partly dedicated to the exploration and analysis of Medtner’s music. The section is scheduled for Friday, 6 April, 10 am to 2 pm, and takes place in the Chamber Hall (Auditorium No. 2303), Dvortsovaya naberezhnaya 2, St Petersburg, 191186. Paper presentations include the following speakers and subjects (abstracts and biographies can be found here).

Olga Gladkova (St Petersburg) – »Aspects of Music Aesthetics in Medtner« Galina Skotnikova (St Petersburg) – »The Creative Partnership of Medtner and Ivan Ilyin«
Wendelin Bitzan
(Berlin) – »Generic Hybrids and Permeability of Musical Genres in Medtner«
Nicolò Rizzi
(Pavia) – »Narrative Traces and Medtner’s Musical Speech«
Tatyana Shevchenko
(Odessa) – »Medtner’s Piano Sonatas as Subject of Performing Interpretation«

[2] New Recordings of Medtner’s Music

Scottish label Delphian Records has published a 2-CD box of Medtner songs, featuring pianist Iain Burnside and six different singers of Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian and Irish origin. The release is an important milestone in the ongoing exploration of what is Medtner’s least-known group of works, including excerpts from the German lieder Opp. 6, 15, 18, and the rarely heard Op. 46, as well as from the Russian romances Opp. 3, 13, 24, 28, 29, 32, 36, 37, 45, and 52. The two Pushkin settings from Op. posth. 61, Nos. 3 and 4, are world premiere recordings, and the Bely setting Еpitafiya, Op. 13 No. 2, is recorded here for only the second time.

Violinist Nikita Boriso-Glebsky and pianist Ekaterina Derzhavina have recorded Medtner’s complete violin sonatas (Opp. 21, 44, and 57), along with the Nachtgesänge, Op. 16, and Canzonas and Dances, Op. 43. The 2-CD set is due for release on April 13 on Hänssler Profil Edition. Short preview snippets are available here.
Dutch pianist Caspar Vos has released his debut CD on 7 Mountain Records, focusing Medtner’s solo piano works of 1911–12. The recording pioneers in coupling the two Op. 25 piano sonatas (Sonata-Skazka and ›Night Wind‹) with the Four Skazki, Op. 26.
Vasily Gvozdetsky‘s YouTube channel has a number of beautiful skazki renderings, including excerpts from Opp. 42, 48, 51, and 54, live recorded in a 2017 recital at the Berlin Museum of Musical Instruments.

[3] New Writings on Medtner

Michael Hamilton wrote a study on nationality in Medtner’s solo piano music, »German Blood Russian Birth«. A master’s thesis at the University of Liverpool, the study particularly discusses the F minor Sonata, Op. 5, A minor Sonata, Op. 30, Sonata romantica, Op. 53 No. 1, and Skazki, Opp. 20 No. 1 and 42 No. 1. The full text is available through Academia.edu.
Amitai Schleier published some notable thoughts on Medtner’s Sonata-Reminiscenza, Op. 38 No. 1, on his blog.
Frank Huang has two recent blogposts on his website, focusing on Medtner’s status as a neglected composer in general, and the musical characteristics of his skazki.

[4] Complimentary Gift

Imagine Medtner had composed a jazz ballad (of course he would never have done that, but just give it a try!) and then have a look at the sheet music in the attachment. This little song is derived from two of Medtner’s catchiest instrumental tunes, the primary and secondary themes of the C major Piano Sonata, Op. 11 No. 3. These have been arranged and harmonised by your humble servant, and underlaid with lyrics from an English translation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Trilogy of Passion—the very poem serving as an epigraph to the Sonata Triad, Op. 11. Please enjoy, perform, and spread the file as you like!

 


 

ISSUE NO. 5 – December 2017

Dear community,

Hope you enjoy reading the fifth issue of the Medtner newsletter!
As always, I’ll be happy to spread notifications of your events, recordings, or publications related to Medtner. Let me know if there is anything to announce in one of the next issues.
In case you don’t want to receive the newsletter any longer, a short notification is sufficient to unsubscribe.
Best wishes from Berlin, and merry Christmas,
Wendelin

Table of Contents

[1]  Medtner Symposium, St Petersburg
[2]  Medtner International Music Festival, Berlin
[3]  Report from the 2nd London Medtnerfest
[4]  Publications and Recordings
[5]  Miscellaneous

[1] International Medtner Symposium St Petersburg

The Medtner Society is glad to announce the 1st International Medtner Symposium, taking place 6–7 April, 2018, and hosted by the Faculty of World Culture at the St Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts. Papers on Medtner’s music will be presented by Olga Gladkova (musicologist at the host institution), Tatyana Shevchenko (Odessa National Music Academy), Nicolò Rizzi (Università degli studi di Pavia), and Wendelin Bitzan (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). The programme will be completed by a lecture-recital on the E minor Piano Sonata, Op. 25 No. 2, held by Vasily Gvozdetsky (pianist and Medtner Society deputy chairman) and Wendelin Bitzan, and an academic concert with students of the University of Culture and Arts’ piano department. Stay tuned for a more detailed schedule.

[2] Pre-announcement of the Nikolai Medtner International Music Festival, Berlin

The line-up for the International Medtner Festival, taking place 30 October to 3 November, 2018, in Berlin, is currently emerging. There will be five concerts in venues such as the Museum of Musical Instruments, Villa Oppenheim, Schwartzsche Villa, Charlottenburg Town Hall, and Joseph Joachim hall of the Berlin University of the Arts. Other events will include pre-concert lectures and talks as well as a Medtner exhibition with photographs and letters. More information will be provided in one of the next newsletters. For any inquiries related to the festival, please feel free to contact the Medtner Society at info@medtner-gesellschaft.de.

[3] Report from the 2nd London Medtner Festival

The London Medtnerfest took place for the second time on 26–27 November, 2017, organised by Alexander Karpeyev who thankfully also provided a report of the event (see PDF attachment). The festival’s three concerts and two masterclasses were well attended and summoned a total of 30 performers and scholars. The Medtner Society has another short account with some pictures from concerts and meetings. More photographs from the festival are available here and here.

[4] Publications and Recordings

Rebecca Mitchell, historian and professor at Middlebury College, Vermont, dedicates her research to the exploration of the history of Russia and the Soviet Union. Her 2016 book, »Nietzsche’s Orphans: Music, Metaphysics, and the Twilight of the Russian Empire« is available from Yale University Press, containing an intriguing chapter on the Medtner brothers Nikolai and Emil.
Tatyana Shevchenko, a pianist and researcher from the Ukraine, has just defended her doctoral thesis at the Odessa National Music Academy. She is focusing on Medtner’s piano sonatas, with special regard to the aesthetic contexts of their genesis and to stylistic topoi in European music of the 19th and early-20th centuries.
Russian pianist Ludmila Berlinskaya has recently recorded some of Medtner’s most popular works, such as the Sonata-Reminiscenza, Op. 38 No. 1, and the C major Piano Quintet. CDs are out on Melodiya.

[5] Miscellaneous

A film about Australian pianist Geoffrey Tozer (1954–2009), an acclaimed performer of most of Medtner’s compositions, is currently being shot and due for release in 2018. More information is provided on the website of the Tozer Estate, including a short article on his advocacy of Medtner. The biopic will include sequences from Jayson Gillham‘s recent recording of the 1st Piano Concerto, Op. 33 (out on ABC Classics). An interview with Gillham provides more insights into his choice of repertoire.
Chris Crocker is the creator of the Medtner.org.uk website, an invaluable source of information on the composer. He has recently acquired a number of unpublished Medtner photographs from the collection of British conducter Lawrance Collingwood (1887–1982) which can be viewed in the right column of this page. Crocker also obtained some proof copies and Soviet first editions of Medtner’s songs Opp. 36 and 37, as well as the autograph of the Four Songs, Op. 45. He will be happy to make his scans available to researchers—please contact him via chris@crocker.eu.
Some of you might already know that there is a virtual identity of Nikolai Karlovich Medtner on Facebook. The page is run by Michael Yafi, a Houston resident who aims to promote performances and artists devoted to Medtner. Feel free to get in touch and send a friendship request.


 

Dear community,

This is the fourth issue of the Medtner newsletter, the goal of which is to spread information on forthcoming concerts and events, as well as recent publications and recordings related to the music of Russian composer Nikolai Medtner (18801951). Also, the International Medtner Society, based in Berlin, invites you to apply for membership. Please scroll down for details.
Wendelin Bitzan

 

ISSUE NO. 4 – October 2017

Table of Contents

[1]  Concerts and events
[2]  New recordings and publications
[3]  The International Medtner Society

[1] Concerts and events
I have the pleasure of informing you about some very promising Medtner performances during the next weeks and months, taking place in Berlin, London and Moscow.(a) For the spontaneus people among you, there is an event just one week ahead. In an afternoon recital on Wednesday, October 18, 3.30 pm, at the Berlin Museum of Musical Instruments, Vasily Gvozdetsky will perform works by Haydn, Chopin, and Medtner. For details see here.

(b) Get ready for the 2nd International Medtnerfest London, directed by pianist Alexander Karpeyev, on November 26–27, 2017. The programme comprises two masterclasses with pianists Dmitry Alexeev and Iain Burnside, as well as three concerts, starring Alexei Volodin, Ben Schoeman, Vasily Gvozdetsky, Sofia Fomina, Evgenia Startseva, Alasdair Beatson, and others. Venues are the London Pushkin House, the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, and the City University of London. Please refer to this website for further details.

(c) Pianist Elena Strikovskaya of the Gnesin Academy of Music Moscow organises a Medtner marathon with performances of his complete vocal works, subdivided into seven matinées scheduled from October 2017 through May 2018. The first concert with songs on poems by Tyutchev and Fet, Opp. 24 and 37, already takes place on October 14, 12 pm, involving singers Svetlana Sozdateleva, Alexandra Koneva, and Ekaterina Lukash. See the attached poster and this Facebook event for details.

[2a] New Recordings
A double event at Moscow Conservatory’s Rachmaninov Hall in April 2017 saw the performances of Medtner’s complete piano sonatas, supervised by London-based professor Dina Parakhina who contributed a stunning performance of the »Night Wind« Sonata, Op. 25 No. 2. Pianists featured in this project were Dinara Klinton, Poom Prommachart, Mario Ahijado, Varvara Tarasova, and others. Video recordings of the concerts are available on YouTube: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4.
Australian pianist Jayson Gillham has recorded Medtner’s 1st Piano Concerto, Op. 33, with the Melbourne Symphony under Benjamin Northey, along with Rachmaninov’s 2nd Concerto. The CD is out on ABC.
German baritone Peter Schöne and composer-pianist Moritz Eggert have a new lieder CD with Nietzsche settings by Schoenberg, Hindemith, Rihm, and others, including Medtner’s rarely-heard Opp. 19 and 19a songs. Available from Radio Bremen, check it out at eClassical.

[2b]
New Publications
Bradley Emerson has published his dissertation on the narrative and hermeneutic contexts of Medtner’s Sonate-Ballade, Op. 27. The full text is available at the repository of the University of Texas.
A short essay by myself on the Sonata-Skazka, Op. 25 No. 1, will be published soon in a Vienna conference proceeding. The bilingual paper is available as a preview on Academia.edu. I also recently presented a paper on the »Night Wind« Sonata, Op. 25 No. 2, in the annual conference of the German MusicologicalSociety (GfM) at Kassel University, and will read it again in November at the 17th GMTH conference in Graz. You can access the corresponding Prezi presentation here.
Elena Strikovskaya has reviewed the complete Medtner sonatas performances at Moscow Conservatory in past April in the EPTA Piano Journal, No. 112 / 2017.
[3] The newly founded Internationale Nikolaj Medtner Gesellschaft is now successfully registered as a non-profit association. Application for membership is possible via this website (a form in English language will be provided within the next few days; if you would like to apply straightaway, plese write me an e-mail). Future projects organised by the society include: an international Medtner festival in Berlin, prospectively taking place in October 2018; a competition for young musicians dedicated to the music of Medtner; and a number of publications and translations of Russian sources. You will be kept informed via this newsletter and can also follow the society on Facebook.As always, I’ll be happy to spread notifications of your events, recordings, or publications related to Medtner. Let me know if there is anything to announce in one of the next issues.
In case you don’t want to receive the Medtner newsletter any longer, a short notification is sufficient to unsubscribe.
Best wishes from Berlin,
Wendelin

 


Dear Medtner devotees and appreciators,

This is the third issue of the Medtner newsletter – a rather compact one, mainly dedicated to give notice of the forthcoming concerts in Berlin and London. Other fascinating news and stories will follow very soon.
Happy Easter, or whatever you are celebrating these days!
Wendelin Bitzan
ISSUE NO. 3 – April 2017

Table of Contents
[1]  Medtner Society Inaugural Concerts
[2]  Analysis of the G minor Sonata, Op. 22
[3]  Recent recordings
[1] The recently founded International Medtner Society of Berlin is currently in the process of registration. Application for membership will soon be possible. For now I am happy to announce the two inaugural concerts of the Society:(a) Berlin, Logenhaus (Große Loge Royal York) – Sunday, 21 May 2017, 11am | 6pm
Emser Straße 12–13, 10719 Berlin-Wilmersdorf
Free admission; ticket reservation starts on April 25. See also the Facebook event.Two full-Medtner programmes (matinée starting at 11am, soirée at 6pm) with sonatas, skazki, and Goethe songs, featuring an international line-up of performers: German mezzo-soprano Anna Warnecke, pianist Luisa Splett from Switzerland, as well as Russian and Ukrainian pianists Irina Chistiakova, Evgeny Nikiforov, Darya Dadykina, and Vasily Gvozdetsky. I will lead through the programme.(b) London, Pushkin House Music Salon – Friday, 25 May 2017, 7pm
5A Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2TA, London
Tickets £5–£20, advance booking via the website. See also the Facebook event.

A recital with piano and violin sonatas, skazki, and Russian songs, performed by baritone Vasily Savenko, violinist Anne Friederike Greuner, and pianists Vasily Gvozdetsky and Alexander Karpeyev. Vasily and Alexander are also preparing new English and German translations of Medtner’s writings.

[2] I have recently completed an extended analysis of the G minor Sonata, Op. 22, which will form part of my currently emerging dissertation. The chapter is available via Academia.edu as a draft, so I will be able to incorporate suggestions from fellow researchers and musicians during the following 20 days. It is also possible to view the paper without signing in to the platform. Your comments are welcome and much appreciated!

[3] Marc-André Hamelin recorded Medtner’s 2nd Piano Concerto, Op. 50, with Vladimir Jurowski, along with Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto. The CD is freshly out on Hyperion Records, with liner notes by Francis Pott.
Italian pianist Alessandro Taverna recorded three sonatas (Opp. 38 / 1 »Reminiscenza«, 53 / 1 »Romantica«, and 53 / 2 »Grozovaya«) for Somm Recordings.
After his praised recordings of the three Piano Concertos, Yevgeny Sudbin published a CD on BIS Records with solo piano pieces by Rachmaninov and Medtner, including the Sonata-Reminiscenza, Op. 38 No. 1, and Sonata tragica, Op. 39 No. 5, and some skazki.
Japanese pianist Risa Iwai recorded the Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27, along with Schumann’s Sonata, Op. 14. The CD is out on Sheva.

Please let me know if you have something to announce in one of the forthcoming newsletters. As always, I’ll be happy to spread notifications of your events, recordings, or publications related to Medtner.
In case you don’t want to receive the newsletter anymore, a short notification is sufficient to unsubscribe.
Best wishes from Berlin,

Wendelin

 


Dear Medtner enthusiasts,

Today you are receiving the second issue of the Medtner newsletter, packed with recent information and announcements. The past year has been quite fruitful for the performance and scholarship of Medtner’s music, and 2017 appears to be even more promising. Read on to learn more …
Unless you ask me to unsubscribe from the mailing list, I will keep you posted with all Medtner news of my knowledge. Please provide me with information on forthcoming concerts, recordings, or publications which you want me to include in one of the following issues. Also, please forward this newsletter to anybody it may concern.
Merry Christmas (insofar as you celebrate it), and best wishes from Berlin!
Wendelin Bitzan
ISSUE NO. 2 – December 2016

Table of Contents
[1]  Results of the St Petersburg International Medtner Competition
[2]  Medtner Youth Competition, Berlin 2017
[3]  Recent publications and reports
[4]  Recent recordings
[5]  Upcoming events
[6]  Miscellaneous
[1] The First International Medtner Competition took place in St Petersburg as part of the festival »Classical Music without Borders«, November 26–29, 2016. The following prizes and diplomas have been awarded in the main categories:
– Piano, 1st prize: Ekaterina Mikhailova (Kazan)
– Piano, 2nd prize: Darya Koval (Moscow)
– Piano, 3rd prize: Anna Pismak (St Petersburg) and Sayaka Nakaya (Hiroshima)
– Piano, diploma: Drew Steanson (London) and Mikhail Grazhdanov (Moscow)
– Piano, diploma: Anastasiya Davydova (Moscow) and Dmitry Barbashin (St Petersburg)
– Voice, 2nd prize: Olga Shurshina (St Petersburg) and Denis Zamorsky (Moscow)
– Voice, diploma: Anna Vikulina (St Petersburg), Evgeniya Morozova (Moscow), and Darya Kilina (Moscow)
– Prize for the best accompanist: Aleksandra Tarasenko (St Petersburg)
The first and third prizes in the vocal category were not awarded. Also, the musicology and music review category, which had been announced in Russian language only, was cancelled due to lack of submissions.
[2] In preparation of the Berlin International Medtner Festival, a Youth Competition dedicated to Medtner’s music will take place at Kreuzberg Music School, Berlin, on October 7–8, 2017. The laureates’ recital is scheduled for November 15, 2017, at the Berlin Museum of Musical Instruments. The competition is organised by Vasily Gvozdetsky and will be open to musicians up to 16 years of age. Application deadline is September 30, 2017. More details TBA.

[3] BradIey Emerson (University of Texas) has published his hermeneutic analysis of Medtner’s Sonata-Reminiscenza, Op. 38 No. 1, in the journal Semiotics, 2015. My own paper on the Sonata Triad and G minor Sonata, Opp. 11 and 22, recently appeared in the German journal Die Tonkunst, No. 4 / 2016, and an analysis of the Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27, was published in Problemy muzykalnoy nauki, No. 3 / 2016 (full text available).
Satoru Takaku (Nihon University Tokyo) wrote a brief report of the London Medtnerfest, January 28–30, 2016, which appeared in the Japanese magazine Chopin (see attachment). The photographs show impressions of a masterclass held by Dmitry Alekseev (London) and a group of participants visiting Medtner’s grave at Hendon Cemetery in the north of London.

[4] Pianist Paul Stewart (Montreal) is currently recording Medtner’s complete piano sonatas. Volume 2 is out now on Naxos, including the Sonata Triad, Op. 11, Sonata-Skazka, Op. 25 No. 1, and Sonata-Idyll, Op. 56. Tchaikovsky Competition finalist Lucas Debargue (Paris) has recorded his acclaimed rendering of the F minor Sonata, Op. 5, for Sony Classical, along with works by Bach and Beethoven.
Some noteworthy Medtner performances are available via YouTube, such as:
Caspar Vos (Amsterdam) performing the E minor Sonata, Op. 25 No. 2: here
Cahill Smith (Tennessee) performing the Sonata tragica, Op. 39 No. 5: here
– A 2008 recital of Medtner songs in St Petersburg, featuring baritone Vassily Savenko (Worcestershire) and pianist Michael Dussek (London), and including some rarely performed pieces from the Op. 3 as well as the Nietzsche songs, Op. 19a: here and here

[5] Some forthcoming concerts:
– April 29–30, 2017: A series of concerts at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory‘s Rachmaninov Hall will program Medtner’s complete piano sonatas, performed by students of Dina Parakhina (London). More details TBA.
– May 21, 2017, 11:00 am and 18:00 pm: Medtner Portrait Concerts at Logenhaus Berlin, featuring a selection of sonatas, skazki, and Goethe songs, performed by Irina Chistyakova, Darya Dadykina, Vasily Gvozdetsky, Evgeny Nikiforov, Luisa Splett, and Anna Warnecke. I will lead through the programme.

[6] The Medtner Society of Korea has been founded by pianists Haeshin Shin (Boston) and Hanna Choi (Glasgow), with the aim of focusing attention on Medtner, in particular among Korean audiences. Lecture recitals and conferences are projected.
Last but not least, here is a recent find I would like to share with you. Pianist and chess champion Boris Shatskes (1931–1985), son to Medtner’s pupil Abram Shatskes, made piano transcriptions of three of Medtner’s songs which appeared in a 1988 print at Sovietsky Kompozitor (»Lish rosy uvyadayut«, Op. 36 No. 3; »Bessonnitsa«, Op. 37 No. 1; and »Serenada«, Op. 52 No. 6). After Katya Derzhavina drew my attention to these pieces, I was able to locate a copy of the volume in a Berlin library. As this is copyrighted material, I cannot upload it for the public, but let me know if you are interested in having a PDF scan.

Best wishes, and stay in touch,
Wendelin


 

Dear performers, researchers, and Medtner enthusiasts all around the world!

This is the first issue of a Medtner newsletter that I intend to establish. The idea is to send information and updates on events, publications, recent recordings, and other developments related to Medtner’s music—from time to time, presumably 2–3 times a year.
Please feel free to forward and share the newsletter to everybody it may concern. I will also be grateful if you provided me with information to include in the following issues!

NB. This is a non-automatic project, which means I am not using any newsletter tool (hence the restrained layout and design).
If you wish to unsubscribe from the newsletter, just let me know via a short answer.

Best wishes from Berlin,
Wendelin Bitzan

 

ISSUE NO. 1 – September 2016

Table of Contents

[1]  International Medtner Competition, St Petersburg
[2]  Pre-announcement: International Medtner Festival, Berlin 2017
[3]  Forthcoming publications

[1] The First International Medtner Competition will be held in St Petersburg, as part of a music miniature festival, on November 26–29, 2016. It is organised by Nota Bene, a non-profit cultural association based in St Petersburg, and includes three categories: piano, vocal, and musicological research / review. Applications (submissions of video recordings or writings) are accepted till October 15, 2016.
Program requirements and further participation guidelines can be found here.
Please note that the musicology category is not announced in the English version of the website. However, I was assured that contributions in English are also welcome. Feel free to contact me for more details and submission guidelines.

[2] An international Medtner festival is currently being planned and will take place in Berlin, presumably during autumn 2017, organized by pianist Vasily Gvozdetsky and music manager Simon Moser. Venues and programme are still to be announced—this is just a little teaser to attract your attention. I will keep you posted via this newsletter.
A number of performers have already confirmed their participation, among them German pianist Severin von Eckardstein. I will be in charge of programme notes, lectures, and other text contributions. Please find an introductory website here (in German).

[3] I am happy to announce that two Medtner papers by myself will appear in print within the following months. I’ll let you know as soon as they are published. The first article is concerned with conceptions of symmetry in the early sonatas Opp. 11 and 22 (to be issued in the German magazine Die Tonkunst). The second one is dedicated to the Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27, and its numerous semantic implications (in the Russian journal Problemy Muzykalnoy Nauki, No. 3 / 2016). Here is an abstract of the latter one.

Nikolai Medtner’s Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27, is a cyclic three-movement work which encloses an independently published ballade as its first movement. The sonata’s refined structure is enrichened by a number of intertextual narratives, establishing motivic cross-references to other compositions by Medtner. In addition, there are strong religious implications derived from a poem by Afanasy Fet which is closely connected to the genesis of the work. The article first aims to examine the score as it appears, and considers the mentioned semantic implications in a separate stage of the analysis. The results reveal the Sonata-Ballade to be a unique piece of Symbolist art, unfolding the most personal of its creator’s aesthetic views to the recipient.

Please keep in touch—with best wishes from Berlin,
sincerely,

Wendelin