Tonight I was deeply moved and enthusiastically inspired by a piano recital at Piano Salon Christophori. Russian pianist Ekaterina Derzhavina was performing Haydn and Medtner in a way that made me burst for joy and cry in ever-repeating change. What a passionate, graceful, and simultaneously modest playing. And I didn’t have to leave my hometown, not even my borough, to be lucky enough to make this outstanding experience. At times, very rarely in fact, one may feel blessed just by being present in a moment of divine musical inspiration. This has just been such a moment, and I am grateful to have encountered it.
Last week has seen another fascinating Medtner event in my university’s chamber hall, confronting the Russian composer’s 1st violin sonata, Op. 21, and Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27, with Beethoven’s Op. 27 No. 1 Sonata quasi una fantasia. Many thanks, Sasha Karpeyev and Viktoria Kaunzner, for your excellent playing!
F sharp major is one of music’s most beautiful tonalities. I’ll be talking about Nikolai Medtner‘s Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27, written in exactly that key, tomorrow morning in a symposium at The British Library, London. This will be part of an exceptional program of talks, concerts, a master class and film screening from today through Saturday, all about Medtner, and with the participation of the finest scholars and performers. Really looking forward to the Medtner Study Day, one of the rare occasions of a research event fully dedicated to this composer’s music. Principal organizer of the Medtnerfest is my dear colleague Sasha Karpeyev.