Original Issue of this fantastic 2-Cd set. No longer Available.
Nikolai Medtner's piano concertos are tragically overlooked. Simple question: Do you love Rachmaninov's piano concertos? If so, (and most of us do), don't deny yourself the pleasure of the Medtner concertos.
Medtner was influenced heavily by Rachmaninov. He was born only seven years after Rachmaninov, and they both chose to leave Russia after the Revolution to pursue careers as concert pianists. These two artists were strikingly similar in many respects, but, as is often the case, only one--Rachmaninov--had the luxury of a brilliant career. Nonetheless, Medtner dogmatically forged ahead, composing to his own ideals and never compromising.
The result is three piano concertos that are slightly more modern than Rachmaninov's but strikingly lyric and powerful. In this set, Geoffrey Tozer's playing is uniformly excellent and assertive, while the London Philharmonic deftly provides a colorful and dramatic backdrop under the direction of Neeme Jarvi. As usual, Chandos' recorded sound can be a little harsh at the edges, but Tozer is captured in well-balanced clarity and the accompaniment never suffers much.
Even with thousands of CDs in my collection, I couldn't believe that this music had somehow slipped by for so many years. These are great concertos, well-played and recorded, that will give you something new (and old) to love. Enjoy.