Discussion:
Opus 1
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HT
2019-08-02 07:21:06 UTC
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I never heard Medtner's Opus 1 and am glad I finally did. Certainly in this performance by Derzhavina:



Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?

Henk
Bozo
2019-08-02 13:51:47 UTC
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Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Samuil Feinberg's Piano Sonata No.1 :

Frank Berger
2019-08-02 14:47:54 UTC
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Post by Bozo
Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Samuil Feinberg's Piano Sonata No.1 : http://youtu.be/NtDZ2ppQ49Y
I think he meant other recordings of Medtner's op. 1, Stimmungsbilder.

I am aware of 3 recordings of all 8. Geoffrey Tozer, Hamish Milne and
Ekaterina Derzhavina. Svetlanov recorded 3 of them. While no expert in
this music, from what I've heard I think Milne is best.
HT
2019-08-03 13:22:58 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
I am aware of 3 recordings of all 8. Geoffrey Tozer, Hamish Milne and
Ekaterina Derzhavina. Svetlanov recorded 3 of them. While no expert in
this music, from what I've heard I think Milne is best.
Frank, I didn't know there were 8 versions. I only heard Tozer, Derzhavina, and Svetlanov. I'll try to find to other 5, including Milne.

Thanks,
Henk
Frank Berger
2019-08-04 02:38:51 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by Frank Berger
I am aware of 3 recordings of all 8. Geoffrey Tozer, Hamish Milne and
Ekaterina Derzhavina. Svetlanov recorded 3 of them. While no expert in
this music, from what I've heard I think Milne is best.
Frank, I didn't know there were 8 versions. I only heard Tozer, Derzhavina, and Svetlanov. I'll try to find to other 5, including Milne.
Thanks,
Henk
I meant the 8 movements or sections of op. 1. AFAIK, Svetlanov only
recorded 3 of them. Is that wrong? When you asked for more
suggestions on op.1 did you in fact mean opus 1s by other composers as
everybody but me thought? Or did you mean other recordings of Medtner's
op. 1 as my puny brain thought?
HT
2019-08-04 09:48:03 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
I meant the 8 movements or sections of op. 1. AFAIK, Svetlanov only
recorded 3 of them. Is that wrong? When you asked for more
suggestions on op.1 did you in fact mean opus 1s by other composers as
everybody but me thought? Or did you mean other recordings of Medtner's
op. 1 as my puny brain thought?
Frank, I was looking for Opus 1's in general. I could have said so more clearly.

It's clear that you meant the 8 movements of Medtner's Op. 1. Why I misread it, I don't know. But I went looking for other versions of Op. 1/1 on YT and Amazon and came to the conclusion that this piece is far more popular than I expected. I also noticed that I had overlooked Sudbin's version (an excellent one).

Henk
Frank Berger
2019-08-04 13:11:28 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by Frank Berger
I meant the 8 movements or sections of op. 1. AFAIK, Svetlanov only
recorded 3 of them. Is that wrong? When you asked for more
suggestions on op.1 did you in fact mean opus 1s by other composers as
everybody but me thought? Or did you mean other recordings of Medtner's
op. 1 as my puny brain thought?
Frank, I was looking for Opus 1's in general. I could have said so more clearly.
It's clear that you meant the 8 movements of Medtner's Op. 1. Why I misread it, I don't know. But I went looking for other versions of Op. 1/1 on YT and Amazon and came to the conclusion that this piece is far more popular than I expected. I also noticed that I had overlooked Sudbin's version (an excellent one).
Henk
Punyness (puniness?) of my brain confirmed.
Bozo
2019-08-02 14:54:43 UTC
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Post by Bozo
Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Samuil Feinberg's Piano Sonata No.1 : http://youtu.be/NtDZ2ppQ49Y
Forgot to mention BIS has cd sets of all the Feinberg piano sonatas, cd's I have and I can recommend,different pianists.Hamelin has been playing Nos. 1 and 2 in some recent recitals.

Also,Gierr Tveitt's PC # 1 , I have on a Naxos cd I believe with these artists:


MiNe109
2019-08-02 14:19:50 UTC
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Post by HT
http://youtu.be/dMXMCzFbYiw
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Berg?

Stephen
HT
2019-08-03 13:08:09 UTC
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Post by HT
http://youtu.be/dMXMCzFbYiw
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Berg?
An Opus 1 and a true masterpiece! Thanks!

Henk
JohnGavin
2019-08-02 14:51:38 UTC
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Only a great composer could write this deeply in their office number one. I know that his first piano Sonata Op. 5 was written when he was 16 years old so considering he might’ve been 15 or even 14 when he wrote these pieces.

I am somewhat imprinted on the Tozer Recording which is a little more classic and less Markedly emotional. Which performance one will prefer depends, naturally and one is temperamental preference.
Bozo
2019-08-02 17:47:21 UTC
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Only a great composer could write this deeply in their office number one. I know that his first piano Sonata >Op. 5 was written when he was 16 years old ...
I had missed that fact. Holy cow , that's a magnificent sonata which Debargue played at the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition. Does the theme of his Op.1,#3," Maestoso freddo " appear in another Medtner piano work, a Skazki or sonata ?
JohnGavin
2019-08-02 17:54:33 UTC
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I had missed that fact. Holy cow , that's a magnificent sonata which Debargue played at the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition. Does the theme of his Op.1,#3," Maestoso freddo " appear in another Medtner piano work, a Skazki or sonata ?

I don’t think so, but the first piece is an exact piano solo version of one of his songs which can be heard on the Ludmilla Andrew/ Tozer CD on Chandos.
Bozo
2019-08-02 21:19:16 UTC
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Hamish Milne's liner notes to his Hyperion cd of the work :

"One of the most frequently repeated quotations about Medtner is Rachmaninov’s assertion that only he ‘from the beginning, published works that it would be hard for him to equal in later life’, and this is exemplified by Medtner’s very first published composition, the Prologue (inspired by Lermontov’s poem The Angel) which opens his set of Stimmungsbilder (‘Mood Pictures’) Op 1. Already perfect in form, it achieves a wonderful serenity as it approaches and recedes from its impassioned climax. The poem is worth reproducing in full, since its message lies behind the central tenet of his artistic creed and he used the same text again some thirty-five years later as a preface to his book The Muse and Fashion (Edition Tair, Paris 1935), in which he pleaded for a return to the fundamental natural laws of music as evolved from the ‘primordial song’ of man.

According to Bernard Pinsonneault, Medtner’s Canadian pupil and disciple, the composer only realized some years later ‘to his stupefaction’ that the text of the poem fitted exactly, and completely fortuitously, the rhythm of the melodic line of the Prologue. With only minimal amendment, it was published in a vocal version, Op 1bis.

The remaining pieces in this Op 1 set do not reach or even aspire to this elevated plane: indeed many of them are reworkings of pieces from his early teenage years. However they all reveal qualities of invention and originality which set them poles apart from the plethora of sentimental salon pieces of that era. The violent protestations of No 2 find no comfort and die away to nothing. No 3 (Maestoso freddo) is a march with a hint of menace, while No 4 is a lyrical effusion with touches of the rhythmical sleight of hand which were to become one of Medtner’s trademarks. Another quotation from Lermontov heads No 5 (‘Through swirling snowstorm and roaring wind a distant bell tolls—it is a funeral chime’). The exuberant jollity of No 6 (Allegro con humore) suggests the festivities of a Russian village fair, which feature regularly in Russian music, literature and painting. Some have heard the lurching rhythm of the central section as an incongruous tango, but surely it is more likely a wild Cossack or Gypsy dance. Another typically Medtnerian device makes an early appearance in No 7, the interlocking of dislocated rhythms between the hands. Its mood oscillates between the furious (con ira) and the plaintive. The final piece, on the other hand, is all grace and amiable elegance, its simple message rendered more sophisticated by its rhythmical pattern of eight notes in the right hand against a three-note waltz in the left. Alexander Goldenweiser, only five years older than Medtner but already a voice of some authority by virtue of his connection to Tolstoy, adjudged the opus ‘no tentative experiments but the work of a mature and original talent’."
HT
2019-08-03 13:36:44 UTC
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Post by JohnGavin
Only a great composer could write this deeply in their office number one. I know that his first piano Sonata Op. 5 was written when he was 16 years old so considering he might’ve been 15 or even 14 when he wrote these pieces.
Yes, it is a remarkable piece for such a young man. But then, as this thread proves, great composers don't seem to care about how young they are.

Henk
JohnGavin
2019-08-03 14:12:19 UTC
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This is cheating, but I would draw attention to Durufle’s op 5 Suite for organ. I never tire of this piece. He composed it at a young age. If Durufle had just composed more music he would occupy the top rank of French composers IMO.
s***@hotmail.com
2019-08-03 15:28:02 UTC
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You may perhaps already know Mozart’s “second” opus 1 - better known as K 301-306 (his first opus 1 is K 6-7)?

Soeren
Ricardo Jimenez
2019-08-02 15:57:10 UTC
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Post by HT
http://youtu.be/dMXMCzFbYiw
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Henk
I assume you have heard the Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms Operas 1.
Berlioz Eight Scenes from Faust, also qualifies as a great opus 1 from
a great composer, I think.
HT
2019-08-03 13:28:05 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
I assume you have heard the Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms Operas 1.
Berlioz Eight Scenes from Faust, also qualifies as a great opus 1 from
a great composer, I think.
This morning I've been listening to (parts of) Berlioz' Eight Scenes. As almost all the Opus 1's mentioned in this thread, it's a remarkable achievement. I don't understand why he disowned the work later.

Henk
cdc
2019-08-02 23:12:44 UTC
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Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 1


HT
2019-08-04 15:51:39 UTC
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Post by cdc
Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 1
http://youtu.be/APxweGUCqIs
Thanks, it's a lovely piece. But then, I like the earlier sonatas better than the later ones (the war sonatas).

Henk
cdc
2019-08-02 23:31:07 UTC
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Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Karol Szymanowski: 9 Preludes, Op.1


Bozo
2019-08-03 02:09:12 UTC
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Post by cdc
Karol Szymanowski: 9 Preludes, Op.1
Very nice.
c***@gmail.com
2019-08-03 12:16:13 UTC
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Post by Bozo
Post by cdc
Karol Szymanowski: 9 Preludes, Op.1
Very nice.
Indeed. Also Dohnányi Piano Quintet in C minor; Josef Suk, Piano Quartet in A minor. Cheating a bit: Zemlinsky's op. 2 is a nice set of songs, and his op. 3 is the lovely Clarinet Trio.

AC
HT
2019-08-04 13:14:18 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Indeed. Also Dohnányi Piano Quintet in C minor; Josef Suk, Piano Quartet in A minor. Cheating a bit: Zemlinsky's op. 2 is a nice set of songs, and his op. 3 is the lovely Clarinet Trio.
The adagio in Suk's quintet s remarkable. BTW is this the composer playing?



Henk
c***@gmail.com
2019-08-04 17:30:08 UTC
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Post by HT
Post by c***@gmail.com
Indeed. Also Dohnányi Piano Quintet in C minor; Josef Suk, Piano Quartet in A minor. Cheating a bit: Zemlinsky's op. 2 is a nice set of songs, and his op. 3 is the lovely Clarinet Trio.
The adagio in Suk's quintet s remarkable. BTW is this the composer playing?
http://youtu.be/9y1oRQizgdE
Henk
Yes, that movement is gorgeous. Don't confuse the Piano Quartet op. 1 with equally lovely the Piano Quintet op. 8, btw. The late Josef Suk who is performing in the video was the composer's grandson (and Dvořák's great-grandson). Supraphon issued a lovely set of the elder Suk's chamber music in which the younger one performs. I think the individual volumes are still available, if not the boxed set. This volume is especially desirable, imo: https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/1350-suk-klavirni-trio-op-2-kvartet-pro-klavir-op-1?artistId=136.

AC
JohnGavin
2019-08-05 11:31:10 UTC
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Returning to Medtner - I would encourage anyone to proceed to op. 2. It gets even better. 3 Improvisations. Wonderfully imaginative music.
HT
2019-08-04 12:55:31 UTC
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Post by cdc
Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Karol Szymanowski: 9 Preludes, Op.1
http://youtu.be/7AqXrydTmHg
Overall even more interesting than Medtner's Op. 1 2-8.

Henk
cdc
2019-08-02 23:53:01 UTC
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Post by HT
Are there other Opus 1 I should hear?
Arnold Schoenberg: 2 Songs for baritone, Op. 1 (1898)

Remarkable the second song: Abschied
(even if G.Gould found it boring...)


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