Pianist Alexei Volodin to display the allure of Medtner in ‘Storytellers’ programme
Monday 27 November at Merchant Taylors' Hall, London
Radio 3’s Tom Service to introduce the concert
Alexei Volodin has long been a champion of Nikolai Medtner’s music, feeling that his work is unfairly overshadowed by some of his contemporaries. As part of his mission to make Medtner’s music better known, Volodin will perform a programme that presents three of his Fairy Tales and the Piano Quintet alongside the version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring for two pianos – taking place at the impressive Merchant Taylors' Hall.
Alexei Volodin comments:
“As a pianist, Medtner truly understood the instrument and it’s remarkable that every piece he ever composed involved the piano. While many music lovers know and love his music I feel passionately that he deserves to be celebrated more widely. As a pianist I’m proud to champion such a great proponent for the instrument. In giving two of his greatest works, alongside the two piano version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, we hope to give lovers of the piano an incredible evening. Where better to perform this programme than in London, the city that gave him a home for the last fifteen years of his life and in such a stunning historic venue as the Merchant Taylors’ Hall?”
In this recital Medtner and Stravinsky are juxtaposed as storytellers of their Russian folkloric past and masters of imaginative piano writing. This will be one of the themes that Radio 3’s Tom Service will touch on in his introduction to the concert.
The concert begins with three of Medtner’s Fairy Tales for solo piano, which contain some of his most original music. He’s then joined by fellow-pianist Edith Peña to perform The Rite of Spring, one of the most famous pieces of music ever composed.
Watch Volodin play the tumultuous Fairy Tale Op 35 No 4:
The evening concludes with the two pianists being joined by members of the London Chamber Orchestra to perform Medtner’s Piano Quintet. This was composed by Medtner throughout his life from 1903, when he was 23 years old, until 1949. It gives listeners a fascinating insight into his journey as a composer and he considered it the ultimate summary of his musical life.
The concert is presented as part of the Eastern Seasons week of cultural and business events which seeks to foster dialogue and build trust between people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Last year’s inaugural concert featured Mahan Esfahani, the Iranian-born harpsichordist virtuoso, perform a programme of Baroque and contemporary classics at the Royal Overseas League with the Russian Virtuosi of Europe orchestra conducted by Yuri Zhislin.
With the support of founding partner BSI Global Group, Eastern Seasons is an annual week of cultural and business events taking place in London from 26-29 November. Established in 2015, the project aims to build trust and foster relationships between people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds.
This year’s concert is also part of Medtner International Festival, two days of events and performances taking place in London on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th November 2017 under the patronage of pianist Nikolay Lugansky.