Skip to content

Michael Brown – Noctuelles (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Michael Brown – Noctuelles (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:01:3 minutes | 0,99 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Bookelt, Front Cover | © First Hand Records

My apologies to Maurice Ravel, but the focus of this review will lie squarely on the music of Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951). Not that Miroirs by Maurice Ravel is not a great piece of music. It’s actually one of his most inspired and innovative works for solo piano, but given the fact that it is already well known and benefits from over 60 extant recordings as opposed to only one (as far as I know) of the Medtner, I figured more ink (or in this case binary bits) should be spent trying to shed more light on the music of this unjustifiably neglected Russian composer of German descent. Both works deal within the realm of fantasy in an effort to capture the essence of mysterious subjects like night moths, birds, bells, nymphs, water, goblins and elves, but from completely differing perspectives. Ravel painting an impressionistic image based on visual or physical triggers, and Medtner trying to convey the metaphysical aspects an image impresses on the soul.

For one thing, as opposed to Ravel’s mercurial and volatile sound and style, Medtner’s music is much more harmonically dense and opaque, like an extension of the line established by Brahms and Reger. And this set of 15 variations based on a theme titled Song of the Water Nymph sounds more like a set of Piano Studies tossing a multitude of harmonically intricate technical hurdles at the performer, all the while painting highly passionate abstract imagery. Maybe a better way to describe what lies at the core of Medtner’s music, is to fuse together the Slavic romantic ideals of Rachmaninov with the spiritual and cosmic mysticism of Scriabin. Obviously, like these composers, the piano was his instrument of choice, as he explores and exploits all the instrument has to offer. For example Variation 3: Feathered Ones very much reminds me of the Ballet of the Chicks from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition but requires much more fingering versatility and agility from the pianist. Or if there ever was a piece requiring quicksilver coordination and pinpoint accuracy as both hands dash in opposite directions, Variation 10: Elves would be a great example. And like all great composers, within this complex external scaffolding, Nikolai Medtner could paint delicate and highly evocative imagery. Evidence that Medtner was a master of the keyboard, is that the great Marc-André Hamelin himself, known for seeking out “difficult” music by composers relegated to the basement filing cabinets, has recorded all of Medtner’s Piano Sonatas and his Piano Concerto No. 2.

Tracklist

1. Michael Brown – Ravel: Miroirs, M. 43: No. 1, Noctuelles
2. Michael Brown – Ravel: Miroirs, M. 43: No. 2, Oiseaux tristes
3. Michael Brown – Ravel: Miroirs, M. 43: No. 3, Une barque sur l’océan
4. Michael Brown – Ravel: Miroirs, M. 43: No. 4, Alborada del gracioso
5. Michael Brown – Ravel: Miroirs, M. 43: No. 5, La vallée des cloches
6. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Theme. Song of the Water Nymph
7. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 1, Meditation
8. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 2, Caprice
9. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 3, Feathered Ones
10. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 4, Charms
11. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: La cadenza
12. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 5, Humoresque
13. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 6, In the Stream
14. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 7, The Tumult of the Crowd
15. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 8, In the Forest
16. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 9, The Wood-Goblin
17. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 10, Elves
18. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 11, Gnomes
19. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Pesante
20. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 12, Incantation
21. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 13, The Threat
22. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 14, Song of the Water Nymph
23. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Var. 15, Bad Weather
24. Michael Brown – Medtner: Improvisation No. 2, Op. 47: Conclusion

Download:

https://subyshare.com/dj1jrla8pfu3/MichaelBr0wnN0ctuelles20212496.part1.rar.html
https://subyshare.com/pw1jht3hngih/MichaelBr0wnN0ctuelles20212496.part2.rar.html

%d bloggers like this: