Composer of the Week: Rachmaninov and Medtner

Donald Macleod presents the interwoven lives of two distinct Russian composers.

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TV & Radio Information
BBC Radio 3
Monday, October 22, 2012 - 12:00

 

The musical legacies of Sergey Rachmaninov and Nikolay Medtner could not be more distinct. Rachmaninov was an entrepreneur unafraid to gear his music towards the demands of commercial interest, whereas Medtner remained an intellectual at odds with popular taste. But, as Donald Macleod reveals in Composer of the Week, the two composer-pianists had a lot more in common than history would have you think. Both were graduates of Moscow conservatoire and their lives often intersected. Rachmaninov proved to be an important catalyst in Medtner’s international career. The two musicians remained united on their views of contemporary Russian music despite their different places within the commercial landscape. Throughout the week you can hear the concertos that the composers dedicated to each other, along with previously unbroadcast piano roll transcriptions.