COMPOSERS: Rachmaninov/Medtner
LABELS: Elektra Nonesuch
WORKS: Variations on a Theme of Corelli; Sonata in A minor; Sonata reminiscenza; Sonata tragica; Canzona matinata
PERFORMER: Vladimir Viardo (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79283-2 DDD
A beautifully recorded disc, though a couple of jolts in the first Medtner sonata sound like bad edits. Viardo plays delicately, sometimes almost limply: the theme of Rachmaninov’s Variations is so fragile it might blow away, and Viardo doesn’t give the work a strong shape as a whole. But if you forget the direction the music is taking, the extreme ease and beauty of many details is seductive. The wistful first theme of Medtner’s Sonata reminiscenza is deliciously haunting, but Viardo is powerful in the thicker textures of the Sonata tragica too. Adrian Jack