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Nikolaj Metner
Sonata op. 25, 2 (1911)
Canzona matinata op. 39, 4
Sonata tragica op. 39, 5
Märchen etc.
Severin von Eckardstein, piano
1 CD
Order No.:
MDG 604 1465-2
Compositional Priority
Storyteller’s Talent
A hundred years ago Nikolaj Metner was regarded
together with Sergei Rachmaninov and Alexander
Scriabin as one of the greatest hopes of Russian
music. He concluded his study of piano with a gold
medal but declined to embark on a concert career in
order to dedicate himself exclusively to composition.
Severin von Eckhardstein’s career also got off to a
dazzling start with the Grand Prix International Reine
Elisabeth and the Echo Klassik Prize in 2003. On this
disc he presents a selection of piano compositions by
The”Night Wind” sonata based on a poem and
forming a wondrously cohesive whole reveals an
enormous storytelling talent – an element also found
in the short “Tale.” Metner’s late-romantic sound color
is reminiscent of Rachmaninov, who was a close
friend of his, but he also finds his way to his own
unique and very personal style.
Changing Roles
Although Metner was an autodidact as a composer,
he was honored on repeated occasions for his
contributions in this field. The cataclysmic upheavals
of the October Revolution, however, caused another
career change. Metner had to leave Russia for
Western Europe, and later he was denied return
entry. He produced rolls for Welte-Mignon and during
the thirties he made recordings for Columbia, which
regarded them merely as “test pressings” and never
released them. Beginning in 1936 he regularly
collaborated with EMI, probably only because of
substantial support from a certain maharajah!
Thrilling Travels
In an extended essay Severin von Eckhardstein offers
insights into his own personal selection of works. He
has long felt very much at home at the sonorous
Steinway D concert grand piano built in 1901 and thus
made to order for Metner’s music. He is “a narrator at
the piano, a pianist who takes listeners along with him
on thrilling musical journeys” (Ruhr Nachrichten),
“unpretentious, brilliant, and courageous” (Piano
News), and “a true shaper, not a mere dazzler, not a
thunderer” (Stereo).
Olivier Messiaen: La rousserolle effarvatte
Leos Janacek: Piano Sonata 1.X.1905
Sergey Prokofieff: Sonata No. 8
MDG 604 1141-2
Alexander Skrjabin
Piano Sonatas No. 3 + 8
Préludes op. 11
MDG 604 1318-2
TEL.: ++49-(0)5231-93890 • FAX.: ++49-(0)5231-26186