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This is the clear pick from my selection. Medtner’s music is badly in need of reappraisal, and Milne is the man to do it. Aided by Hyperion’s sterling, full-presence recording, he immerses the listener in Medtner’s perfectly Russian soundworld (Milne’s booklet notes also make for hypnotic reading). It is Milne’s terrific sensitivity that impresses – try his handling of the Op 1 Stimmungsbilder. The pianist is truly attuned to Medtner’s sense of melancholy, and he paints Medtner’s bleak Russian soundscapes perfectly. Medtner’s characteristic halting rhythms are masterfully handled (Op 2, for example), as is the honouring of Medtner’s frame of reference, which ranges from orientalisms to a fragrant, Gallic air. The mature performance of the Theme and Variations Op 55 is the highlight of a significant set.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing