Geoffrey Tozer in Concert: Hobart 1991
Solo piano recital.
The music of Nicolai Medtner has suffered the fate of Sleeping Beauty, protected by its formidably thorny difficulty and almost total absence of available scores. It dates from the heroic age of pianism in Imperial Russia when pianists were expected to, and could, play such compositions with splendour and ease. Medtner was not only a superb pianist but was considered by Rachmaninov to be his superior as a composer. His music, unfamiliar and dense at first, has an uncanny ability to haunt the memory. Gramophone records by the composer himself have kept his music alive, just.
Paul de Schlozer's Etude in A flat is a famous show-stopper from the old days, possibly written by Moszkowski (who apparently lost in in a card game to de Schlozer) and used it as a daily warm-up by Rachmaninov. I am playing it tonight in tribute to the late, great pianist Eileen Joyce who made it her own. No one ever dashed it off with as much brilliance and charm as she did. Her dazzling recording of it is gramophone history: unknown at the start of the recording, three minutes later she had a contract at the conclusion of the Etude. This Etude is still used as audition material for the Moscow Conservatoire.
Liszt's Farewell is a touching arrangement of a Russian folksong, written as a gift to the Russian pianist Siloti. Liszt's favourite pupil, the volcanic Carl Tausig, died young, but not perhaps before his time. He appears to have burnt himself out attempting to conquer every difficulty known to pianists. Among his works are transcriptions of waltzes by Johann Strauss published in homage to Liszt, as Nouvelles soirees de Vienne. Rachmaninov made a famous recording of this one. One can gauge the diminished expectations of pianism in our own day by comparing contemporary performances of Tausig's music to the reckless joyous accuracy of a former age.
Notes: Geoffrey Tozer
Shortly after this concert was recorded in Hobart, Tozer was offered a contract by the recording company Chandos which meant that this recording has never seen the light of day - until now. As always, Geoffrey was generous with his programs.
Geoffrey Tozer was an artist of the first rank, a consummate musician, a concert pianist and recitalist with few peers, possessing perfect pitch, a boundless musical memory, the ability to improvise, to transpose instantly into any key or to create on the piano a richly textured reduction of an orchestral score at sight.
- (first movement) 3:51
- Andante 4:07
- Presto 3:52
- Carnaval Op. 9 Robert Schumann 26:16
- Sonata in C, Op. 11: No.3 Nikolai Medtner 8:18
- Romantic Sketches for the Young Op. 54: No. 3: The Organ Grinder Nikolai Medtner 4:40
- Improvisation, Op. 31: No. 1 Nikolai Medtner 7:22
- Etude in A flat, Op. 1: No. 2 Paul de Schlözer 3:07
- Farewell ("Abshied") Franz Liszt 2:06
- One only lives once Johann Strauss I Carl Tausig 6:54
- Für Elise Ludwig van Beethoven 3:53
- Sea Slumber Song Sir Edward Elgar 4:40
Italian Concerto, BWV 971 Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.
Robert Schumann was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era.
Nikolai Karlovich Medtner (Russian: Никола́й Ка́рлович Ме́тнер, Nikoláj Kárlovič Métner; 5 January 1880 [O.S. 24 December 1879] – 13 November 1951) was a Russian composer and pianist. A younger contemporary of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin, he wrote a substantial number of compositions, all of which include the piano. His works include fourteen piano sonatas, three violin sonatas, three piano concerti, a piano quintet, two works for two pianos, many shorter piano pieces, a few shorter works for violin and piano, and 108 songs including two substantial works for vocalise. His 38 Skazki (generally known as "Fairy Tales" in English but more correctly translated as "Tales") for piano solo contain some of his most original music and are as central to his output as the piano sonatas.
Paul (Pavel Yulievich) de Schlözer (1841 or 1842 – 1898) was a Polish or Russian pianist and teacher of German descent. He was possibly also a composer, but the only two works attributed to him may have been written by Moritz Moszkowski.
Franz Liszt (1811–1886) was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher. As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School").
Carl (or Karl) Tausig (4 November 1841 – 17 July 1871) was a Polish virtuoso pianist, arranger and composer.
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. The crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.
Where to buy
- List price
- $20.00 AUD
- Total playing time
- 79 minutes 6 seconds
- Release date
- December 2014
- ℗ 2014 Move Records
- Catalogue number
- MD 3385
- EAN 9314574338525