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Nicholas Medtner (1880-1951) has always been a neglected figure in the history of Russian music, and yet his friend Rachmaninoff considered him the greatest of contemporary composers. He wrote three fine piano concertos, more than one hundred solo piano compositions, including a cycle of fourteen sonatas fully worthy to be set alongside those of Scriabin and Prokofiev, and many beautiful songs. He was also a great pianist. Leaving Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, Medtner lived for a time in Germany and France before finally settling in London, where he passed the final sixteen years of his life. The present work is the first to tell the full story of his eventful life and to consider in turn each of his compositions. The author has drawn on Medtner's own correspondence and writings and collected the reminiscences of those who knew him personally to build a comprehensive picture of a great, if still largely unrecognised, musician.
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