This disc, like too many others from Chesky, has been lost in the flood of
releases which have blessed the classical music market for the last ten years.
It is a pleasure to be able to draw attention to it and to recommend it with
Wild's performance emphasises the pearls, contentment and idyll of the music.
Hamelin's (Hyperion - only the sonatas) sprightly fiery fantasy and Tozer's
(Chandos) intensity may be missing but Medtner's art sustains many approaches.
Wild's performances bring out, in the seventeen variations, the great cathedrals
of sound, the incantatory bells, the ebb and flow of the tides and the hymns
and dithyrambs of marine blue and the slatey depths of the ocean. The sea
and water are strong presences in the Op. 47 work.
The Sonate-Idylle's first movement sings in accents not far removed from
Haydn and Mozart but a stronger and vibrant vein of romance is tapped in
the allegro. Hearing the second movement of Op. 56 makes me lament all the
more that Wild did not record the three Medtner concertos when he was in
London with Horenstein back in 1965.
The Forgotten Melodies of Op. 39 take in a murkily deep Meditazione suggesting
the floating hair of a drowned girl, a ghostly Chopin, a Rachmaninovian spirit
melting into and out of Schumann and sad faerie bells. The final Sonata Tragica
swells and sways with riptides and eddies.
The recording was made by Wild in Columbus, Ohio in February 1988. Wild uses
a Baldwin piano. Good annotation by Annette and Jeffrey Chesky.
This is a very special collection whose beauties lie in slow-stepping fantasy
rather than heroic display.