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Medtner, Nikolai Karlovich

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Biography Medtner, Nikolai Karlovich
photo Medtner, Nikolai Karlovich
Nikolai Karlovich Medtner 1880-1951)
Medtner - an unusual phenomenon on the horizon, Russian music, which has no connection either with its past, nor with the present. "One can hardly name another composer, in occupying a family of Russian musicians more isolated place," - wrote the music critic VG. Karatygin. Artist distinctive personality, a great composer, pianist and pedagogue, Medtner not belonged to any of the music styles characteristic of the first half of XX century.

Nikolai Karlovich Medtner was born in Moscow on January 5, 1880. He came from a family, . rich artistic tradition: the mother - a representative of the famous musical kind Goedicke; brother Heinrich was a philosopher, . writer, . music critic (a pseudonym - Volfing), another brother, . Alexander, . - Violinist and conductor,
. After graduating in 1900, the Moscow Conservatory on piano at the In. Safonov with Small Gold Medal, Medtner soon attracted attention as a talented pianist, technically strong and interesting, thoughtful musician.

Systematic education of composers he had received, despite the early detection of ability to compose music. In the conservatory years Medtner all within one semester of classes in counterpoint and fugue at Taneyev, although then, as illustrated by his wife, A. M. Medtner, "liked to show his works Sergei Ivanovich, and is happy when he received his approval". The main source of acquiring skills have been composing for his independent study samples of classical music literature.

By the end of the conservatory Medtner was the author of a fairly large number of piano pieces, which, however, it is not disclosed, considering them, apparently, not quite mature and sophisticated for this.

Voice Medtner - pianist and composer - was once heard most sensitive musicians. Along with Rachmaninov and Scriabin, Medtner author's concerts were events of musical life in Russia and abroad. Writer M. Shahinian remembered that this evening was a holiday for students.

The first time he spoke publicly as a composer in 1903, playing in his concert on 26 March this year, along with works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, several of his own pieces from the series "Pictures of moods". In the same year, the entire series was released by PI. Jurgenson. He was favorably received by critics, who noted the composer's early maturity and expressed the uniqueness of his creative personality.

Among followed the first opus of works of Medtner's most significant is the Sonata in F minor, over which the composer worked in 1903-1904, guided by the advice Taneyev. The general tone of her emotion-pathos, . texture compared with previous works of her metnerovskimi more rigorous, . "Muscular", . main themes, . succinct, . elasticity of rhythm, . as if charged with kinetic energy, . which gives impetus to further development,

Starting with this first, not yet fully mature and self-experience of mastering a new form for him, the genre of the sonata occupies an important place in the works of Medtner. They were written fourteen piano sonatas, . three sonatas for violin and piano, . But if we add to this work a different kind, . based on the principles of sonata form (concerts, . Quintet, . even some of the pieces small form), . we can confidently assert, . that none of his contemporaries Medtner, not only in Russia, . but throughout the world developed this form with a tenacity and perseverance, . he,
. But, having learned the achievement of the classical and romantic era in the development of sonata form, Medtner treats it largely alone, a new. First of all, attention is drawn to the extreme diversity of his sonatas, differing not only in the expressive nature of music, but also by the structure of the cycle. But in any case, . regardless of the size and number of parts, . composer strives for consistency in from the beginning to the end of a single poetic idea, . which point, in some cases, the special title - "Tragic", . "Storm" Sonata, . "Sonata-memory" - or presupposed of poetic epigraph,
. Epic narrative emphasizes the beginning and so the author's definition as "Sonata-Ballad", "Sonata-Tale". It gives no right to talk about software metnerovskih sonatas in the proper sense: it could be, rather, the unity of the general poetic conception, receiving a through development throughout the entire sonata cycle.

One of the best in Medtner and favorite audience and performers sonatas - Sonata in G minor, written in the years 1909-1910. Slim and formative connect it with the expressive dramatic impetuosity music-willed and courageous pathos.

Being himself a distinguished pianist, he fully and vividly manifested itself only in the field of piano music. Of the sixty-one published his opus almost two-thirds were written for the piano. Much often the primary role belongs to his beloved instrument and the rest of the works (songs, violin sonatas, the quintet). Before going abroad, where living conditions forced it to expand its concert activity, Medtner spoke rarely, considering their performances as a sort of statements before the public in new and creative achievements.

Medtner did not like to speak in big rooms in front of a large audience, preferring to concert halls in cells. The tendency towards chamber music, the intimacy was generally characteristic of the artistic image of Medtner. In a response letter to his brother Emilia, he wrote: "If my art" intimate "as you often say that this well should be!" Art is born always intimately, and if he is to revive, it must be intimate again ... Remind people about this and I consider it my duty. And in this I endured, and iron, as supposed to be the son of a century ... "

. One of the favorite types of piano works of Medtner was a genre of fairy tale - small works of lyrical content of the epic, narrating about the different impressions of what is seen, heard, or read about the events of internal psychic life
. Distinguished by the wealth of imagination and diversity of nature, tales and Medtner vary in their scale. Along with simple undemanding miniatures we find among them more detailed and complex in form works. The first of these appears in Medtner in 1905.

At the same time developing and vocal works of Medtner. In the summer of 1903, when he first began seriously interesovaty poetic literature and develop in a "certain techniques of reading poems," the German poet Goethe opened the way to an understanding or a secret force of the poetic word. "And now - he shared his impressions with his brother Emile, - when I opened the Goethe, I am positively crazy with excitement for the years 1904-1908 Medtner was created three song cycle on poems of Goethe. The composer wrote them on the original German text, which allowed him to retain all the features of poetic speech of the author. Despite some unevenness of their three Goethe's cycle Medtner should generally attributed to the composer's supreme achievements in the field of vocal chamber music. They were appreciated by his contemporaries and in 1912 awarded the Glinka Prize.

Creating a kind of "musical offering" highly esteemed by them the German poet, Medtner drawn in the future mainly to the Russian Poetry. In 1911 - 1914 years there is a number of songs on poems underestimated prior Tyutchev and feta, but the focus of the composer draws the poetry of Pushkin. Can the same grounds to speak of "Pushkin period" metnerovskogo vocal art, with which his first decade, deserves the name "Goethe". Prior to this treatment Medtner Pushkin was of only occasional, sporadic. In the years 1913-1918, as the likeness earlier Goethe, Medtner creates one after another three cycles of Pushkin.

Entered in the composition of their songs is very uneven, but if one of them, and undoubted success, and the best of Pushkin Medtner songs deserve to belong to the masterpieces of Russian vocal lyricism beginning of the century. These are the first two vocal poem "Muse" and "Arion", images of which grow in metnerovskoy musical interpretation to epic proportions.

Suffice successfully proceeded and teaching Medtner. In 1909-1910 and 1915-1921 respectively Medtner was a professor at the Moscow Conservatory in piano. Among his students - many famous musicians later: A. Shatskess, H. Shtember, B. Khaikin. Councils Medtner used in. Sofronitsky L. Oborin.

But the composer had something to say to his disciples. After Medtner was a master of the highest ownership of the means of polyphony. The purpose of his ambitions was to "merge with the harmonic contrapuntal style," the supreme example of which he found Mozart.

External, sensual side of sound, sound paint, as such, of little interest to Medtner. For him, music was central to the logic of the expression of thoughts or feelings in a complete, consistent unfolding harmonic structure, elements of which are firmly linked and subordinated to one integrated plan. Excessive abundance of colors could, from his point of view, only to distract the listener's attention from the development of the basic ideas and thereby weaken the strength and depth of experience. Characteristically, for all his skill and comprehensive technical equipment Medtner was completely devoid of sense of orchestral sonority. Therefore, the composition of all three of his piano concertos, which had to resort to using an orchestra, he was forced to seek advice and help from his friends-musicians.

The composer's monumental piano concertos and symphonies are approaching. The best of these is the first whose images inspired by the terrible upheavals of World War II. Relatively little of this one concert differs most inner integrity and unity of conception. Above him Medtner worked hard for four years. In the summer of 1917 he wrote to his brother Emilia: "The concert had started three years ago, still not finished. However, its music is completely finished, but only one third of rock instrumentation. It is very difficult for me to give instrumentation. I am essentially an improviser ".

In the early 1920's, Medtner was a member of the People's Commissariat of millet MYSQL. In 1921 he went abroad on tour in France, Germany, Britain, Poland and the United States and Canada. In 1927 the composer visited the Soviet Union, performed with the program of his works in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa.

In his works abroad Medtner reiterates his appeal to Russian Poetry. Two romances on poems of Pushkin and two Tyutchev romance - "Elegy" ( "I love your twilight of the unknown") and "The cart of life" became part of the opus, written in 1924, and at the end of 1920 has been created yet another cycle -- Seven songs on poems by Pushkin ". Pushkin's poetry is presented in the last vocal opus Medtner, has already been written on the side of his life. Composer took in this group of works varied tasks predominantly a characteristic plan. The most interesting of them - highly valued by the author of "The cart of life", euphemistically characterizes the different periods of human life in the form of dashing rollicking road song. In the last cycle of the Pushkin Medtner attract the attention of "The Scottish Song", "Crow to crow flies, and two Spanish Romance - Prev noble Spaniard" and "I'm here Inezilya with their characteristic complex, intricately patterned rhythm.

In 1928, in Germany published the last series of tales Medtner, consisting of six pieces of this genre, with a dedication to "Cinderella and Ivan the Fool"

. All the years growing sense of loneliness, . strangeness around, . what determines not only the development of musical art in the XX century, . but the whole structure of the modern world, . Medtner forced to fence themselves off from the surrounding, . preserving the purity of his precious spiritual values and ideals,
. This imposes on his work print isolation, sometimes gloomy sullenness and unsociability. These features metnerovskoy music more than once noted by contemporaries of the composer. Of course, absolutely dissociate itself from what happened in the reality surrounding him, he could not, and the echoes of today's event is conscious or unconscious echo of his works. Composed in the early 1930's, when Europe had a premonition of imminent future shocks, "the Storm sonata" Medtner called the "most advanced" of his works, "because it reflects the atmosphere of today's storm of events".

In 1935, major events in the life of Medtner - in Paris, the book of the composer, muse and fashion ". Expressed in her thoughts and opinions are the result of long-term, concentrated thought, Medtner agitated throughout his adult life. Sharply critical of him by contemporary state of music, likening it "upset the lira".

In his discussion, he proceeds from the recognition of certain eternal, immutable principles, or as he puts it, "meaning" of music, derogation from which leads to disastrous consequences for her. "The loss of meaning in modern music, Medtner's main reason for going through her crisis and confusion. Since 1936, Medtner lived in England, where his works are recognized. While abroad, he continued to regard himself as a Russian musician, and declared: "emigrant essentially never been and will not". Deeply shaken by his Nazi attack on the USSR: "... Moscow felt to me as if I'm there and not here" (from a letter to I.E. and E.D. The debate on October 27, 1941). June 5, 1944 Medtner was made in concert in favor of the Joint Committee of Aid to the Soviet Union in London, where his music sounded close to the works of Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich. In the last years of life Medtner was forced out due to heart disease to abandon concert performances.

He died in London on 13 November 1951.

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