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James Harrington
American Record Guide, May 2017

…Stewart’s musicality and technical abilities make the first two volumes of his Medtner sonatas well worth investing in. His tempos are always slower than Hamelin’s, but that often allows this very complex music a better chance to be fully appreciated. The recorded sound is worthy of Stewart’s beautiful Fazioli… © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, March 2017

Paul Stewart’s love and admiration for Medtner’s music come through strongly in these performances, which require a great range of treatment from the gentlest of touches, sometimes merely brushing the keys, whilst at others displaying a towering emotional intensity. His ability to bring out the poetry in Medtner is impressive and the recording is crisp, which combination makes for a hugely satisfying experience. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2017

Paul Stewart has a poetic sensibility that seems perfect for these works. His technique, though considerable, is not worn on his sleeve but instead directed toward the most musical of readings. …Medtner is Medtner and how ever that stacks up, this is very worthwhile piano music. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

Nikolay Medtner sought sanctuary in London in 1921 having been stripped of his wealth and academic position during the wrath of the Russian Socialist Revolution. Though he was well received when he arrived, it mattered little to the British public or to the music establishment that Rachmaninov had described him as “the greatest composer of our time”, or that he had enjoyed a major career as an outstanding concert pianist. For he and his wife, their souls remained in Russia, and his style of composition was in a world that had been overtaken by the brave new world embracing atonality. He had completed all but his fourteenth and last piano sonata by the time he arrived in England, and though he continued composing, he was really a broken man. He was twenty-eight when he completed the Sonata-Triad to reflect a poem by Goethe that begins ‘Passion leads to suffering’, the music containing passages of moving intensity. Almost half an hour long, it rather dwarfs the Sonata-Skazka begun two years later, and the two-movement Sonata-Idyl completed on his arrival in London. All three call for a pianist well versed and technically able to project the big romantic gestures, the Canadian pianist, Paul Stewart, well able to meet any virtuoso challenge, his highly detailed programme notes that come with the disc, evidence of his knowledge and belief in the composer. Thankfully he has moved away from the ill-conceived use of a piano in Medtner’s era in his previous disc, this release offering a very beautiful sounding instrument. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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