Medtner's large body of '"Skazki" (Fairy Tales, or Folk Tales as the composer preferred to call them) span the better part of his composing career, and are as characteristic for Medtner as his daunting series of 14 sonatas. Within his total oeuvre, they take a similar place as Grieg's Lyric Pieces or Chopin's Mazurkas, albeit that these are by no means miniatures, some of them reaching rare heights of passion and virtuosity.
The long-standing Russian tradition of telling folk-tales inspired Medtner to write some of his most accessible and appealing works. This is a magical, half-lit world inhabited by princes and princesses, gnomes, elves, soldiers, and wondrous animals. Medtner's powers of musical story telling were much admired by Rachmaninov, who once exclaimed, after Medtner's performance of the Skazki Op.51, "No one tells tales like Kolya !"
The Skazki, having much more immediate appeal than Medtner's large-scale works, are at last enjoying a well-deserved popularity, thanks mainly to the pioneering work of pianists like Hamish Milne and Marc-André Hamelin. These works may well prove to be a key factor in the recognition of Medtner's unique statue as one of the greatest keyboard composers of all times.
2 Skazki Op. 8 (1905)
To my dear parents
2 Skazki Op.14 (1906-07)
|1||Andantino con moto ("Ophelia's Song")||4:08||Breemer, C.|
|1||Andantino con moto ("Ophelia's Song")||4:17||Schlair, A.|
4 Skazki Op.26 (1912)
|3||Narrante a piacere||2:35||Coleman, C.|
|3||Narrante a piacere||2:52||Schlair, A.|