The first of the two Skazki
Op 48, a bucolic pageant of stamping and conflicting dance rhythms, seems to have been a favourite of the composer who often used it to end his recitals in the late 1920s and 1930s. The second theme (imitating fifes and drums) is ingeniously transformed in the central ‘trio’ section into a lurching march of Bruegel-ish grotesquerie. An orchestration by Medtner’s brother Alexander exists in the Glinka Archive in Moscow but seems never to have been performed. Its picturesque character notwithstanding, this is evidently the work of one well acquainted with Beethoven’s scherzos.
from notes by Hamish Milne © 2007