Hyperion Records

Skazki, Op 14

'Medtner: Skazki' (CDA67491/2)
Medtner: Skazki
No 1: Ophelia's Song: Andantino con moto
Track 6 on CDA67491/2 CD1 [3'29] 2CDs Archive Service
No 2: March of the Paladin: Allegro marciale
Track 7 on CDA67491/2 CD1 [4'08] 2CDs Archive Service

Skazki, Op 14
The Op 14 pair opens with a Shakespearean tale (Ophelia’s Song). Its Dorian modality lends an air of antiquity; nevertheless it is a Russian Ophelia who sings here. It was originally conceived as a violin piece for Alexander Medtner, the composer’s brother, but its consistently pure three- and four-part harmony suggests a string quartet (for which sketches also exist). Which of the songs and fragments of ill-fated Ophelia was the source of this tale is not specified. Op 14 No 2 (March of the Paladin) is a rhythmical and contrapuntal tour de force, fizzing with all manner of canons and thematic combinations: one of Medtner’s forays (probably Pushkin-inspired) into the realm of medieval chivalry.

from notes by Hamish Milne © 2007

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