Hyperion Records

Skazki, Op 51
composer

Recordings
'Medtner: Skazki' (CDA67491/2)
Medtner: Skazki
Buy by post £27.98 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA67491/2  2CDs Archive Service  
Details
No 1: Allegro molto vivace … e sempre leggierissimo
Track 6 on CDA67491/2 CD2 [5'31] 2CDs Archive Service
No 2: Cantabile, tranquillo
Track 7 on CDA67491/2 CD2 [3'43] 2CDs Archive Service
No 3: Allegretto tranquillo e grazioso
Track 8 on CDA67491/2 CD2 [3'34] 2CDs Archive Service
No 4: Allegretto con moto flessibile
Track 9 on CDA67491/2 CD2 [4'04] 2CDs Archive Service
No 5: Presto
Track 10 on CDA67491/2 CD2 [2'11] 2CDs Archive Service
No 6: Allegro vivace sempre al rigore di tempo
Track 11 on CDA67491/2 CD2 [3'11] 2CDs Archive Service

Skazki, Op 51
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The English nomenclature ‘Fairy Tale’ is perhaps appropriate for once to the Op 51 set, given its dedication to ‘Zolushka (Cinderella) and Ivan the Fool’. And some sort of sorcery is clearly afoot in the incantational monotone of the No 4’s main theme (sostenuto, magico). According to programme notes for Medtner’s recital at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, in 1930: ‘In the first tale the characters are introduced, the second is a song of Cinderella, the last a dance of the Fool.’ This being so, the stuttering introduction to Ivan’s dance may be a rare instance in Medtner of onomatopoeic musical representation! Ivan Ilyin, unsurprisingly, surmises that a lofty symbolism and idealism lie behind the naive exterior. It was this set which prompted a delighted Rachmaninov to exclaim ‘No one tells such Tales as Kolya’, after Medtner played them at a private gathering. The ebullience of Ivan’s dance belies the increasing depression of the composer, by now living in France in near poverty. His despondency is revealed in a letter to the singer Tatiana Makushina: ‘I have a horrible feeling that this whole story will turn out to be another fairy tale about ‘Ivan the Fool’ who I have already proved myself to be so many times in my life.’

from notes by Hamish Milne © 2007

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