2 Fairy Tales : Work information

This work

Work name
2 Fairy Tales
Work number
Op. 48
1926-01-01 02:00:00

This recording

Jeremy Hayes
Steve Portnoi
Recording date
1998-10-04 00:00:00

Track listing

  • No. 1 in C 8:15 min
  • No. 2 in G minor 'The Elves' Tale' 4:29 min


Metner wrote over 50 pieces for the piano named Skazka or skazki, meaning Tale or Fairy Tale. The first of the Op. 48 pair, often given the title The Dance Tale, was one of Metner's favourites; written in 1927 he often ended his own piano concerts with a performance of it. It's an exuberant, high-spirited piece, from its stamping cross-rhythms to the final exultant glissando.

The other piece, The Elves' Tale, is more introverted and enigmatic. Metner asks in a footnote for the pianist to forget about the metronome and make liberal use of the pedal.

The Composers

Nicolas [Nicolay Karlovich] Medtner [Metner]

Medtner was a Russian composer and pianist. He was born in Moscow in 1880 and studied at the conservatoire there, but left Russia in 1921. He lived in Germany and France and toured as a concert pianist, making his debut in America in 1924 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He wrote a great deal of piano music (including three concertos) which owed a great deal to German romanticism. He wrote a book in 1935 opposing modern innovations and affirming his faith in tonality. He also settled in England, where he lived until his death in 1951.