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Nikolai Medtner - Romantic Sketches for the Young, Op. 54 (1931-32)

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Uploaded on Jan 20, 2011

Romantic Sketches for the Young, Op. 54 (1931-32)

I. Prelude: Pastorale [0:00]
II. Bird's Tale [2:18]
III. Prelude: Tempo di Sarabanda [4:55]
IV. Skazka (Tale): Scherzo [7:01]
V. Prelude: Tender Reproach [9:39]
VI. Skazka (Tale): The Organ Grinder [12:48]
VII. Prelude: Hymn [18:19]
VIII. Skazka (Tale): The Beggar [21:57]

A work for solo piano by Russian composer Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951). He composed this suite of four Skazki (each preceded by a prelude) in 1931-32, when his German publisher pleaded with him to publish a "moderately difficult" work, unlike most of his virtuosic output for piano. High inflation in Germany was placing financial constraints on the publishing industry, so Medtner's publisher was averse to taking risks with extremely demanding large-scale piano works. Nonetheless, Medtner managed to produce very distinctive and evocative music in his "Romantic Sketches." Even though the music is less demanding than his sonatas and most other Skazki, it is considerably more difficult than works such as Tchaikovsky's "Album for the Young."

Piano: Hamish Milne

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