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An Analysis and Interpretation of Fairy Tales, Op.14, 26, 48 by Nikolai Karlovich Medtner
The Russian composer N. K. Medtner’s works mainly include piano music. One of his greatest contributions to the art of music is the creation of a new piano genre—“Skazki”. Medtner’s compositional career is divided into five periods, and his Skazki pieces were written in his golden age. In this thesis, one piece of Medtners’ Skazki music produced in each of the three periods is respectively selected for further analysis, namely Op. 14, Op. 26 and Op. 48. This thesis consists of six chapters. Chapter One is an introduction of the current study. The second chapter introduces the biography and works of the composer, followed by the origin as well as the application of Skazki. Chapter Three to Chapter Five present the analyses of the three Skazki pieces, and individually discuss the differences of interpretation among these works. The last chapter unfolds the conclusion of this study. Results of the current study reveal that Medtner’s Skazki works fuse traits of both traditional and modern music. The traditional traits are demonstrated in the tonality and composition techniques. For instance, the pieces of Medtner’s Skazki often conform to tonal music theory and adapt traditional composition techniques. The rhythm of Skazki music, however, resembles more to modern music rather than traditional one. Accents are more often put on weak beats or irregularly placed. These characteristics evidently display Medtner’s creative inspiration in Skazki music. In spite of Medtner’s contribution to the art of music, his works have received less attention than they do now, and research into his work is relatively scant. It is thus expected that this thesis could draw more people’s attention to Medtner and his Skazki works.
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