Honors Projects


Alicia Wodarski


Though in the past the piano music of the early twentieth century Russian composer Nikolai Medtner had been largely forgotten, there has been a recent trend among some U. S. pianists to bring his pieces into the popular canon. Contemporary pianists have particularly focused on his works known as the Skazki, or “Fairy Tales,” of which Medtner wrote several sets. Medtner’s fairytales are of the programmatic genre; they invoke connections outside of the music itself. While Medtner’s pieces have received attention due to their musical qualities, there has not been much research regarding their place as a musical form of adaptation. Medtner’s pieces have yet to be considered in the literary field of Adaptation Theory. In my project, I intend to expand the realm of Adaptation Theory by asking, “Are Medtner’s Fairy Tales adaptations?” and “How do the Fairy Tales interact with their original texts?”. With my specific focus being directed to his Op. 14 no. 1, “Ophelia’s Song,” and Op. 35 no. 4, “King Lear,” I apply two different methods to answer the questions. First, I examine Medtner’s work through Linda Hutcheon’s book, A Theory of Adaptation. Secondly, I use a combination of Intentionalism and New Criticism to determine what kind of adaptation the compositions are.


Music Performance

First Advisor

Stephannie Gearhart

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Laura Melton

Second Advisor Department

Music Performance Studies

Publication Date

Fall 12-16-2013