A Fearful Fairy Tale

Helena Basilova

TTK 0041

This collection of music is meant as a story in itself, each piece included for the power it has to forge a connection that needed the story to be forged. And so it was with the piece that inspired the album.

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About the album

There are two words for truth in Russian: Pravda for objective truth and Ishtina for transcendental truth, that what you know but cannot explain. While Helena’s previous solo albums – with music from Janacek and Scriabin – were each in their own way quite personal to her, this time she wanted more Ishtina than Pravda. She wanted a story that was not just personal for her but representative of her. And Helena’s personal story is one of multitudes. Of departures and forgetting, discovery and loss, of glimmers of understanding, and feelings of coherence in oceans of confusing false certainties.

This collection of music is meant as a story in itself, each piece included for the power it has to forge a connection that needed the story to be forged. And so it was with the piece that inspired the album.

This album – of stories and a story in itself – is Helena’s tribute, to fairy tales and her homeland.


  1. Fairytale About the Forgotten Homeland: I. The First Snow Yuri Bagri 01:03
  2. Yellowed Leaves, Op. 31: I. Andante Nikolai Myaskovsky 02:21
  3. Yellowed Leaves, Op. 31: II. Un poco sostenuto, malinconico e abbandonamente Nikolai Myaskovsky 01:57
  4. Yellowed Leaves, Op. 31: III. Andante cantabile Nikolai Myaskovsky 01:08
  5. Yellowed Leaves, Op. 31: IV. Molto vivace e fantastico Nikolai Myaskovsky 02:24
  6. Yellowed Leaves, Op. 31: V. Molto calmo, ma non troppo lento Nikolai Myaskovsky 02:24
  7. Yellowed Leaves, Op. 31: VI. Vivo Nikolai Myaskovsky 02:42
  8. Yellowed Leaves, Op. 31: VII. Moderato Nikolai Myaskovsky 03:49
  9. A Fearful Fairy Tale Elena Firsova 05:46
  10. Tales of an Old Grandmother, Op. 31: I. Moderato Sergei Prokofiev (arr. Maya Fridman) 01:55
  11. Tales of an Old Grandmother, Op. 31: II. Andantino Sergei Prokofiev 01:14
  12. Pohádka (Fairytale), JW VII/5: I. Con moto Leoš Janáček 04:59
  13. Pohádka (Fairytale), JW VII/5: II. Con moto Leoš Janáček 04:01
  14. Pohádka (Fairytale), JW VII/5: III. Allegro Leoš Janáček 02:36
  15. Piano sonata No. 1, Op. 129: I. Largo Alfred Schnittke 06:24
  16. Three Tales, Op. 9: II. Allegro alla serenata, con alcuna licenza Nikolai Medtner 04:07
  17. Four Tales, Op. 34: II. Allegro cantabile e leggiero Nikolai Medtner 02:30
  18. Four Tales, Op. 26: III. Narrante a piacere Nikolai Medtner 02:26
  19. Two Tales, Op. 20: II. Pesante. Minaccioso Nikolai Medtner 04:03
  20. Fairytale About the Forgotten Homeland: II. Winter Dance Nikolai Medtner 02:09

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“Basilova plays the older notes beautifully mild, but the pièce de résistance is the opening movement of the first piano sonata (1987) by Alfred Schnittke. You hear beautiful resonances in the piano, like the mysterious shadow empire of a fearful fairy tale.” ★★★★☆

Guido van Oorschot, de Volkskrant

“… Basilova’s performance is characterized by a clear, concise sound with great feeling for subtle nuances in color. Take for example the opening bars of Alfred Schnittke’s first piano sonata. Just a handful of whispering tones, with which Basilova evokes mysterious vistas.” ★★★★☆

Joep Christenhusz, NRC

“An absolutely stunning performance with an absolutely stunning sound image, high up in a heaven of resolution.”

Michel van Meersbergen, HVT Magazine

“The recording quality of TRPTK is – it’s starting to become tradition – brilliant.”

Aart van der Wal, Opus Klassiek


Helena Basilova
Maya Fridman


Alfred Schnittke
Elena Firsova
Leoš Janáček
Nikolai Medtner
Nikolai Myaskovsky
Sergei Prokofiev
Yuri Bagri


Classical – Contemporary (> 1920)



Recording resolution

PCM 352.8 kHz 32 bits

Recording date(s)

8 – 10 April 2019

Recording location

Kleine Zaal
Muziekgebouw Eindhoven
Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Recording engineer

Brendon Heinst

Mastering engineer

Brendon Heinst

  1. Jan Doorenspleet

    Een wonder mooie vertelling met een schitterende weergave! Een luistergenoegen van zeerhoge orde

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