His father was chief conductor of the Imperial opera Company, his grandfather was also a conductor. with many other family members involved in music, ballet and theater, so at a very early age Liadov was exposed to the late night gatherings frequented by musicians and actors. This upbringing probably contributed to his unreliability and a certain lack of inner drive.
Liadov was a conservative, very precise, meticulous composer who paid an extraordinary amount of attention to detail. This trait may have also contributed to his meager compositional output, especially with works for orchestra. His talent was more suitable for miniature pieces for piano. But there were exceptions.
After Liadov married into money in 1884, his compositions got even fewer in number but it was after his marriage that he wrote three miniature tone poems for full orchestra, some of his finest works in any genre. Baba Yaga and Kikomora are based on folktales, while The Enchanted Lake has no direct inspiration besides Liadov's imagination. He called it a Fairy Tale Scene and described it to a friend:
“How picturesque it is, how clear, the multitude of stars hovering over the mysteries of the deep. But above all no entreaties and no complaints; only nature - cold, malevolent, and fantastic as a fairy tale. One has to feel the change of the colors, the chiaroscuro, the incessantly changeable stillness and seeming immobility.”The work is scored for a large orchestra minus trumpets and trombones. It is pure mood painting and conveys a sense of mystery that pleased the composer very much. of all his compositions, it was his favorite. The piece lasts under eight minutes, and contains some of the most beautiful music ever written