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Lyadov: Complete Piano Works, including many first recordings [Box set]

Marco Rapetti Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £13.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Composer: Anatoliy Lyadov
  • Audio CD (25 July 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B004Z34N42
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,739 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Biryul'ki, Op. 2
2. 3 Pieces, Op. 3a
3. 3 Mazurkas, Op. 3b
4. Arabesques, Op. 4
See all 6 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Etude in a Flat, Op. 5
2. Impromptu in D, Op. 6
3. 2 Intermezzi, Op. 7
4. 2 Intermezzi, Op. 8
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Shestviye
2. Pro Starinu, Op. 21
3. Bagatelle in D Flat, Op. 30
4. 3 Pieces, Op. 33
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Slavleniya - Marco Rapetti/Akane Makita
2. 3 Canons, Op. 34
3. Variations On a Theme By Glinka, Op. 35
4. Prelude-pastorale in A
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Variations On a Russian Folk Theme
2. 4 Preludes, Op. 46
3. Slava, Op. 47 - Various Performers
4. Etude in A, Op. 48a
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

The Russian late Romantic composer Anatoly Lyadov is somewhat overlooked compared to his famous contemporaries, although Modest Mussorgsky had tipped him for greatness: A genuine talent! Easy, natural, daring, fresh and powerful Lyadovs work shows great precision and attention to detail, but he did not fulfill his potential, because he was also unreliable, very self-critical, and totally lacking in ambition. This superb five-CD set of Lyadovs Complete Works for Piano features many first recordings, and reveals as never before his wonderful contribution to this repertoire. His piano works form the largest part of his output, and his idiomatic writing for the keyboard proves that he was an accomplished pianist. His style was firmly rooted in the European romantic tradition, particularly the music of Schumann and Chopin, but he also liked to include traditional Russian and Polish themes. He was not interested in sonata form and none of his piano works are very long. In fact his two major piano works are sets of variations. He composed a large number of charming piano miniatures, the most famous being the enchanting Musical Snuffbox, a regular encore piece, and the delightful Marionettes. Many of these intimate, polished little jewels are minor masterpieces, and deserve to be a regular part of the piano repertoire. There are also joint compositions, such as the ingenious cycle of piano Paraphrases written together with Borodin, Cui and Rimsky-Korsakov, all members of the so-called Mighty Handful set of composers. Scriabins harmonic vocabulary provided the model for Lyadovs later works, including the Four Pieces Op.4. The Italian pianist Marco Rapetti has researched the piano repertoire of several less well-known composers, including Lyadov, and performed their works in concert. His recording of the Complete Works for Piano by Borodin has already been released by Brilliant Classics.

Product Description

Marco Rapetti, piano

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential ! 12 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As an amateur classical music listner and amateur musician I highly recomend it ! I don't have theoretical or pratical knowlegde to write a deepest review.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyadov's Piano Music Complete--at LAST! An Important Gap Plugged, and a MUST for Lovers of Russian Romantics 30 July 2011
By Dace Gisclard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I inserted the first disc of this set into my CD player with trepidation. Previously, I had reviewed Vol.1 of Olga Solovieva's still incomplete Lyadov traversal for Toccata Classics [Complete Piano Music 1] and, waxing enthusiastic over both player and repertoire, stated that "the rest of this series cannot be released fast enough to please me." I'd been hoping for a complete recording of Lyadov's piano music for a long time, but had been a bit disappointed by Rapetti's sporadically mannered Borodin [Borodin: Complete Piano Music]. Frankly, I was worried that I was going to hate this set. Seldom have I ever been so happy to be WRONG!

Whereas in the Borodin set I occasionally found Rapetti annoyingly coy and calculated (and still do), here I find him appropriately and entertainingly arch--yet every roguish nuance seems spontaneous. Whatever the explanation, I find his playing here highly enjoyable, and this set, highly recommendable. Rapetti tosses off Lyadov's considerable technical demands with unruffled ease, responding to Lyadov's versatility by alternately summoning thundering bravura, teasing flexibility, peasant bluffness, impudent wit, or expansive lyricism as required--as if by the flip of a switch.

Liadov had a reputation for laziness, and his output is small, both in quantity and dimensions. Few of these pieces are over three minutes in length, and most are less. Furthermore, all of these CD's are under and hour in length, but, as Tracey said of Hepburn, "Not much meat on her, but what there is, is cherce!" For those unfamiliar with the idiom of this important associate of the Russian Five, I paraphrase my own earlier review: "...Schumannesque whimsy and Chopinesque filigree (there are quite a few mazurkas) with a touch of Rimsky and Borodin. Lyadov's powers of invention are unfailingly engaging, as one delightful miniature succeeds another. Balakirev and Cui occasionally wrote things almost as lovely, but not at this level of consistent achievement." I might add that certain other pieces have a touch of Liszt. For example, put on CD#4 track 27, and prepare to be bewitched by one of my favorites, the "Barcarolle in F-sharp". Here, I confess to being slightly disappointed by Rapetti's interpretation. I would have wished for even greater espansiveness at the climax--Coombs comes closer to my ideal, but then, I've played the piece myself, so I'm biased! By Lyadov's Op.36 some influences of Scriabin's characteristic pianistic figurations and harmony from the Op.40 period turn up. However, Lyadov never goes so far as the most "modernist" harmony of Scriabin's last compositions (although the 4 pieces of Op.64 come close), and the influence never becomes all-encompassing. (And yes, "Musical Snuffbox" is in here, too.)

Lyadov liked to participate in "group projects," to which each of the members of his circle--Rimsky, Cui, Borodin, Glazunov, Blumenfeld and even Liszt (!), to name the more famous--contributed one or more short pieces. The most celebrated of these (or notorious--Balakirev thought they were a scandalous waste of time!) are the two sets of "paraphrases" on the fluff known to Americans as "Chopsticks"--these are the "24 Variations" and the "Paraphrases." These works consist of one pianist endlessly playing the "Chopsticks" tune as an ostinato, while the other pianist plays rings around him. (Akane Makita joins Rapetti for these and the other four-hand pieces. There's even a two-piano, eight hands piece, "Slava," where they are joined by Giampaolo Nuti and Daniela de Santis.) The "24," composed in collaboration with Cui and Rimsky, are included herein. Although Borodin did not contribute to the "24", I had lamented the absence of this set in Rapetti's Borodin set for the sake of completeness.

At any rate, the "24" IS in the present Lyadov set, as well as Lyadov's four contributions to the "Paraphrases" set (composed with Liszt, Rimsky, Borodin, and Cui). Rapetti includes the COMPLETE "Paraphrases" on his Borodin CD's. In passing, although I'm not usually wild about Cui, his "Valse" (in the "Paraphrases" set) is the masterpiece of the series. The poker-faced insouciance with which he imposes far-ranging modulations over the ostinato's unyielding C major have to be heard to be believed!

Unfortunately, that's NOT the end of it--there's yet a further set of "Chopsticks" pieces by Nikolai Stcherbacheff titled "Bigarrures," which he wrote at the invitation of Cui, Rimsky and Borodin. This is not in either of Rapetti's sets. All three sets were included on a Musical Heritage Society LP by Hans Kann called "Russian Piano Music." Kann doggedly kept the "Chopsticks" portion in the same tempo throughout. Rapetti allows himself and his colleague more liberty. Thus, their performances are vastly more musical, and the "Chopsticks" repetitions less tedious.

The five CD's are packed in Brilliant's typically sturdy clamshell box, each disc in its own cardboard sleeve, with the opus numbers printed on back. The pieces are arranged on the discs in order of date (of composition?), which corresponds, roughly, to opus order. The booklet gives the track numbers and titles for the individual pieces. There is also a CD-ROM (!) with extensive notes in English and Italian by the performer, and a picture gallery of composer photos and music cover pages. My wife, who is a computer whiz, pronounced the several accompanying viewing softwares "archaic". I had no trouble viewing the notes and pictures just by clicking on the files.

Lovers of Russian nationalism, Schumann, Chopin and Liszt, should waste no time in snapping up this attractive and important box. This is to take nothing away from the equally fine accomplishment of Ms. Solovieva's Volume One, but Toccata Classics had better look to their laurels, and "put the pedal to the metal" to catch up. Thank you, Brilliant! This set is the fulfillment of a cherished wish, and I'll be hanging on to it for a long time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three worlds: russian, Chopinian, and "kukolki" 9 Dec 2011
By Giedrius Alkauskas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I always felt that the division of Lyadov's piano music into these three worlds is incomplete, but, as it appears from this collection of 5 CD, it is! (There are some exceptions, of course: some pieces can be called neo-classical). There is a substantial amount of Russian-style music; I spend many months in trying to find a recording of "Sur la prairie" op. 23, and here it is finally, called "Na luzhochke". Very beautiful! There are also many pieces of Lyadov's works devoted to circus, or wooden dolls, or different entertainment mechanisms: lovely cycle "Biryulki", then "Kukolki", "Marionetki", and so on. And the chopinian part is gorgeous, too. Lyadov, among with Bartok and Mussorgsky, is really my favorite piano composer. Just the last sentence devoted to one of the reviewers, who disliked the endless paraphrases on a simple theme in the end of CD 1, composed by Lyadov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cui, and then by Lyadov alone: I adore them! And there are even more of these on the CD of Borodin's complete piano music! This is called "tati tati", or the "chopsticks" motif. It is really fascinating to enjoy so many different moods, dances, emotions, even musical epochs, at the same time while the first pianist (it could be a small child) is playing the same simple theme fg fg ea ea dh dh cc cc. This collection of Lyadov's complete piano works had to be released long ago, and sincere thanks to the pianist Marco Rapetti!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, well presented, but derivative 8 July 2014
By Quinton Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The VH1 cable network once devoted a show to pop music’s one-hit-wonders. Were they to devote a similar show to classical music equivalents, the likes of Litolff and Lyadov would be usual subjects. About a decade ago the inclusion of Litolff’s piano concertos in Hyperion’s “Romantic Piano Concerto” series showed that the popular Scherzo of his 4th Concerto Symphonique was no outlier, but well matched by the other movements of his concertos. Thus, I wondered whether there was Lyadov beyond the popular “Musical Snuff Box” encore. This disc gives a definitive answer, that to me was less positive that that of my current fellow reviewers.

Let’s start with the good news. This set presents new recordings of fully acceptable quality. They do not really match the best that cds have to offer, but dynamics and sound stage are excellent. When it comes to timbre, an important parameter when it comes to Lyadov, the recording leaves things to be desired.

The set is well presented. There are five cds, a booklet listing all tracks, and a cd-rom. The cd-rom contains a twelve page essay on Lyadov by the performer and a set of images, that include a number of the covers of the original editions of the scores.

Marco Rapetti is a skilled performer with a more than adequate technique. His enthusiastic approach to this recording can be summed up as “Con brio”. These performances in no way represent a set of adequate sight readings in front of the microphone, but are fully fleshed out and balanced interpretations. I used to own an audiophile recording by the mysterious monsieur Setrak who included Lyadov’s Snuff Box in a recital of romantic piano rarities. In addition, I have encountered the piece as an encore, most notably by Shura Cherkassky. Compared to those standards Rapetti’s version falls significantly short. The pianist’s color palette is muted and the thing lacks appropriate rubato, resulting in a “mechanic” rendition that lacks appropriate romantic soul. And, this is a weakness that shows its head from time to time in these cds.

The set opens with Lyadov’s earlier works. Things start of well with a Schumannesque multi-part work, that is entertaining, played with gusto and has one wonder how the composer evolved from here. And that, to me, represents this set’s greatest weakness. Redoing Schumann 40+ years later, with less talent is one thing, however, doing the same thing with Chopin and Tchaikovsky without developing one’s own artistic voice, is quite another. And, as far as first impressions go, the unimaginative piano-4-hand 24 Variations and 4 paraphrases on a “simple” (read: painfully boring) never stray far from the theme and offer little beyond 20 finger jack hammering.

In later years Chopin became very much Lyadov’s template. Unfortunately, all works, especially the etudes, fall way, and at times way way short of the original. And, Rapetti’s approach misses the old world subtlety that could provide these salon pieces with something if a magical sheen.

Interestingly, Lyadov was into baroque forms and a number of fugues, sarabandes and gigues are included that, anachronistic and all, to me provided this box's highlights. Helped by Rapetti’s excellent sense of counterpoint and interpretative choice of keeping the romantism low and focusing on the architecture, these faux baroque works are very engaging. The pianist deserves extra kudos for his work in Lyadov’s G minor Sarabande. He plays it “straight” baroque, and adds his own razor sharp “HIPP” embellishments, that take the level of anachronism to Guiness Book levels, but have one wonder what the pianist would be able to accomplish in Couperin, Handel, or even Bach.

In all an interesting, well presented and economic issue. To me, the works lack a clear personal voice. Redoing Chopin at a time that Skriabin was taking this composer to the next level, provides listeners with a history lesson on the house music of the Russian well-to-do, but too little beyond.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You say Lyadov and I say Liadov, potatoes, potahtoes... 19 Aug 2013
By Edwin Rheinhart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Previous to this album the only Lyadov piece I knew was "The Enchanted Lake." I find his solo and 4 hand piano music to be exquisite. His little flourishes make you love the music. Those who have reviewed Lyadov in the past have minimized his production to one or two orchestra pieces and a little bunch of solo piano studies of not much weight. I disagree and you will too if you like Chopin's piano pieces or Brahms' and Shubert's piano solos. Enjoy this music at a quiet time when you can fully appreciate it. I have not yet played the accompanying DVD by Maistro Rapetti. It will probably be quite informative.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new composer for me 17 Sep 2012
By longfulan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Although I love classical music and have listened to much of it for over 50 years, I'm just not expert enough to comment on the playing, unlike some rather pretentious reviewers on the Amazon site. One for example complained that Ashkenazy played the first prelude of Book 1 of the WTC too slowly. Actually the score notes say 'MODERATO' for the first prelude. Maybe some of these 'expert' reviewers might consider that there are things about the music they do not know and that their personal preferences may not be what the composer wished. This Lyadov recording is of high sound quality and I have delighted in listening to the piano music of a composer I had not heard of.
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