We enjoy an embarrassment of riches when it comes to documentation of turn-of-the-century composition from Russia. Composers from Alexander Glazunov (a worthy successor to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky) to Sergey Taneyev have made their way to compact disc. A relatively minor figure, Sergey Lyapunov (1859-1934) nevertheless wrote music impressive in scale and gratifying in melodic fecundity. He did so on a model and in an idiom bequeathed to him by the extraordinary tradition of the first generation of Russian nationalist composers; to this same tradition Alexander Grechanninov and Maximillian Steinberg owed their idiom. Behind Lyapunov stand Nicolas Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin, Cesar Cui, and Modest Mussorgsky. The twentieth century would make a fetish of "originality." You could hardly say that Lyapunov (or Grechanninov or Steinberg) is "original." He is, rather, superbly trained by his masters, genially endowed in his talent, and felicitous in his expression. Like Glazunov, he could not weather the Bolsheviks and ended up in Paris, where he tried to create a Russian Conservatory in Exile. Lyapunov, like Rachmaninov and Scriabin, was a keyboard virtuoso and lived on the recital circuit for much of his early maturity. Many years ago he was represented in the record catalogues by two Turnabout LPs of his Transcendental Etudes and his Ukrainian Rhapsody. (Louis Kentner, I believe, was the pianist. Or was it Michael Ponti?) These were attractive works that piqued the imagination and made one ask: what else did he write? The new Chandos CD answers the question in part: Lyapunov wrote two piano concertos (in addition to that fondly remembered Ukrainian Fantasy), two symphonies, and a variety of other works. Maestro Vassily Sinaisky's program embraces the Second Piano Concerto, the First Symphony, and a Polonaise for Orchestra. The Symphony, from 1897, is big, almost forty minutes in duration. The bracketing movements are in the Russian heroic style pioneered by Borodin and cultivated by Lyapunov's younger contemporary Reinhold ("Ilya Murometz") Gliere. There is an eminently recognizable four-note motto, first heard in the horns, that appears to furnish most of the First Movement's material, primary and second subjects included. The Finale returns to this material and reworks it in various fresh and gratifying ways. There is the expected martial coda, with splashes of percussion and brave gestures in the brass. The two inner movements are a melancholy Andante with a lovely theme for the violins and a Scherzo, much in the fashion of Glazunov. The orchestration is attractive. Sinaisky underlines the music's rhythmic vitality and balances the colorful orchestrations neatly. In the Piano Concerto, the keyboard soloist is Howard Shelley. As the notes say, this is a frankly Lisztian concerto, which actually makes overt references to Liszt's own Second Concerto. Like its model, Lyapunov's work is in one internally subdivided movement. Even if the melodic content were not as striking as in the Symphony, the Concerto would nevertheless recommend itself for its muscularity and brilliance. The Polonaise is obvious but worth the ticket, like one of those dances for orchestra that Glazunov composed so copiously. This disc broadens our knowledge of late-nineteenth century Russian symphonism. Very much a worthwhile endeavor, so - strongly recommended.