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Lyapunov: Symphony No. 1 [CD]

S. Lyapunov, BBC Philharmonic, Vassily Sinaisky Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 April 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B0000640BH
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,509 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony no.1 in B minor, op. 12
2. Piano concerto no. 2 in E major, op. 38
3. Polonaise in D major, op. 16

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare treat 2 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
Another very fine late 19th early 20th Russian Composer,virtually now inexplicably totally overlooked. Very much following on in the Romantic Russian tradition, Lyapunov has a beautifully lyrical and melodic style, lovely orchestral writing somewhat akin to Glazunov and Balkeirev. The 1st symphony is a total delight and it is worth buying this disc for this work alone but the piano concerto is lovely too!

There is a wonderful set of 12 Transcendental studies for piano by Lyapunov which were inspired by the Liszt set. These are astonishingly technically difficult works to pull off, anyone interested in great piano music should hear these.

Peter Winterton
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Russian Confections 2 Aug 2002
By Thomas F. Bertonneau - Published on
Format:Audio CD
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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian Rarities 23 Aug 2002
By David A. Wend - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the first music I have heard by Lyapunov, and it is an interesting disc. The Symphony No. 1 was influenced by Borodin and also has the lyricism of Glazunov's orchestra works. It is a pleasant symphony to listen to and one benefits from hearing it several times. My first impression was that it is a "nice" work but there were no melodies that were memorable. Rather, Lyapunov was a master of orchestration. Listening closely, you can heard the parts clearly without any "clutter." On subsequent hearings, the mood of the music was more affecting. The energetic first movement is invigorating; the Andante slow movement is mysterious, like a nocturne; the Scherzo is playful with the woodwinds trading melodies with the strings, and the Finale is as dynamic as the first movement and brings the symphony to a stirring conclusion.
The Piano concerto is quite compact and is structured after Liszt's second concerto. There is brilliant passagework written for the piano and portions of the orchestration are reminiscent of Liszt. Howard Shelly plays magnificently. The Polonaise is a delight and provides a rousing finish to this disc. Again, the influence of Borodin and Glazunov can be heard. The difference in is the way the music is crafted with an orchestration makes the most of the ideas without being ostentatious.
This disc is definitely for lovers of Russian music. As one expects from Chandos, the recording is beautiful.
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