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The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 30 Lyapunov [CD]

Hamish Milne Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 11.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
  • Composer: Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov
  • Audio CD (20 Sep 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B00006L3WB
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,674 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro con brio -
2. Adagio non tanto -
3. Allegro Moderato E Maestoso
4. Adagio non tanto -
5. Allegro Con Brio
6. Andantino Pastorale
7. Allegretto scherzando -
8. Andantino Pastorale
9. Allegro Giocoso
10. Lento ma non troppo -
11. Allegro molto ed appassionate -
12. Allegro Moderato -
13. Allegro Molto -
14. Lento ma non troppo -
15. Allegro Molto

Product Description

Concertos pour piano n° 1 Op. 4 & n° 2 Op. 38 - Rhapsodie sur des thèmes ukrainiens, Op. 28 / Hamish Milne, piano - BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, dir. Martyn Brabbins

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unjustly neglected music well worth hearing 27 Dec 2003
Format:Audio CD
If this were music by a more famous composer such as Liszt, Schumann, Borodin, Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov, it would surely be in the regular repertory (it has affinities with all of them). I only came across it because I had by chance encountered Lyapunov's First Piano Concerto many years ago, and have been looking in vain ever since for a recording. Hamish Milne, Martin Brabbins and the BBC Scottish SO make a very persuasive case for the music and show that it was worth waiting for. I equally enjoyed the Second Piano Concerto and Ukrainian Rhapsody, which were new to me. All the music has clear themes, memorable tunes and is well crafted - it knows where it's going. Think of Liszt's piano concertos with tunes in the Russian folksong-derived style of the "Mighty Handful" and you have a fair idea what to expect. The influences are clear, but Lyapunov has his own voice - this is not merely derivative. Edward Garden's comment on No.1 in his excellent notes in the booklet sums it up for me; "This is altogether much too good a concerto to have been neglected for so long". No hesitation in recommending both the performance and the recording if you want to try this music for yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb piano music 30 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD
Superb recording of the two piano concertos and the Rhapsody on Ukrainian themes, on the same CD. A great discovery for all piano music lovers.
Michel Boudreault
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5.0 out of 5 stars as good.... 25 Feb 2013
By crawfie
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I totally agree with the first review. Why isn't this in the standard repertoire? Quite superb if a little bombastic, but who cares?

We are far too conservative as far as european music is concerned and there is a huge load of superb stuff out there.

This is an excellent example!
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Renditions of Lyapunov's Appealing Oeuvres. 4 Jan 2003
By David Anthony Hollingsworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Hyperion continues with it highly valuable yet somewhat uneven "Romantic Piano Concerto" series with the release of Lyapunov's works for piano and orchestra. It mentions that the First Piano Concerto is a premiere recording. A shocking claim, perhaps, for Melodiya was too enterprising to pass this compelling piece of music by, and it's possible that there may be a recording or two of the music in archives (imagine if the Russian Revelation label continues to operate today). Besides, Lyapunov piano music was held too much in high esteem especially by the turn of the 20th Century for even prominent musicians to ignore (but then again I'm reminded that even pianists could be very selective, ignoring even the most memorable of piano music of, say Glazunov, Medtner Catoire, Arensky, to some extent Tchaikovsky, Rubinstein, and even Lyapunov himself).
And Lyapunov's First Concerto is a compelling piece of music, rather as ambitious as the First Symphony written two years before, in 1888. And where the piano bravura is more or less in the mode of Lizst and Balakirev, the thematic invention and rhetoric are very much Lyapunov's own. Not to say that the composition is of its upmost originality, but the ideas and handling of them show why Lyapunov is a major point of reference when studying and analyzing Russian music. Listen to the piano entry at 1'42", how poetic yet noble the writing becomes (thanks in part to Milne's highly charged yet imaginative delivery here). There's something heroic within that recalls Balakirev (especially in his First Concerto). But the writing remains lucid, and in the second and fourth movements, beautiful and tranquil. The third movement is heroic, much in the manner of Liszt (his First Concerto-first movement), but in convincingly Russian in temperament, as in the finale, which rarely flags. A major accomplishment no doubt.
Lyapunov's Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes (1907) is in a rondo form, with the first theme (andante pastorale) announced by the cor anglais then by the woodwinds. It's a beautiful yet an innocent theme, recalling a bit of Balakirev and Rimsky- Korsakov, though in a Lyapunovian sense of lucidity. The piano entry is likewise beautiful yet poetic - like leaves blossoming in early Spring. And this theme truly blossom into something more expressive as it goes along, with the theme more emphatic at the finale bars. The second theme (allegro scherzando) is dancelike and flamboyant as in the orchestration. But the third theme (andante pastorale) returns to these same leaves still blossoming in great beauty & nobleness in character. It leads itself purposefully to the final theme (allegro giocoso), which is a kazachok (an Ukrainian folkdance). This theme, rather exuberant yet charming, become more Lizstian at the final minute of the work (listen to 3'05"-ff on track 9) but never devoid of Lyapunov's individualism.
The Second Concerto (1909) is likewise a substantial affair, not as heroic as the First, but easy-going in its' noble, romantic way. In six continuous movements, the piece is rewardingly concise and, like the First Concerto & the Rhapsody, richly varied. The opening movement (lento ma non troppo) is indeed beautiful and lovely-a fantasia tranquil yet exotic. Whereas the second and fourth movements (allegro molto ed appasionato & allegro molto respectively) offer some vivacity, the third movement and fifth movements (allegro moderato & lento ma non troppo) has a compelling lightness of touch, rendered beautifully here by Milne (with a charmingly support of Brabbins & the BBC Scottish Symphony). But the poetic yet heroic moments of the finale are hardly banal, with the closing convincingly majestic that would have done Borodin proud (for a moment I thought of Prince Igor).
The renditions here are fully ideal. After giving high praise in Hamish Milne's survey of Alexandrov's piano music (under the Hyperion label), Milne comes up huge here. His vivacious and imaginative playing are never in doubt, and his virtuosity in the First Concerto and in the Rhapsody adds to the compelling nature of the works. But the beauty and the dignity Milne brings in the slow movements of the works are worthy of everlasting praise. The same shall be said of the BBC Scottish Symphony, which has this Russian sonority that reminds me the Russian Federation Orchestra under the late Svetlanov (and I tend to forget, going along memory lane, that it is the BBC Scottish Symphony among the main features here). Brabbins' approach incidentally reminds me of Svetlanov, placing great emphasis on organic growth. While he's not as overindulgent as Svetlanov can sometimes be, he is as decisive as this late, great Russian maestro (listen to Brabbins' renditions of Bortkiewicz' symphonies). Edward Garden's booklet essay is of high quality, along with the recording, with its warmth and somewhat bright incandescence.
No doubt a great yet important release which will raise Lyapunov status as Russia's important composer significantly. The blossoming of the leaves well worth waking up for, with this CD album in one's deep yet searching subconsciousness.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unjustly neglected music well worth hearing 27 Dec 2003
By Mr. Ian C. Kemp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
If this were music by a more famous composer such as Liszt, Schumann, Borodin, Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov, it would surely be in the regular repertory (it has affinities with all of them). I only came across it because I had by chance encountered Lyapunov's First Piano Concerto many years ago, and have been looking in vain ever since for a recording. Hamish Milne, Martin Brabbins and the BBC Scottish SO make a very persuasive case for the music and show that it was worth waiting for. I equally enjoyed the Second Piano Concerto and Ukrainian Rhapsody, which were new to me. All the music has clear themes, memorable tunes and is well crafted - it knows where it's going. Think of Liszt's piano concertos with tunes in the Russian folksong-derived style of the "Mighty Handful" and you have a fair idea what to expect. The influences are clear, but Lyapunov has his own voice - this is not merely derivative. Edward Garden's comment on No.1 in his excellent notes in the booklet sums it up for me; "This is altogether much too good a concerto to have been neglected for so long". No hesitation in recommending both the performance and the recording if you want to try this music for yourself.
Incidentally, it was queried whether this was the first ever recording. It is certainly the first easily available commercially. In 1989, having been unable to find one, I wrote to the BBC to ask for it to be played on air. They too were unable to track down any recording. However, they took it as a challenge and produced a studio recording, again with Hamish Milne but accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Sadly, they never released it commercially, but the new CD at last fills the gap, even more impressively. Thanks Hyperion!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lyapounov Boom Keeps On Going!!!! 23 Jun 2003
By Darin Tysdal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Another peripheral on the Russian music scene, Lyapounov's music needs to be better known. Much of his music is influenced by Liszt. In fact, the beginning of the 2nd Concerto sounds a lot like the opening of Liszt's Second Concerto. You also hear some glissandi in the piano also towards the end of the work, just like in the Liszt. It is easy to overlook these influences with very good performances such as these. In the 2nd Concerto, Hamish Milne is in competition with Howard Shelley on Chandos, which couples the work with Lyapounov's First Symphony and Polonaise for orchestra. I can live happily with both, and I am interested to see if Shelley will record the other works as well. The Rhapsody is even more flavored with the spectre of Liszt as was the Rimsky-Korsakov Piano Concerto. There is more flamboyance here plus more of Lyapounov's expert orchestration. The first concerto is in the unexpected key of E-Flat Minor. This work somehow has lost some of the influence of Liszt and more 'Russianness' comes out. Here I feel that the loud sections are more impressive than the soft parts, which is not the fault of the performers. This is a much more interesting disc than the Stojowski concertos that I reviewed before. I look forward with anticipation more CD's in this series. I think this is number 31? There is still the concerto by Fritz Spindler......
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wonders of Lyapunov's Music for Piano and Orch. Revealed 11 Sep 2003
By R. C. Walker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The French and the Russians generally write the gaudiest and most exhilarating piano concerti of all. (I've long suspected Mendelssohn and Liszt of being secretly French). The release of a recording of Russian concerti is always (well, almost always) a cause for rejoicing.
Hyperion has taken up where Vox left off, issuing a whole series of Romantic piano concerti - but at single CD prices that are even higher than the old Vox double-CD prices. Since these recordings duplicate a lot of the Vox repertoire, you can to some extent buy Vox instead of Hyperion - IF you can find the Vox. Still, the newer recordings are always first-rate, both in performance and in sound, and I don't hesitate to buy them if they have material I don't already have.
Sergei Lyapunov isn't exactly a household name. But then, in some households, neither is Rachmaninov, so go figure. He was part of the Russian nationalist movement in composition, which means that his music is exotic, exciting, and full of Volga passion. Yummy. (It's thus no accident that his music sounds a good deal like Borodin's.) Lyapunov is well represented on Vox and 2 of the pieces on this CD (Piano Concerto #2 and the Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes) are in 2 of the Vox collections. What makes this CD a must-buy for me is the first recording of Piano Concerto #1.
The soloist in all 3 pieces is Hamish Milne, a superlative pianist whose day job is being a Professor at the London Academy of Music. He is ably and enthusiastically seconded by Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, a mainstay of Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series. This CD, by the way, is #30 in that series. You can go to the Hyperion web site, [...] to get info on the entire series (although their list oddly omits #21, the concerti of Kullack and Dreyschock).
All 3 pieces are pretty much, as Lewis Carroll would say, much of a muchness. They are very Russian, very pianistic and virtuosic, very tuneful, and very (obviously) Romantic. The 1st Piano Concerto in e-flat, despite its low opus number (4), is no student work. The composer was 29 when he wrote it. It's in the then-fashionable one-movement format, consisting of 5 relatively short sections (Allegro-Adagio-Allegro-Adagio-Allegro), lasting a little over 22 minutes. It's a work of considerable strength, and it's amazing it hasn't been recorded before.
The Rhapsody is a brilliant work, again in a single movement, consisting of 4 sections. It's 17 minutes of brilliant pianism, Russian to the core. The last section is particularly bouncy.
The 2nd Piano Concerto in E, was written when Lyapunov was at the height of his career, in 1909 (he died in 1924). Again, it's in a one-movement format, in this case consisting of 6 brief segments - only the first and the last are over (or even near) 5 minutes. The speeds are in an unusual sequence: Lento-Allegro-Allegro-Allegro-Lento-Allegro. The opening slow section is full of Russian sadness and wistfulness, and is thoroughly delightful. This gives way to 3 quick Allegros with lots of pianistic fireworks. The second slow section (which actually has its own excitement and drama) gives us barely a minute's repose before the forward charge continues in the last Allegro, bringing the concerto to a very satisfying end. This is very much the last gasp (although Glazunov of course keeps going...) of the old harmonic structures before Russian music gives way to the experimentation of Stravinsky and the huge-handed chording and pyrotechnics of Rachmaninov (not to mention the even more advanced writing of Prokofiev and Shostakovich).
Although consisting of 3 major pieces, the CD is a little light on time, taking up only 59 minutes. One wonders why (as a for-instance) the producers didn't include the Zelazowa Wola, Lyapunov's tribute to Chopin on the centenary of his birth (1910) - or even the last movement of Balakirev's 2nd Piano Concerto, whose finale was essentially written by Lyapunov based on some sketches and the composer's own performances on (solo) piano. Well, this is still an estimable recording, well worth getting.
5.0 out of 5 stars more rarities from Hyperion 3 Jun 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First, a couple of caveats: I'm not going to get into questions about the relative quality of this music vis-a-vis, say, Rachmaninov or Tchaikovsky. It's well-crafted, and if it is second- or even third-tier music, that doesn't mean that it's negligible. I would love to hear a performance this good in the concert hall -- and that doesn't mean that it needs to be in the "standard repertory." Second, my immediate motive for putting on this CD was to compare the sound to that of the Henselt recording (Vol. 7 in this Hyperion series) with the same orchestral forces and conductor. On this recording, both piano and orchestral sound were better -- not that the Henselt was bad.

The excellent pianist here is Hamish Milne, and his tone is drier and less rounded than that of Hamelin on the Henselt disc, but he phrases so aptly that when the music needs to be appreciated as beautiful (as in the lyrical moments of the first and fourth sections of the First Concerto written c. 1890), the beauty comes across. However, on the whole this concerto didn't strike me as a virtuoso vehicle in the way that the Henselt concerto did. Much of the solo writing sounds cadential and transitional -- a way of Lyapunov getting from section to section of this 22 minute one-movement work, and much of the most difficult piano work seems to be done in support of often quite assertive and effective orchestral writing. That orchestral writing sounds to me more like Tchaikovsky than the warmer Rachmaninov, and Brabbins and his players deliver the big punches, with Milne adding his ten cents worth almost as another orchestral instrument. I appreciate that the whole thing lasts about 22 minutes -- Lyapunov doesn't expand his material beyond its inherent interest -- and as a result it's an effective and engaging piece.

The Second Concerto (1909), two minutes shorter, is also a single-movement piece. Here, the relation of piano to orchestra is similar, with the piano having its moments but also contributing to the orchestral texture, which here is more subdued than that of the first concerto. The opening has almost a nocturne-like quality, which returns in the course of the piece in what sounds to me like a Brahmsian guise, and while there are powerful climaxes in the middle of the piece, they lack the percussive force of the first concerto and don't upset the gentler character that was established at the start. Again, there is cadential transitional writing that Milne brings off superbly, sometimes reminding one of Lisztian descending sweeps. A third item on this disc is a nice performance of A "Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes" where Milne again acquits himelf admirably. A fine disc, then, of characterful music well worth hearing.
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