on 27 December 2003
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.