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 Post subject: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:58 pm 
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This is one of my favourite pieces of romanticism, by a composer who I think is vastly under-rated.

Liapunov's transcendental etudes were written partly as a response to the Liszt set (they complete the harmonic sequence initiated by Liszt.) No. 10, "Lesginka" is probably the only piece of Liapunov's played with any degree of regularity nowadays; it is very similar to Islamey. To my knowledge the only recordings of the full set of etudes are by Louis Kentner and Konstantin Scherbakov.

This recording is live, from a student recital, and consequently there are a few small things I would change if I had the opportunity, but hopefully they don't detract too much.

Liapounov - 12 Etudes d'Execution Transcendente, Op.11 - 5: Nuit d'Ete (10:06)

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:16 pm 
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A beautiful composition also very beautifully played! You are certainly a very accomplished pianist who can play in front of the audience so well!!! Are you a piano student or is the piano playing just an avocation?
One thing which me irritated a bit was this piece has some spots that sound like ending the piece, but actually not. This is however not your fault :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:47 pm 
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I've never understood the neglect of this magnificent set, IMO every bit as good as those of Liszt, and one of the pinnacles of Russian romantic repertoire. Rather surprised that a pianist like Hamelin, Hough, Demidenko, or Berezovsky, to name some, has't provided a benchmark recording yet. Kentner's is outdated and fallible, and Scherbakov's, for all its technical mastery, seems a bit diffident.

Great job you are doing here ! I did not hear anything out of order, a very good and accomplished performance, good sound too for a live recording. Some time ago someone else submitted this etude too, but never came back to introduce himself.

This is on the site, please check if all is ok. If you can provide a Liapounov biography and maybe some blurb about these etudes, trhat would be appreciated (it's sort of the rule, when someone brings in a new composer).

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Hi Andrew,

This is a superb recording in terms of artistry and sound. It's a very difficult piece too with so much melody and accompaniment within the hand. You capture the atmospherics and sensuality of the summer evening ever so well. In this set of Liapunoff's etudes, this piece is my favorite by far. Wonderful playing and totally enjoyable!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:44 am 
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hyenal wrote:
A beautiful composition also very beautifully played! You are certainly a very accomplished pianist who can play in front of the audience so well!!! Are you a piano student or is the piano playing just an avocation?
One thing which me irritated a bit was this piece has some spots that sound like ending the piece, but actually not. This is however not your fault :wink:


Ultimately piano playing is a hobby for me, albeit one which gets taken pretty seriously. I have periodic lessons with professional teachers which I find very helpful. I regret not having had a proper professional training, but on the other hand I suspect that I retain more enthusiasm for music as a result.

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:55 am 
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techneut wrote:
I've never understood the neglect of this magnificent set, IMO every bit as good as those of Liszt, and one of the pinnacles of Russian romantic repertoire. Rather surprised that a pianist like Hamelin, Hough, Demidenko, or Berezovsky, to name some, has't provided a benchmark recording yet. Kentner's is outdated and fallible, and Scherbakov's, for all its technical mastery, seems a bit diffident.

Great job you are doing here ! I did not hear anything out of order, a very good and accomplished performance, good sound too for a live recording. Some time ago someone else submitted this etude too, but never came back to introduce himself.

This is on the site, please check if all is ok. If you can provide a Liapounov biography and maybe some blurb about these etudes, trhat would be appreciated (it's sort of the rule, when someone brings in a new composer).


I actually discovered these etudes through Kentner's recording, and adored it! I think there are actually two Kentner recordings and one is supposed to be much better than the other, though I'm going purely from memory in saying that. I'm not sure what I think of Scherbakov's recording of this; it's technically very impressive but I find it a bit curt and prefer a more languid approach. I believe Piers Lane has some of these etudes in his repertoire, but I don't know if he plays the full set.

I don't like my playing in the passagework section after the big climax; it's insufficiently fluid and not terribly clean. I recall losing a bit of focus after getting through the climactic section, which is really rather tricky - it's hard enough to get around the notes, nevermind control them. Still, such things happen and there are plenty things I do like about the recording.

I'll work on a biography and write up the etudes over the weekend; I'll post it in this thread when I have it done. I'll let you choose which transliteration of Liapunov's name to use - I'm never terribly clear about what is the most appropriate.

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:02 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
Hi Andrew,

This is a superb recording in terms of artistry and sound. It's a very difficult piece too with so much melody and accompaniment within the hand. You capture the atmospherics and sensuality of the summer evening ever so well. In this set of Liapunoff's etudes, this piece is my favorite by far. Wonderful playing and totally enjoyable!

David


Thanks. Yes, as I mentioned in a previous reply, the left hand (in particular) section of the climax is very tricky - a bit like something out of Godowsky perhaps. No. 9 (Harpes Eoliennes) is perhaps in a similar vein to this piece; I would like to learn it properly sometime.

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:40 am 
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andrew wrote:
I actually discovered these etudes through Kentner's recording, and adored it! I think there are actually two Kentner recordings and one is supposed to be much better than the other, though I'm going purely from memory in saying that.
So did I, the old Turnabout Vox LP. Not sure if that is the better recording. No actually I think my first encounter was Lesghinka on a virtuoso album by Ivan Davis (don't hear much of him since).

andrew wrote:
I'll work on a biography and write up the etudes over the weekend; I'll post it in this thread when I have it done. I'll let you choose which transliteration of Liapunov's name to use - I'm never terribly clear about what is the most appropriate.
Neither am I but I stick to the 'i', 'ou', and 'v' in accordance with other names on the site (Moussorgsky, Liadov, etc).

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:39 pm 
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Footnote on Ivan Davis: He has long been a Baldwin Artist.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Biographical info:

....................................

Sergei Liapounov (1859-1924)

Sergei Liapounov was born into a gifted family in the town of Yaroslavl, one hundred and sixty miles northeast of Moscow. His father was an astronomer and his mother a talented amateur pianist. His older brother Alexander became a famous mathematician, whilst his younger brother Boris became a philologist and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

After the death of Liapounov's father in 1868, the family moved to Nizhny Novgorod, where Liapounov joined the local branch of the Russian Musical Society. On the recommendation of Nikolai Rubinstein, he enrolled in the Moscow Conservatory of Music in 1878, where his piano teachers included Karl Klindworth and Paul Pabst, and he received lessons in composition from Sergei Taneyev. Liapounov had already shown an interest in the music of Mily Balakirev and his circle (commonly known as "The Five" or "The Mighty Handful") and, upon graduating with honours in 1883, he turned down the offer of a teaching post at the Moscow Conservatoire in order to move to St. Petersburg, where Balakirev lived.

In 1893, Liapounov, Balakirev and Liadov were commissioned by the Imperial Geographical Society to research and collect folksongs from northern Russia. Liapounov arranged many of these songs for piano and voice and folksong material is also worked into much of his output.

Liapounov succeeded Rimsky-Korsakov as assistant director of music at the Imperial Chapel, and became a professor at the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1911. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he emigrated to Paris, becoming director of a school of music for Russian emigrés. He died of a heart attack in Paris in 1924.

Liapounov also had a successful career as a pianist and conductor, making several tours of Western Europe. He additionally recorded some of his own compositions on the Welte-Mignon reproducing piano.

Liapounov left a large body of work, seldom performed nowadays. It includes the twelve Études d'exécution transcendante, two piano concerti, a large number of song arrangements, two symphonies and many solo piano works.

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:05 pm 
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Very good, thanks ! I have put this up without any change.

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:27 pm 
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Sounds fabulous, thanks for introducing me to this composer. Don't think there could be a better introduction honestly.


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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:14 pm 
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rv wrote:
Sounds fabulous, thanks for introducing me to this composer. Don't think there could be a better introduction honestly.


Thanks, good luck finding recordings as they are regrettably rare. I don't understand the neglect into which his music has fallen.

As promised earlier, some brief notes on the etude set (should you feel it appropriate, I would be prepared to write some notes on an etude-by-etude basis, or just on the one I have offered a recording of):

.......................................................................
Sergei Liapounov: Études d'exécution transcendante, op. 11

Liapounov's twelve transcendental études were composed between 1897 and 1905, and dedicated to Franz Liszt. They continue and complete the tonal sequence begun by Liszt in his set of twelve études, namely pairs of alternate major and relative minor key études where the tonic key rises by a fourth after each pair - Liszt having worked his way from beginning in C maj and A min to ending in Db maj and Bb min, Liapounov begins in F# maj and D# min. The études themselves are written with clear Lisztian influences, albeit with Russian, folksong and oriental tinges. The set calls for a well-developed technique and control of voicing is of paramount importance in several of the études.

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 Post subject: Re: Liapunov Transcendental etude no. 5, "Nuit d'ete"
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Thanks, that is good blurb, I have put it up. Haha, a well-developed technique, that must be the understatement of the year. Here are really some of the most difficult pieces of the entire romantic repertoire. But that is no excuse for the current virtuosos, for whom nothing is too hard, not to play them. The neglect is incomprehensible, because they are incredibly beautiful and rewarding.

To have descriptions of each etude seems a bit of overkill. Although if you keep it short and sharp, no reason why not.

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