The piano music of Sergei Lyapunov (1859-1924) blends the Russian nationalism of the Balakirev circle — of which Lyapunov was a member — with the virtuosic tradition of Liszt. Although his superb piano-writing combines contrapuntal dexterity and a rich vein of lyricism, much of his output for piano has been neglected, and this chronological survey, covering three decades of Lyapunov's composing life, contains a number of first recordings.
Margarita Glebov, piano
Two Mazurkas, Op. 9 (1898)
Sonatina in D flat major, Op. 65 (1917)
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Catalogue No: TOCC0218EAN/UPC: 5060113442185Release Date: 04.11.2013Composer: Sergei Lyapunov Artists: Margarita Glebov
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Grego Applegate Edwards :
“…he was much more than merely a member of the Russian Nationalist school. His music at its best has beauty, passion and a Russian sensibility that in the right hands works magic. He is worthwhile in his own right. …Margarita manages to convey the emotional vibrancy of his music without sacrificing musical clarity. …Her beautiful phrasing, touch and articulate attack put her in the ranks of the top pianists, surely.” Classical-Modern Music Review
Jeremy Nicholas :
“…Glebov’s affinity with Lyapunov’s distinctive brand of lyrical virtuosity, couched firmly in the language of the late 19th century, is complete.” Gramophone
Barry Brenesal :
“…And while he [Lyapunov] didn’t possess a distinct musical personality—sounding in any given piece like Chopin, Liszt, Balakirev, or Borodin—from the recordings of his music I’ve heard over the years, it is always good Chopin, Liszt, Balakirev, or Borodin. …Lyapunov is one of those composers who demonstrates that imagination, taste, and familiarity with his favorite instrument are more than enough to set a lack of originality to one side. …Glebov lives and breaths the style of this music with an ease that is a delight. The sound, as well, is first-rate.” Fanfare
Nick Barnard :
“…Glebov is a Russian-American pianist trained in the great tradition of the Russian virtuosi and this is reflected in both the sheer skill and evident sympathy of her playing. …Scherzo in B flat minor Op.45 is a work of considerable power and panache. Glebov is very good at delineating the complex musical lines – this is a model of clear and sane playing. …Sonatina [Op.65] is a model of clarity both in terms of form and content. This is a highlight of the disc; the music seems particularly well aligned to Glebov’s sensibility. …the engineers have captured Glebov’s Steinway D piano with excellent natural presence. As mentioned, excellent liner-notes give real insight into both the life and music of this still too-little known composer. A wholly enjoyable disc.” MusicWeb International
James Harrington :
“…Right from the first track, the influence of Chopin is evident. If Chopin had migrated East to Moscow from Poland rather than West to Paris, the opening Etude could have been composed by him. … As we move forward into the 1900s, the influence of Balakirev becomes stronger as their student-teacher relationship grew. …The largest works here, the Scherzo and Sonatina, take around 10 minutes and supply considerable Lisztian virtuosic flair. For those of us who enjoy the Russian piano school, from Glinka to Shostakovich and beyond, with its nationalism, use of folk materials, and often virtuosic writing, Toccata has supplied a memorable and necessary disc. Glebov proves herself an admirable champion of this music, and she wrote the excellent booklet essay on the composer. A second (also excellent) essay specifically on the piano music presented here is by former ARG contributor Donald Manildi. Recorded sound is superb, and you would be hard pressed to easily find any of this music on other recordings.” American Record Guide
Seth Blacklock :
Another excellent release by Toccata Classics. From the Chopinesque soundworld of the opening track to the composer’s own mature voice at the close, via hints of Musorgsky and even foreshadowings of Godowsky, Margarita Glebov handles this beautifully lyrical yet strong and confident music with assurance and obvious affection. Although I would have liked more exaggeration of the mazurka rhythm in the relevant tracks, I find this disc as absorbing as the recent Alexandrov release. The recorded sound is, again, spot on for my taste, and I look forward to hearing more of this accomplished pianist in the future. Warmly recommended.
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