Sergey Mikhaylovich LYAPUNOV (1859-1924)
Violin Concerto in D minor (1915) [22:59]
Symphony No. 1 in B Minor (1887) [41:18]
Maxim Fedotov (violin)
Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky
rec. Studio 5, Russian State TV and Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow, 27-30 October 2007
NAXOS 8.570462 [64:26]
This present album follows quickly on the Naxos (8.570783) release of Lyapunov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 by the same orchestra and conductor and pianist Shorena Tsintsabadze.
Like the piano concertos, Lyapunov’s single-movement Violin Concerto is written in the full Late-Romantic manner. A sombre opening is soon followed by noble assertions, heroics and tender romanticism. Then about 4 or 5 minutes in comes an enchanting folk-like melody that might persist in your memory - pity about the odd sour brass notes the like of which one used to associate with French orchestras. The writing for the violin is of a markedly high quality and Maxim Fedotov grasps every opportunity especially in the splendid cadenza. He plays charismatically with Yablonsky giving strong and imaginative support.
Lyapunov’s First Symphony, composed when he was 28, has a grand Romantic sweep and its opening movement reminds one of Tchaikovsky. This movement is melodious but its limited ideas tend to make it rather wearing on the ear although the closing pages are thrilling enough. Folk-music, one imagines, is a major influence. The orchestration is colourful and one is struck by the generous use of tremolando strings. The Andantino has a sweet melody that unwinds slowly and wistfully; pity about those sour-sounding horns. Tubas introduce a more solemn atmosphere with throbbing ostinatos and deep and dismal musings before the welcome return of that gorgeous melody now passionately stated. The ballet-like music of the Scherzo is light and graceful; again Tchaikovsky comes very much to mind. The Finale is grand and heroic, using material already stated and working up to a terrific, triumphant conclusion with Yablonsky pulling all the stops out.
Balakirev supervised the composition of Lyapunov’s work on this Symphony and in fact the older composer imposed changes on the work in progress.
Derivative music yet nonetheless appealing and melodious and with such good performances as these, it is well worth exploring
Derivative music yet nonetheless appealing and melodious and with such good performances as these, it is well worth exploring.
see also review by Brian Reinhart