Liapunov Etudes

Posted by: xtraheat

Liapunov Etudes - 12/11/07 09:12 PM

Anyone heard these before? I think they are great and very overlooked. Liapunov wrote them in honor of Listz's Transcendental Etudes. My favorite is Op.11 No.8. If you haven't heard any of these, give em a listen!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/11/07 09:53 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by xtraheat:
Anyone heard these before? I think they are great and very overlooked. Liapunov wrote them in honor of Listz's Transcendental Etudes.
Indeed. Liapunov idolized Liszt, and his set of 12 etudes completes the circle of keys left unfinished by Liszt. Liapunov's etudes are all in the "sharp" keys.

So far I don't feel there has ever been a recording to do justice to them... Malcolm Binns does the best he can, but until a Hamelin has a go, the works will remain stillborn.

I just wish I could be more enthusiastic about Liapunov's music. The third etude, Carillon, looks terrific on the printed page, but in performance one quickly realizes how much better Rachmaninov was at imitating bells.

The last etude, Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt certainly gives the game away. It is a very heartfelt composition, but never approaches the master.

Nuts. Hate to be so negative, and maybe others will be more encouraging and thus attack me. But I've heard several symphonies and symphonic poems of Liapunov, and all I can say is: total plagiarism. He never had an original thought, he just copied what was "in the air" .

But yes, he knew how to write for the piano and thus we await a decent recording of these interesting etudes.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/11/07 10:14 PM

I have a recording of Konstantin Scherbakov (?) playing them and I think he plays them very well. I agree somewhat with you about him copying others. Anyways...What do you think of the storm etude? I think it portrays a storm near perfectly
Posted by: Goldberg

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 02:52 AM

I have to agree with argerichfan here. Although I genuinely do enjoy Liapunov on some days, I really have to be in the mood to hear mediocre (but still exciting, at times) music, loaded with plagiarism and only hints of individual imagination. But, truly, there is indeed a time and place for his music, and it is not all bad. Several of the etudes I consider quite good and worth learning, and his piano/orchestra works have some grand moments. I think it would take someone of Hamelin's abilities to shed light on such a composer, as argerichfan points out, but equally true is that someone like Hamelin would also probably not be especially interested in this music, when there is much more unjustly neglected music out there.

But yeah, I do enjoy several of the etudes in particular. I have Kentner's recording of the set among the others listed here, and it is my personal favorite. I think he plays with the Rachmaninoffian expression needed, and his grand Russian lyricism is truly charming in places. Some of my favorites to hear are the Berceuse (No. 1), Terek (No. 4), Nuit d'Ete (No. 5), Chant Epique (No. 8), and Elegie... (No. 12, which is not a perfect piece, but could be made much more effective, I feel, with some cuts). I should love to learn one or two of these.

In general, I'd say the works are extremely interesting at best, yet nonessential. They could easily make pleasant surprises to recital programs...
Posted by: wr

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 06:13 AM

While it is possible to figure out what music many of them are based on, and some are overt homages to other music, these etudes are hardly mere plagiarisms. For the pianist capable of exploring them, some of them can be quite rewarding. And no, Hamelin is not the one to give them new life - his Liszt is nothing special and I can't imagine that his Liapunov would be an improvement over it. Someone like Sudbin, just for one example, would be a much better choice.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 10:09 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
Hamelin is not the one to give them new life - his Liszt is nothing special...
I'll concede that Hamelin's Liszt has been disappointing -his Norma Reminiscences in particular seemed under-characterized, as if he hadn't heard the opera- but otherwise he has given us some very fine recordings. I would not part with his Alkan, Medtner, or Godowsky's (occasionally exasperating) lily-gilding.

Hamelin should be ideal for Liapunov's highly competent, but hardly striking music.
Posted by: Shellman

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 01:15 PM

I have Louis Kentner's recording of these Etudes and find it most interesting. I do, however agree he was a plagirist - especially the second piano concerto which is blatent rip off of Liszt's 2nd. It is fun though!

His first symphony is actually rather good despite sounding like hybridised Rimsky-Korsakov / Tchaikovsky with a bit of Balakirev thrown in for good measure!
Posted by: Fleeting Visions

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 02:07 PM

For me, I technically like #s 2, 6, and 9.

Musically, i like #s 6 and 10. They are pretty good, but, in my opinion, not worth the effort.

I'd rather play one of the original Liszt.

Daniel
Posted by: wr

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 04:55 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
Hamelin is not the one to give them new life - his Liszt is nothing special...
I'll concede that Hamelin's Liszt has been disappointing -his Norma Reminiscences in particular seemed under-characterized, as if he hadn't heard the opera- but otherwise he has given us some very fine recordings. I would not part with his Alkan, Medtner, or Godowsky's (occasionally exasperating) lily-gilding.

Hamelin should be ideal for Liapunov's highly competent, but hardly striking music. [/b]
Well, certainly, Hamelin would likely produce Liapunov performances that would fit right in with your prejudices about the music, so sure, I guess he would be ideal for you. But for me, well, let's say I think I probably respect the music more than you do and respect Hamelin less than you do.

There's no accounting for...etc., etc., etc.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 05:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
Well, certainly, Hamelin would likely produce Liapunov performances that would fit right in with your prejudices about the music, so sure, I guess he would be ideal for you. But for me, well, let's say I think I probably respect the music more than you do and respect Hamelin less than you do.

Gee, thanks for the snotty, condescending put down. I'm sorry that my tastes in music are so self-evidently inferior to yours.

But I'd just like to remind you that this is a forum of opinions, and not everyone is going to see things your way. The tone and implications of your post were really rather insulting.
Posted by: wr

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 06:46 PM

Why insulting? It looks to me like you don't think the Liapunovs are as good as I think they are, and I don't think Hamelin is a good as you think he is. Differences of opinion, nothing more.

I could, if I chose to, be insulted over your remarks about the "hardly striking" quality of Liapunov's music, you know, since that implies something about my taste being inferior to yours, not to mention that I don't have the good taste to appreciate Hamelin as much as you do.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/12/07 10:22 PM

Somewhat offtopic...But is the Epic song (no 8) very difficult? I followed the music, and the main difficulty seems to be the length. I would love to learn this piece sometime, but I am sure I am missing something.

"Edit" The last 2 pages however seem physically impossible
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/13/07 01:48 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by wr:
I could, if I chose to, be insulted over your remarks about the "hardly striking" quality of Liapunov's music...
I completely fail to understand why my remark on Liapunov would be insulting to you... it certainly wasn't meant that way and I apologize that this has been such a contentious issue.

You're new here, you seem to be a knowledgeable individual and should fit right in, but surely you're not going to get upset when someone holds a contrary opinion?

I've heard Liapunov's symphonies and symphonic poems and they're definitely pleasant enough, though I don't think a case can be made that we're dealing with a particularly original voice. You may feel differently. Actually, the etudes are the best Liapunov I've heard -I have the scores- I just don't think that they are "great" music in the sense of the Liszt etudes. (Admittedly the "genius" factor of Liszt sets the bar very high.)

I'll admit I get touchy on the subject of Elgar, yet as he wrote no piano music of consequence, he is seldom mentioned here. But at least, with the exception of the Enigma Variations, the Serenade, perhaps a few of the P&C marches, I've come to understand that his music simply doesn't export.

As for Hamelin, I made my concessions re his Liszt in a previous post, and I thought certainly we would agree there. I'm no unconditional admirer of Hamelin; his Busoni Concerto garnered considerable praise, but I could never warm to it. Yet his recent Alkan is spectacular and I would hope you would gave that a listen... if you care for Alkan. Not everyone does.

So probably best to drop this. If this is the worst disagreement we have on this forum, then I would say we're doing quite well. We may have more in common than you think. So, peace.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/15/07 03:05 PM

If Lesghinka is one of the etudes (I believe it is), I learned it right after studying Balakirev's 'Islamey' with Adele Marcus (can you imagine she heard Josef Lhevinne play Islamey alot?) I think I will look into a concerto arrangement for the Lesghinka, much like I did with the Islamey--I think it would be way cool. Any thoughts?

Btw-re Alkan, I have a pupil at Brooklyn College, Angelo Rondello, whose technique has grown immensely from his studies. His tossed off the 'Aesop's Feast' for his jury last week like a pro. I like that piece alot, having gone through Joseph Bloch's Piano Lit classes at Juilliard many years ago--he's a fan of Alkan for many years.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/15/07 05:17 PM

If Lesghinka is one of the etudes (I believe it is), I learned it right after studying Balakirev's 'Islamey' with Adele Marcus (can you imagine she heard Josef Lhevinne play Islamey alot?) I think I will look into a concerto arrangement for the Lesghinka, much like I did with the Islamey--I think it would be way cool. Any thoughts?

Btw-re Alkan, I have a pupil at Brooklyn College, Angelo Rondello, whose technique has grown immensely from his studies. His tossed off the 'Aesop's Feast' for his jury last week like a pro. I like that piece alot, having gone through Joseph Bloch's Piano Lit classes at Juilliard many years ago--he's a fan of Alkan for many years.
Posted by: wr

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/15/07 07:06 PM

I haven't heard your Islamey arrangement, but the idea of doing a piano and orchestra version of Lesghinka is way cool indeed; do it! It's the tenth of the etudes. Lesghinka is musically at least as interesting as Islamey, to my ear, and is a particularly attractive example of that genre of tarantella-like dances inspired by Central Asia folk music. It is subtitled as being in the style of Balakirev, but I heard Borodin in it, too. But maybe it's really just the genre, rather than those two composers, that accounts for that specific sound.

As a side-note - many people here probably know that Liapunov did an orchestral arrangement of Islamey, which has been recorded, but has anyone heard the Casella arrangement of it? I didn't know he had done one, and was surprised earlier this week when I came across it in an orchestral hire listing.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/15/07 07:13 PM

Of course--but I didn't use the Casella orchestration for the orchestral parts in my own 'Islamey' arrangement for piano and orchestra, since it is not in the public domain. The Liapounov is in the public domain, and that is the version I used for my 'concerto' style Islamey.
Posted by: wr

Re: Liapunov Etudes - 12/15/07 08:28 PM

Ah, I should have googled the Casella - turns out it's been recorded more than once, including one by Ormandy that's now out on Sony Essential Classics. I'll have to get a copy.