Notes and Editorial Reviews
Mazurka No. 5 in b?,
Valse-Impromptus: No. 1 in D
No. 2 in G?,
No. 3 in E
Mazurka No. 7 in G?
Sonatina in D?
Margarita Glebov (pn)
TOCCATA 0218 (67:30)
If Lyapunov is remembered at all by modern listeners of classical music, it’s as the composer of a series of
. (Thankfully, Louis Kentner’s excellent recording remains in print on APR 5620.) He did write considerably more, however. And while he 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
Chopin, Liszt, Balakirev, or Borodin. This new album tells us nothing new, but does provide many pleasing and, on occasion, striking examples of his talent.
Of the Two Mazurkas, the first, in F? Minor, is Balakirev in an Oriental mood, with his unpredictable harmonic progressions; while the second, in D? Major, is Borodin-like enough to pass for the master, with a particularly good trio that manages to sound like the original without aping his most salient thematic and harmonic traits. I find Liadov’s predilection for jewel-like delicacy and thorough craftsmanship in the Valse-Impromptu No. 1 in D Major, while the Three Pieces are fine studies in the vein of Chopin. The expansive scherzo again recalls Balakirev, and like Balakirev’s lengthier piano works, repeated intervals and rhythmic motifs provide subtle binding elements, throughout. So it goes. 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.
Of Margarita Glebov, Peter Rabinowitz wrote (
34:2) that she displays “tremendous commitment, understanding, and sensitivity,” and is an assertive player whose “uptempo Moszkowski gives more sparkle than succulence.” There’s certainly nothing soporific about her readings here. I could wish for more color teased out of the Valse in A? Major (from the Three Pieces), but there’s no feeling of rush about her playing, no sense that expressive climaxes are all that matter. Every note in every phrase, every phrase in each musical paragraph, is given its due. Glebov lives and breaths the style of this music with an ease that is a delight.
The sound, as well, is first-rate. Definitely recommended.
FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
Works on This Recording
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