Anton Arensky

Biography

Born: July 12, 1861; Novgorod, Russia   Died: February 25, 1906; Terioki, Russia  
Little known today, Anton Arensky was one of the brightest stars of the late nineteenth century Russian music scene. Arensky was born in 1861 to a pair of devoted amateur musicians under whose guidance he began his training. After private studies (piano and composition) with Zikke in St. Petersburg, Arensky entered that city's conservatory in 1879, taking lessons from Rimsky-Korsakov. He scored consistently high marks with conservatory faculty Read more during his three years as a student, eventually graduating with a gold medal; upon the completion of his studies in 1882 Arensky became one of the youngest professors ever hired by the Moscow Conservatory.

Arensky's years at Moscow were fruitful; between 1882 and his resignation from the Conservatory's faculty in 1895 he completed most of his larger works (including the early Piano Concerto of 1882 and both Symphonies: B minor 1883; A major 1889). In 1891 his first opera, Son na Volge (A Dream on the Volga) -- which he had worked on intermittently since his student days -- was successfully premiered in Moscow. His next operatic endeavor, however, fared rather worse than the first; Rafael was an immediate failure at its 1894 premiere.

Asked to replace Balakirev as director of the imperial chapel in St. Petersburg, Arensky returned to his home city in 1895; save for occasional national and international tours, he remained there for the rest of his life. By the mid-1890s Arensky's somewhat diminished stature as a composer was replaced by an increased public awareness of his gifts at the keyboard and on the podium. Having served as director of the Russian Choral Society (1888 to 1895) during his Moscow days, Arensky was no stranger to the baton, and in 1901 he resigned his position at the imperial chapel to pursue a fuller schedule of conducting and performing appearances. Death came prematurely in 1905 when Arensky, after decades of hard living and overindulgence, succumbed to tuberculosis.

Save for the well-known Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky for string orchestra, little of Arensky's substantial output has maintained a place on contemporary concert programs. He was essentially a miniaturist, and his finest music is to be found in the shorter works for solo piano and his melodious songs (which seem to have influenced Rachmaninov's conception of Russian song). Arensky's style, especially in such early works as the Piano Concerto and First Symphony, is too inconsistent to bear witness to a strong musical personality, and instead presents as a pastiche of stylistic traits borrowed from a variety of influences, such as Chopin and Tchaikovsky (though rarely Arensky's own teacher Rimsky-Korsakov). However, his influence as a teacher -- to such future luminaries as Rachmaninov and Scriabin -- has earned him a place of distinction in the history of Russian music. Read less
Browse 101-111 of 111 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Gabrilowitsch - Issued And Unissued Recordings (1923-29)
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1018 Release Date: 02/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Anton Arensky,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Ossip Gabrilowitsch,  Harold Bauer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Flonzaley String Quartet
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  • 102.
    Romances Of The Russian Masters / Linn Maxwell, Robert Mccoy
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 72 Release Date: 12/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Linn Maxwell,  Robert McCoy
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  • 103.
    Arensky: Suites For Two Pianos / Stephen Coombs, Ian Munro
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66755 Release Date: 12/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Arensky
    Performer:  Ian Munro,  Stephen Coombs
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  • 104.
    Polish And Russian Songs / Orda, Lee, Lush
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1067 Release Date: 09/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Dargomizhsky,  Frédéric Chopin,  Reinhold Gliere  ... 
    Performer:  Ernest Lush,  Alfred Orda,  Josephine Lee
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  • 105.
    Tchaikovsky, Arensky: Piano Trios / Bronfman, Lin, Hoffman
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53269 Release Date: 05/17/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Arensky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Lin Cho-Liang,  Gary Hoffman,  Yefim Bronfman
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  • 106.
    The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 4 - Arensky, Bortkiewicz
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66624 Release Date: 02/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Bortkiewicz,  Anton Arensky
    Performer:  Stephen Coombs
    Conductor:  Jerzy Maksymiuk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Tchaikovsky, Arensky: Piano Trios / Ashkenazy, Stamper, Etc.
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550467 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Arensky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vovka Ashkenazy,  Richard Stamper,  Christine Jackson
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  • 108.
    Prima Voce - Divas 1917-1939 / Ponselle, Galli-curci, Norena
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1795 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Anonymous,  Gabriel Fauré,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Eidé Noréna,  Amelita Galli-Curci,  Tito Schipa,  Giuseppe de Luca  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chorus
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  • 109.
    Prima Voce - Rosa Ponselle
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7805 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carrie Jacobs-Bond,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Anton Arensky,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Rosa Ponselle,  Romano Romani,  Mischa,,  Marion Telva  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Rosario Bourdon,  Giulio Setti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
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  • 110.
    Arensky, Glinka: Piano Trios / The Borodin Trio
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8477 Release Date: 09/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Anton Arensky
    Performer:  Rostislav Dubinsky,  Yuli Turovsky,  Luba Edlina
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Borodin Trio
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  • 111.
    Engineer's Choice
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3506 Release Date: 05/22/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Joseph Deems Taylor,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  David Schiff  ... 
    Performer:  David Shifrin,  Catharine Crozier,  Arleen Augér,  Dalton Baldwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  James DePreist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Music Northwest  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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