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
Borodin, Glazunov, Arensky / Nash Ensemble
Release Date: 06/12/2012   Label: Onyx  
Catalog: 4067   Number of Discs: 1
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A. Arensky: Suite Nos. 1 And 3
Release Date: 08/09/2011   Label: Melodiya  
Catalog: 1000148   Number of Discs: 1
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Anton Arensky


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. Romance
II. Valse
III. Polonaise
I. Le savant (The Scholar)
II. La coquette (The Coquette)
III. Polichinelle (The Buffoon)
IV. Le reveur (The Dreamer)
V. La danseuse (The Dancer)
I. Theme (Andante)
II. Variation I: Dialogue
III. Variation II: Valse
IV. Variation III: Marche triomphale
V. Variation IV: Menuet (XVIIIeme siecle)
VI. Variation V: Gavotte
VII. Variation VI: Scherzo
VIII. Variation VII: Marche funebre
IX. Variation VIII: Nocturne
X. Variation IX: Polonaise
I. Allegro moderato - Piu mosso - Tempo I - Adagio
II. Scherzo: Allegro molto - Meno mosso - Tempo I
III. Elegia: Adagio - Piu mosso - Tempo I
IV. Finale: Allegro non troppo - Piu vivo - Andante - Adagio - Allegro molto
Theme: Moderato
Variation 1: Un poco piu mosso
Variation 2: Allegro non troppo
Variation 3: Andantino tranquillo
Variation 4: Vivace
Variation 5: Andante
Variation 6: Allegro con spirito
Variation 7: Andante con moto
Coda: Moderato
WORKS
I. Allegro moderato
II. Vivace
III. Tempo di valse
IV. Andantino
V. Allegro molto
VI. Allegro risoluto
No. 1. Allegro molto
No. 2. Vivace
No. 3. Andante sostenuto
No. 4. Allegro
No. 5. Andantino
No. 6. Allegro moderato
I. Allegro Maestoso
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo-Finale: Allegro molto
Allegro -
Adagio non troppo - Allegro -
Tempo di valse -
Poco meno moss
Ouverture
No. 1: Scene et danse de coquetterie
No. 2: Entree de Cleopatre
No. 3: Danse d'Arsinoe et des esclaves
No. 4: Danse de Berenice et scene
No. 5: Scene d'empoisonnement
No. 6: Danse des Juives
No. 7: Danse des egyptiennes
No. 8: Charmeuse des serpents : Deuxieme danse d'Arsinoe
No. 9: Danse des Ghazies
Cadence de la harpe
No. 10: Pas de deux (Tempo di valse)
No. 11: Allegro moderato
No. 12: Entree solennelle d'Antoine
No. 13: Finale
Quatre Etudes Op.41 (1896): No.1 in E flat major
Quatre Etudes Op.41 (1896): No.2 in F sharp major
Quatre Etudes Op.41 (1896): No.4 in A minor
Quatre Etudes Op.41 (1896): No.3 in E Flat minor
No. 1. Prelude
No. 2. Scherzo
No. 3. Elegie
No. 4. Mazurka
No. 5. Romance
No. 6. Etude
I. Allegro moderato
II. Variations: Andante - Tempo di valse - Allegro molto - Tempo I
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Finale (Fuga): Allegro moderato
I. Romance
II. Valse
III. Polonaise
I. Le savant (The Scholar)
II. La coquette (The Coquette)
III. Polichinelle (The Buffoon)
IV. Le reveur (The Dreamer)
V. La danseuse (The Dancer)
I. Theme (Andante)
II. Variation I: Dialogue
III. Variation II: Valse
IV. Variation III: Marche triomphale
V. Variation IV: Menuet (XVIIIeme siecle)
VI. Variation V: Gavotte
VII. Variation VI: Scherzo
VIII. Variation VII: Marche funebre
IX. Variation VIII: Nocturne
X. Variation IX: Polonaise
I. Prelude: Allegro maestoso
II. Romance: Andantino
III. Le reve (The Dream)
IV. Finale: Presto - Andante - Presto
I. Praeludium: Allegro moderato
II. Aria: Andante sostenuto
III. Scherzino: Allegro
IV. Gavotte: Andantino
V. Elegia: Andante
VI. Romance: Andantino
VII. Intermezzo: Allegro capriccioso
VIII. Alla polacca: Allegro moderato
I. Variations sur un theme russe
II. Air de danse
III. Scherzo
IV. Basso ostinato
V. Marche
I. Adagio - Allegro patetico
II. Andante pastorale con moto
III. Scherzo: Allegro con spirito
IV. Finale: Allegro giocoso
I. Allegro giocoso
II. Romance: Adagio ma non troppo
III. Intermezzo: Allegretto
IV. Finale: Allegro giocoso e poi fuga
I. Allegro moderato - Piu mosso - Tempo I - Adagio
II. Scherzo: Allegro molto - Meno mosso - Tempo I
III. Elegia: Adagio - Piu mosso - Tempo I
IV. Finale: Allegro non troppo - Piu vivo - Andante - Adagio - Allegro molto
Theme: Moderato
Variation 1: Un poco piu mosso
Variation 2: Allegro non troppo
Variation 3: Andantino tranquillo
Variation 4: Vivace
Variation 5: Andante
Variation 6: Allegro con spirito
Variation 7: Andante con moto
Coda: Moderato
No. 1. Serenade
No. 2. To the Dying Star
No. 3. The Hot Spring