An historical and analytical survey of the Transcendental Etudes by Sergei Liapunov.

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Sergei Mikhailovich Liapunov (1859-1924) was a distinguished Russian composer, pianist and teacher of the late 19th and early 20th century whose works are relatively unknown. His piano pieces were highly regarded and performed by pianists such as Konstantin Igumnov, Josef Hofmann, Josef Lhévinne, Ferruccio Busoni, and Vladimir Horowitz. However, they are rarely included in modern pianists' repertoire both in Russia and abroad, and are often viewed merely for their historic significance. Works of Liapunov are characterized by a life-affirming character and monumental beauty largely inspired by the images of nature as well as the sounds of his native Russian folk ... continued below

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Chernyshev, Igor August 2007.

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  • Chernyshev, Igor

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Sergei Mikhailovich Liapunov (1859-1924) was a distinguished Russian composer, pianist and teacher of the late 19th and early 20th century whose works are relatively unknown. His piano pieces were highly regarded and performed by pianists such as Konstantin Igumnov, Josef Hofmann, Josef Lhévinne, Ferruccio Busoni, and Vladimir Horowitz. However, they are rarely included in modern pianists' repertoire both in Russia and abroad, and are often viewed merely for their historic significance. Works of Liapunov are characterized by a life-affirming character and monumental beauty largely inspired by the images of nature as well as the sounds of his native Russian folk songs and dances. His music rarely conveys the urgency or profound melancholy which is often seen in the music composed during the same period by Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Liapunov continued and enriched the great traditions of Russian music started by Glinka and The Mighty Five. He did not discover bold new ways of composing, and at the same time did not succumb to the temptation of following contemporary musical trends. The Twelve Transcendental Etudes, op. 11, dedicated to the memory of Franz Liszt, are masterpieces of immense value both from a technical and artistic standpoint. Just like Liszt's études, they were not designed merely to display virtuosity, but to demonstrate that the piano is capable of achieving orchestral sounds and tone painting. There is no doubt that the virtuosic style of Franz Liszt as well as the Russian Romantic tradition and folklore had the greatest influence on Liapunov's Transcendental Etudes. It is also clear that Chopin's works must have occupied a large part of his repertoire. This paper will examine both Russian and Western European influences on Liapunov's style as demonstrated in this étude cycle.

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  • August 2007

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  • Jan. 14, 2008, 11:08 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2013, 12:45 p.m.

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Chernyshev, Igor. An historical and analytical survey of the Transcendental Etudes by Sergei Liapunov., dissertation, August 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3988/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .