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Sergei Lyapunov
12 Etudes d'Execution Transcendante, Op. 11

Konstantin Scherbakov, piano
Marco Polo 8.223491

 

 

 

12 Etudes d'Execution Transcendante, Op. 11

Lullaby                 
Dance of the Ghosts             
Pealing of Bells             
Terek                 
Summer Night            
Storm                 
Idyll                    
Epic Song                 
Aeolian Harps                 
Lesginka                 
Dance of the Elves            
Elegy in Memory of Franz Liszt    



"Scherbakov tackles the outrageous pianistic hurdles of Lyapunov's Twelve Transcendental Studies, Op. 11, with utter assurance and an insight into the music that predicts a glittering career... he is an outstanding talent and am entirely sure that his name will be in very large lights very soon... The technique required to play this stuff has to be of the first order – nothing else would come close even to getting all the notes – but a real interpretation requires something else again: technique has to fade into insignificance for the musical demands to be addressed. Perhaps that's why not many pianists have tackled these pieces on record – you can imagine more than a few reputations coming to grief. I was very impressed by the recording I heard most recently, Malcolm Binns on Pearl, but much as I admire Binns, Scherbakov's apocalyptic performances have to take pride of place. Scherbakov has more assurance, finds more character in the music, more space for coloration; the weighting of the voices (often at terrifying speeds) is completely under control; the Russian-ness of the music is more fully realised; and he has a better recorded sound than Binns. Indeed, the control that Scherbakov exhibits is sometimes difficult for your ears to accept – and yet it is obvious that not a bit of this dazzling display is intended to dazzle: the technique is there to serve the music. Some of Marco Polo's missionary work for little-known music has been achieved by recording it with orchestras and conductors who get away with their insufficiencies in the music of, say, Tansman or Furtwängler because we're pleased merely to be able to hear the scores at last; here they have found a musician of the highest rank, playing music that demonstrates the measure of his abilities. Any concert agent with half a nous who comes across this disc will be sending a contract to Moscow before the afternoon post. Outstanding. No, more than that – superlative." Martin Anderson, CD Review


"This is one of the best solo piano records ever made. From the opening bars of the Lullaby, rising slowly like incense, it casts a spell that is hard to break. Scherbakov's touch and delineation of melodic lines (often several at once) is faultless, he exercises dazzling velocity and clarity in runs and glittering passagework, and has a dynamic range from the whispered to the positively thunderous. This unjustly neglected music, fit to stand alongside the Transcendental Studies of Liszt (their inspiration), deserves a far wider audience for its colour, variety, and evocative power. Scherbakov is outstanding in the turbulent studies, conjuring up the swift, icy waters of a Caucasian torrent, the brooding menace of a Siberian storm and the mighty open spaces of Central Asia, yet equally impressive in delicate, perfumed twilight or the dances of ghosts and goblins by night. The most famous of the set, "Lesghinka", a whirl of Muslim tribesmen worthy of Balakirev, is given a typically concentrated and exciting performance, but the disc is worth the price alone for the final "Elegy in Memory of Franz Liszt". This Hungarian-Russian rhapsody, sombre, magnificent and finally triumphant, is played exultantly and with absolute command." Amazon.com

 

"This disc is a must for pianofiles... Alpine level of pianism." American Record Guide

 

Sergei Lyapunov

12 Etudes d'Execution Transcendante, Op. 11

Konstantin Scherbakov, piano

Marco polo 8.223491

 

1. Lullaby                                                             00:03:31

2. Dance of the Ghosts                                     00:03:02

3. Pealing of Bells                                               00:06:05

4. Terek                                                                00:04:06

5. Summer Night                                               00:07:27

6. Storm                                                               00:04:35

7. Idyll                                                                   00:04:39

8. Epic Song                                                        00:08:37

9. Aeolian Harps                                                 00:06:24

10. Lesginka                                                        00:07:10

11. Dance of the Elves                                      00:03:58

12. Elegy in Memory of Franz Liszt                00:11:18

 

Total Playing Time: 01:10:52

 

Scherbakov tackles the outrageous pianistic hurdles of Lyapunov's Twelve Transcendental Studies, Op. 11, with utter assurance and an insight into the music that predicts a glittering career... he is an outstanding talent and am entirely sure that his name will be in very large lights very soon... The technique required to play this stuff has to be of the first order – nothing else would come close even to getting all the notes – but a real interpretation requires something else again: technique has to fade into insignificance for the musical demands to be addressed. Perhaps that's why not many pianists have tackled these pieces on record – you can imagine more than a few reputations coming to grief. I was very impressed by the recording I heard most recently, Malcolm Binns on Pearl, but much as I admire Binns, Scherbakov's apocalyptic performances have to take pride of place. Scherbakov has more assurance, finds more character in the music, more space for coloration; the weighting of the voices (often at terrifying speeds) is completely under control; the Russian-ness of the music is more fully realised; and he has a better recorded sound than Binns. Indeed, the control that Scherbakov exhibits is sometimes difficult for your ears to accept – and yet it is obvious that not a bit of this dazzling display is intended to dazzle: the technique is there to serve the music. Some of Marco Polo's missionary work for little-known music has been achieved by recording it with orchestras and conductors who get away with their insufficiencies in the music of, say, Tansman or Furtwängler because we're pleased merely to be able to hear the scores at last; here they have found a musician of the highest rank, playing music that demonstrates the measure of his abilities. Any concert agent with half a nous who comes across this disc will be sending a contract to Moscow before the afternoon post. Outstanding. No, more than that – superlative. Martin Anderson CD Review

This is one of the best solo piano records ever made. From the opening bars of the Lullaby, rising slowly like incense, it casts a spell that is hard to break. Scherbakov's touch and delineation of melodic lines (often several at once) is faultless, he exercises dazzling velocity and clarity in runs and glittering passagework, and has a dynamic range from the whispered to the positively thunderous. This unjustly neglected music, fit to stand alongside the Transcendental Studies of Liszt (their inspiration), deserves a far wider audience for its colour, variety, and evocative power. Scherbakov is outstanding in the turbulent studies, conjuring up the swift, icy waters of a Caucasian torrent, the brooding menace of a Siberian storm and the mighty open spaces of Central Asia, yet equally impressive in delicate, perfumed twilight or the dances of ghosts and goblins by night. The most famous of the set, "Lesghinka", a whirl of Muslim tribesmen worthy of Balakirev, is given a typically concentrated and exciting performance, but the disc is worth the price alone for the final "Elegy in Memory of Franz Liszt". This Hungarian-Russian rhapsody, sombre, magnificent and finally triumphant, is played exultantly and with absolute command. Amazon.com

„This disc is a must for pianofiles... Alpine level of pianism.“ American Record Guide