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Sergei Lyapunov's Douze études d'exécution transcendante, op. 11 : a performer's perspective Saratovsky, Sergei Nikolaevich 2012

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SERGEI LYAPUNOV’S DOUZE ÉTUDES D’EXÉCUTION TRANSCENDANTE, OP. 11: A PERFORMER’S PERSPECTIVE by Sergei Nikolaevich Saratovsky  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Music)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) April 2012  © Sergei Nikolaevich Saratovsky, 2012  Abstract The music of the Russian composer, Sergei Lyapunov (1859-1924), remains largely unknown today. The Douze études d’exécution transcendante, Op. 11, to which this document is devoted, continues to be neglected in both writings and performances. I contend that one reason for this lies in a lack of appreciation of the music’s cultural significance, whereby it is regarded as a second-rate copy of Liszt’s work of the same name. In this thesis, I present some sources that are generally unknown to musicians. By examining these sources, I attempt to uncover some of what these études are about. On this basis, I provide interpretive suggestions that can add to the authenticity of a performance and its artistic effect. Chapter One provides a cursory introduction to Lyapunov and the Douze études, and reviews the literature on the composer. Here, too, I trace Liszt’s influence on Lyapunov. Chapter Two is devoted to examining programmatic references in three of the études. I explain the meaning of an enigmatic asterisk sign in Carillon, which points to a major hymn of the Russian Orthodox Church; and I show how features of Chant épique arise from the text of a folk song that Lyapunov collected during an 1893 expedition and quoted in this étude. Although the program to Térek is explicit — the étude is prefaced by an excerpt from a poem by Lermontov — I argue that one cannot properly interpret its music based just on the lines found in the score, but must rather take into account the implications of the entire poem. One of Lyapunov’s students orally transmitted the composer’s interpretive remarks about this cycle to Mikhail Shifman, who published them in Russia. In Chapter Three, I translate them and offer my interpretive elaborations. I also discuss a little known historical recording featuring Lyapunov’s performance of the final étude. Chapter Four concludes by suggesting possible implications this study might have within a broader context. The ways in which I have examined this cycle could be applied not only to compositions by lesser-known Russian composers, but also to the celebrated pieces by the Russian masters.  ii  Table of Contents Abstract..........................................................................................................................................ii Table of Contents..........................................................................................................................iii List of Musical Examples..............................................................................................................v Acknowledgements......................................................................................................................vii Chapter One: Introductory Considerations................................................................................1 1.1 Lyapunov’s Position in Today’s Musical World............................................................2 1.2 Liszt as Lyapunov’s Stylistic Model..............................................................................3 1.3 Review of the Literature................................................................................................6 1.4 Critical Assessment of the Literature and Justification of the Study...........................11 Chapter Two: Programmatic and Extra-Musical Elements as a Means to Interpreting the Douze études.........................................................................................14 2.1 Mysteries in the Publication History of Carillon.........................................................14 2.2 Chant épique and Lyapunov’s Folk Expedition...........................................................22 2.3 The “Gifts” of Human Corpses as the Principal Image in Térek.................................34 Chapter Three: The Douze études in Lyapunov’s Interpretation............................................39 3.1 Étude No. 1 in F-sharp Major: Berceuse......................................................................41 3.2 Étude No. 2 in D-sharp Minor: Ronde des fantômes...................................................43 3.3 Étude No. 3 in B Major: Carillon................................................................................46 3.4 Étude No. 4 in G-sharp Minor: Térek..........................................................................50 3.5 Étude No. 5 in E Major: Nuit d’été..............................................................................52  iii  3.6 Étude No. 6 in C-sharp Minor: Tempête......................................................................53 3.7 Étude No. 7 in A Major: Idylle.....................................................................................54 3.8 Étude No. 8 in F-sharp Minor: Chant épique..............................................................56 3.9 Étude No. 9 in D Major: Harpes éoliennes..................................................................59 3.10 Étude No. 10 in B Minor: Lesghinka.........................................................................60 3.11 Étude No. 11 in G Major: Ronde des sylphes............................................................62 3.12 Étude No. 12 in E Minor: Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt...............................63 Chapter Four: Conclusion..........................................................................................................70 Bibliography.................................................................................................................................75 Appendices....................................................................................................................................78 Appendix A. Lyapunov’s Program to Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3...........................................78 Appendix B. The Folk Song “Out of the Woods, Dark Woods”........................................79 Appendix C. Translation of the Folk Song Iz za lesu-tu, da lesu temnova........................82 Appendix D. Lermontov “The Gifts of Terek”..................................................................84 Appendix E. Misprints in the Editions...............................................................................87  iv  List of Musical Examples Example 2.1 Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 1-4.........................................................15 Example 2.2 Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 38-40.....................................................17 Example 2.3 Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 5-7.........................................................18 Example 2.4 Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 38-40.....................................................18 Example 2.5 Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 98-107...................................................20 Example 2.6 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 38-49.............................................26 Example 2.7 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 70-78.............................................27 Example 2.8 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 1-4.................................................30 Example 2.9 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 9-13...............................................30 Example 2.10 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 18-21.............................................31 Example 2.11 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 22-28.............................................31 Example 2.12 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 35-37.............................................32 Example 2.13 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 281-288.........................................33 Example 2.14 Balakirev, Reminiscences of the Opera “Life for the Tsar” by M. Glinka — Fantasy for piano, mm. 343-355...........................................................................33 Example 2.15 Lyapunov, Térek, Op. 11, No. 4, mm. 115-125......................................................38 Example 3.1 Lyapunov, Berceuse, Op. 11, No. 1, mm. 5-7........................................................41 Example 3.2 Lyapunov, Berceuse, Op. 11, No. 1, mm. 77-81....................................................43 Example 3.3 Lyapunov, Ronde des fantômes, Op. 11, No. 2, mm. 238-240...............................44 Example 3.4 Lyapunov, Ronde des fantômes, Op. 11, No. 2, mm. 259-279...............................45 Example 3.5 Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 85-87.....................................................48  v  Example 3.6 Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 108-110.................................................49 Example 3.7 Lyapunov, Térek, Op. 11, No. 4, mm. 35-38..........................................................51 Example 3.8 Lyapunov, Térek, Op. 11, No. 4, mm. 99-102........................................................52 Example 3.9 Lyapunov, Nuit d’été, Op. 11, No. 5, mm. 19-25...................................................53 Example 3.10 Lyapunov, Tempête, Op. 11, No. 6, mm. 76-79.....................................................54 Example 3.11 Lyapunov, Idylle, Op. 11, No. 7, mm. 38-46.........................................................55 Example 3.12 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 121-128.........................................56 Example 3.13 Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 83-90.............................................59 Example 3.14 Lyapunov, Harpes éoliennes, Op. 11, No. 9, m. 8.................................................60 Example 3.15 Lyapunov, Lesghinka, Op. 11, No. 10, mm. 1-5....................................................61 Example 3.16 Lyapunov, Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt, Op. 11, No. 12, mm. 88-103....68  vi  Acknowledgments I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor, Prof. Jane Coop, for her invaluable artistic guidance and for her endless professional and personal support throughout the course of my degree program at the University of British Columbia. I am also enormously grateful to my co-supervisor, Dr. William Benjamin, for his guidance with this research project and for the time he generously spent with me, assisting in the writing of this document. I feel especially privileged and honored that I was able to work with both of these renowned musicians during the final stage of my education. Special thanks are also offered to other members of my committee, Dr. Terence Dawson and Dr. Sara Buechner, for their invaluable suggestions and contributions to this document as well as for their artistic input throughout my doctoral studies. I also thank Mark Yang, a friend of mine, for proofreading and editing the initial drafts of this document and for assisting me with several translations. Finally, I thank my parents and my entire family for their inestimable and constant support and encouragement from the very start of my development as a musician until today.  vii  Chapter One: Introductory Considerations Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov1 (b. Yaroslavl, Nov. 18/30,2 1859;3 d. Paris, Nov. 8, 1924) was a distinguished Russian composer, pianist, conductor, ethnomusicologist, editor, and pedagogue of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A younger contemporary of Tchaikovsky and Borodin, Lyapunov belonged to that category of composers who, during a time of rapid and immense changes in Western art music (set in motion by Debussy and Scriabin and continued by Schoenberg and Stravinsky, among others), rejected avant-garde trends of composition and remained faithful to the late Romantic tradition and to the aesthetic principles of the Russian classics. Although Lyapunov’s creative output encompasses nearly all of the leading musical genres of his time (with the exception of opera) and includes symphonic, choral, vocal, sacred, and chamber compositions, the principal medium for his artistic expression was the piano. More than half of his works were written for this instrument 4 and it is his piano compositions that continue to be regarded by knowledgeable individuals as being particularly attractive and among the composer’s highest artistic achievements. The piano also plays a central role in his two piano concerti, in the Rhapsody on Ukranian Themes for piano and orchestra, as well as in the piano  1 The name Lyapunov [Сергей Михайлович Ляпунов] appears to be transliterated from Russian under many different spellings: Liapunov, Liapunof, Liapunoff, Liapounow, Liapounov, Ljapunov, and Ljapunow. In my thesis I will use Lyapunov as the most widely accepted form in English academic writings. 2  The first number indicates the date of the composer’s birth according to the Julian calendar (or so-called “old style”), which is used in reference to dates from tsarist Russia, while the second number corresponds to the Gregorian calendar (or the “new style”), which was adopted in Soviet Russia in 1918. 3  In a History of Keyboard Literature, Stewart Gordon erroneously provides 1850 as the year of composer’s birth. See: Stewart Gordon, A History of Keyboard Literature: Music for the Piano and Its Forerunners (New York: Schirmer Books, 1996), 427. 4 Of the seventy-one works bearing opus numbers, thirty-five are original composition for solo piano. This number does not cover several works for solo piano without opus numbers, a few arrangements of Lyapunov’s and other composer’s works, and a number of unpublished piano compositions.  1  sextet and a number of songs. Moreover, Lyapunov’s piano writing demonstrates such a perfect relationship between the hand and the keyboard (as in Chopin’s and Liszt’s piano works), that it is not an overstatement to say that it was perhaps matched only by Scriabin and Rachmaninoff.  1.1 Lyapunov’s Position in Today’s Musical World It seems unjust that Lyapunov’s piano music remains largely unknown today. This is despite the fact that it was highly esteemed and widely performed during his life by such legendary artists as Josef Hofmann, Josef Lhévinne, Ferruccio Busoni, Ricardo Viñes, José Vianna da Motta, Konstantin Igumnov, and Vladimir Horowitz.5 Even his monumental cycle and best known work, the Douze études d’exécution transcendante, Op. 11 (1897-1905), hardly ever finds its way onto the modern concert stage, either in or outside of Russia, and is often cited merely for its historical significance. Several reasons might account for the continuing neglect of Lyapunov’s piano music. One is the fact that both the scores and recordings of his compositions are not easily accessible and available, even from the major libraries and music stores. However, the most likely explanation of what discourages pianists from approaching this oeuvre generally, and the étude cycle in particular, is its tremendous technical and musical demands, which often surpass those set by Chopin and Liszt in their corresponding étude collections. Despite these challenges, I believe that Lyapunov’s studies contain so much deep, meaningful, and simply beautiful music, that they deserve to be studied, heard, recorded, and performed regularly alongside the celebrated works in the same genre by more widely  5  The respect that Lyapunov enjoyed during his life is also evident from the fact that his early Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat minor, Op. 4 (1890) won the renowned Belyaev Glinka Prize in 1904, along with such celebrated works as Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, Scriabin’s Third and Fourth Piano Sonatas, Arensky’s Piano Trio in D minor, and Taneyev’s Symphony in C minor. 2  recognized composers. Even though my thesis will address the problems of interpreting this étude cycle, I hope that as a natural outcome, it will bring deserved attention to these exquisite and unfortunately forgotten masterpieces.  1.2 Liszt as Lyapunov’s Stylistic Model Lyapunov’s Douze études d’exécution transcendante, Op. 11 belong to the middle period of the composer’s career and undoubtedly represent the summit of his artistic achievement. They were written in tribute to Franz Liszt, and more specifically as a corresponding set to the third version of his twelve transcendental studies bearing the same title: Études d’exécution transcendante (1852). While Liszt’s études descend from the open to the flat keys (from C major and A minor to D-flat major and B-flat minor), Lyapunov’s studies occupy the remaining tonalities: those in the sharp keys left out by Liszt, commencing with F-sharp major and D-sharp minor and finishing with G major and E minor. In addition, the final étude in Lyapunov’s collection is entitled Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt, and is a monumental homage to the composer’s favourite hero. Mikhail Shifman sets this study apart by making a distinction between the preceding eleven études, “musical pictures,” and this final one, describing it as a “musical portrait.”6 There is another fascinating connection between the two composers in that Lyapunov, while he was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, studied piano performance with  6 Mikhail Yefimovich Shifman, S. M. Lyapunov. Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva [S. M. Lyapunov. A Sketch of His Life and Work] (Moscow: State Music Publishing House, 1960), 80.  3  Karl Klindworth and Paul Pabst. Both of these German pianist-composers were students of Liszt.7 Given Lyapunov’s personal fascination with the Hungarian composer, and the obsessive interest in Liszt and his music on the part of those in Lyapunov’s environment (most notably in the circle of “The Mighty Five” with which Lyapunov had an especially close affinity 8), it is not surprising that these studies share many compositional, programmatic, pianistic, and technical similarities with their Lisztian models. Along with these general similarities, there are more specific parallels between some of the études in each of the sets, with a number of Lyapunov’s studies having their equivalents in Liszt’s. The most obvious and illustrious example of these correspondences is seen between Lyapunov’s Ronde des sylphes (No. 11) and Liszt’s Feux follets (No. 5). Here, the similarities are so numerous that they seem to penetrate almost all the aspects of the music, from surface particulars to representational aspects of broadest import. Particulars include: the common time signature (2/4) and the initial dynamic marking of piano; commencement with the off beats and by the right hand alone, with the left hand joining in the middle of the second measure; the ascending chromatic run of thirty-second notes at the beginning; frequent employment of diminished-seventh harmonies; almost identical performance indications (allegretto, leggierissimo, scherzando, dolce, etc.); and technical concern with double notes and extremely difficult wide leaps. The more general representational matters relate to portraying the supernatural world of elusive spirits, which requires the most imaginative 7  Allow me to share one personal remark. While researching on Lyapunov in Russia in 2011, I met one of my former professors at the Petrozavodsk State Conservatory, Tatiana Pavlovna Bibikova. She told me that for many years she had studied with Nadezhda Golubovskaya (1891-1975), professor of St. Petersburg Conservatory, who in turn studied with Lyapunov himself in the same renowned music institution. 8 “The Mighty Five” (also known as “The Mighty Handful”) refers to a group of nineteenth-century Russian nationalist composers: Mily Balakirev, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, Alexandr Borodin, and César Cui.  4  approach from a pianist in order to achieve a fleeting and weightless atmosphere; and the widest possible palette of tone colours to heighten the effect of miraculous harmonies and modulations and the impact of transparent and etherial textures. In other cases, the similarities between the particular études are less radical and explicit, yet still readily recognizable (and evident even on a visual comparison of the scores). In fact, Michael Burford claims that Lyapunov worked with a copy of Liszt’s studies on hand while writing his own cycle.9 For example, the opening material of Lyapunov’s Carillon (No. 3) has an evident textural resemblance to Liszt’s Harmonies du soir (No. 11). Here, in both introductory sections, the low bass notes in the left hand are followed in a similar way by eighthnote chordal bell motives in the right hand in the middle register. The texture of Lyapunov’s Harpes éoliennes (No. 9) is clearly inspired by Liszt’s Chasse-neige (No. 12), since both studies incorporate continuous rapid tremolos, written as sixty-fourth notes, to portray the blowing of wind. The two studies also share compound time signatures (9/8 and 6/8 respectively), canonic treatment of themes, and the effect of juxtaposing quintuplets in one hand against sextuplets in the other, among other numerous points of resemblance. Without going into detail, I will briefly point out that Lyapunov’s Nuit d’été (No. 5) is closely related to Liszt’s Ricordanza (No. 9) by virtue of having a similar structure10 and sharing an improvisatory nature and a lyrical atmosphere. It has been also noted by many that Liszt’s Étude in F minor (No. 10) served as a model for Lyapunov’s Tempête (No. 6), particularly since the latter incorporates similar technical  9 Michael Charles Burford, “The Transcendental Studies of S. M. Lyapunov” (M.Mus. diss., University of Sheffield, 1988), 95. 10 Davis presents a convincing structural comparison between these two studies by providing a chart that outlines their forms with measure numbers. See: Richard Davis, “Sergei Lyapunov (1958-1924), The Piano Works: A Short Appreciation,” The Music Review, vol. XXI, No. 1 (February 1960): 193.  5  devices. Some writers also trace connections between Idylle (No. 7) and Paysage (No. 3), and between Chant épique (No. 8) and Eroica (No. 7), by Lyapunov and Liszt, respectively. By the same token, it would be unfair to restrict the compositional influences on Lyapunov to Liszt. One can also trace many other sources of inspiration, including Balakirev, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Lyadov, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Schumann, and Henselt. Moreover, such diverse sources as folk music, Russian poetry and literature, Russian bells, and liturgical music of the Russian Orthodox Church, are other salient elements in Lyapunov’s music. Although the topic of influence is fascinating in itself and deserves an entire dissertation, I will not present a comparative analysis with musical examples from the corresponding studies in Lyapunov’s and Liszt’s collections. Similarly, I will not discuss the diverse influences on Lyapunov from Liszt and Russian music in general. The reason for that is that these matters have already received due attention in Lyapunov scholarship. As a matter of fact, most writers have devoted their efforts (at least in part) to outlining the correspondences between Lyapunov’s and Liszt’s études and to tracing all possible influences on Lyapunov. Instead, I will refer the reader who is particularly interested in this area to a few studies, which, in my opinion, are the most convincing and successful in this respect.11  1.3 Review of the Literature Despite the relative absence of performances of Lyapunov’s transcendental études, his work in general has been well studied academically in both Russian and English. I have consulted most of the secondary sources available to me in these two languages, as well as a 11 Andrew G. C. O. Banks, “Musical Influences Which Shaped the Twelve Transcendental Studies Op. 11 by Sergei Liapunov (1859-1924)” (DMA diss., West Virginia University, 2004); Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” Chapters III-V; and Davis, “Sergei Lyapunov.”  6  number of primary sources. The secondary sources I have studied include brief chapters and articles about Lyapunov in general books about Russian music, dictionaries and encyclopedias, all Ph.D. and DMA dissertations, journal articles, several compact-disc recordings, and editions of the musical scores themselves. Of great importance is the extensive work by the second of Lyapunov’s three daughters, the Soviet musicologist Anastasiya Lyapunova (1903-1973), who devoted most of her life to collecting and classifying everything possible stemming from her father. She archived these materials in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg where she worked as the music specialist in the archives division for many years (1940-1963). These sources include Lyapunov’s letters, as well as work drafts, copies, and sketches. The collection also contains reviews of concerts of his music, and recollections of family members, friends, students, and colleagues. Lyapunova also wrote a short biography of Lyapunov 12 and an article about his relationship with Balakirev,13 prepared most of the composer’s correspondence for publication,14 and left an invaluable record of her memories of his performance manner as a pianist.15  12  Anastasiya Lyapunova, “S. M. Lyapunov,” Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 9 (1950): 90-93.  13 Anastasiya Lyapunova, “Iz istorii tvorcheskikh svyazei M. Balakireva i S. Lyapunova” [From the History of the Creative Links between M. Balakirev and S. Lyapunov], in Balakirev: issledovaniya i stat’i [Balakirev: Investigations and Articles], Yu. A. Kremlyov, A. S. Lyapunova, and E. Frid, eds. (Leningrad: Muzgiz, 1961), 388-421. 14  Anastasiya Lyapunova, ed., “Perepiska V. Stasova i S. Lyapunova” [Correspondence between V. Stasov and S. Lyapunov], Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 1 (1957): 71-78; Anastasiya Lyapunova, ed., “Pis’ma M. A. Balakireva k S. M. Lyapunovu” [Letters of M. A. Balakirev to S. M. Lyapunov], Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 9 (1950): 94-95; Anastasiya Lyapunova, ed., “Pis’ma S. M. Lyapunova k P. A. Potekhinu” [Letters of S. M. Lyapunov to P. A. Potekhin], Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 3 (1960): 81-87. 15  Although I did not have the opportunity to access any of these archive materials directly, I was very fortunate to become aquatinted with the majority of them through the fine dissertation of Onegina, the most extensive and recent study on Lyapunov’s piano music. See: Olga Vladimirovna Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka S. M. Lyapunova. Cherty stilya” [Piano Music of S. M. Lyapunov. Characteristics of Style] (Ph.D. diss., St. Petersburg State Conservatory, 2010). 7  One of the first Soviet musicologists (besides the composer’s daughter) to research Lyapunov and his work, was Mikhail Shifman. His 1953 Ph.D. thesis appears to be the first major published study on Lyapunov in Russian.16 In 1958 there appeared Shifman’s article devoted to the subject of the interpretation of Op. 11,17 and shortly after that, in 1960, he wrote a book that included a detailed biographical account of Lyapunov’s life with a review of all his major works of all genres.18 This 1958 article of Shifman is an invaluable reference for the performance practice of this étude cycle. There, Shifman presented the recollections of one of Lyapunov’s students, Zinaida Oskarovna Shandarovskaya, who orally conveyed to him many of the composer’s interpretive remarks about most of the études. I believe I will be the first to translate these precious comments by the composer himself in their entirety, into English. A substantial part of my thesis is devoted to this subject (see Chapter Three). Approximately at the same time as Shifman’s publications appeared in Russia, English musicologist Richard Davis wrote an article for the Music Review as a tribute on the one hundredth anniversary of the composer’s birth (1859), which was published a year later, in 1960.19 The importance of this study can mainly be ascribed to the fact that, along with the discussion of Lyapunov’s major piano works, Davis provided an analysis of composer’s lesserknown piano compositions. Despite my respect for his pioneering effort, I would agree with  16 Mikhail Yefimovich Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov S. M. Lyapunova i nekotorye cherty ego fortepiannogo stilya” [Twelve Études of S. M. Lyapunov and a Few Features of His Piano Style] (Ph.D. diss., Moscow State Conservatory, 1953). 17 Mikhail Yefimovich Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov Lyapunova i nekotorye voprosy ikh interpretatsii” [Twelve Études of Lyapunov and Some Questions Regarding Their Interpretation], in Voprosy muzykal’no-ispolnitel’skogo isskustva [Questions of Musical-Performing Art], L. S. Ginzburg and A. A. Solovtsov, eds. (1958): 374-401. 18  Shifman, S. M. Lyapunov.  19  Davis, “Sergei Lyapunov.” 8  Onegina’s assessment that Davis’s succinct conclusions on Lyapunov’s piano style are quite superficial.20 From among the other secondary sources in English I have consulted, I would like to single out the master’s thesis of Michael Burford.21 In my opinion, it remains the most significant and valuable source for anyone wishing to study Op. 11. Burford’s extensive research paper (about 400 pages including musical examples and appendices) is devoted entirely to the Douze études. Along with detailed analysis of each étude, Burford provides a history of Op. 11’s conception and a comprehensive account of the work’s compositional chronology. He also discusses both Western and Russian influences on Lyapunov, traces a brief performance history of the cycle, and compares all published editions with the early editions, manuscripts, and autographs. The credibility of Burford’s work is further heightened by the fact that he was able to conduct his research in the former USSR and as such, had access to a number of primary sources (including much archive material kept in St. Petersburg), with which he informed his conclusions. Further, and of prime interest for my thesis, Burford was the first (in English scholarship) to raise the question of the interpretive aspects of Op. 11. He devoted his last chapter to this subject and translated into English, directly from Shifman’s article, some of the recollections of Lyapunov’s student, Shandarovskaya. I am not entirely convinced of the manner in which he presented this material and will elaborate on this topic when I discuss these recollections (see Chapter Three).  20  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 6.  21  Burford, “The Transcendental Studies.” 9  I would also like to bring attention to a recent, 2010 Ph.D. dissertation on Lyapunov by Olga Onegina, completed in St. Petersburg.22 Her extensive study (nearly 300 pages), devoted to Lyapunov’s entire piano oeuvre, is based on scrupulous investigation of practically all available primary and secondary sources on the composer to this day. As such, her bibliography includes 149 sources in Russian, English, German, and French. In addition, she also lists 252 archive sources that she was able to access at the archives section of the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, many of which she has introduced to Lyapunov scholarship for the first time. Besides offering these new materials, Onegina has also discovered some unknown facts of the composer’s life and presented the autographs of his ten unpublished piano pieces. By doing that, she has not only compiled the most current and complete catalogue of all of Lyapunov’s piano compositions but is also the first to examine and analyze the composer’s entire piano oeuvre. Even though the question of the interpretation was not the main focus of Onegina’s work, she nevertheless touches on this subject by discussing the composer’s attitude to the correct choice of tempi; his approach to the musical text; and his attitudes regarding phrasing, pedaling, and other interpretive matters; and in my opinion, offers some revelatory postulates in this area, to which I will return in the course of my thesis. The primary sources I consulted include a historical recording made by Lyapunov and two nineteenth-century publications related to an expedition during which he collected folk songs. In 1910, Lyapunov recorded three of his études (Berceuse, Nuit d’été, and Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt) along with “Chansonette enfantine” from the composer’s cycle Divertissements (Op. 35) on the Welte Mignon mechanical reproducing piano. I was very  22  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka.” 10  fortunate to discover a compact-disc remastering of Lyapunov’s own performance of the final étude in the series, Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt.23 I am thrilled to introduce this important primary source to Lyapunov scholarship, since it allows us to analyze the composer’s own performance manner, thus contributing greatly to an authentic approach to the interpretation of this particular work, and indirectly to interpretation of Lyapunov’s piano works in general. I cite the other two publications here but will examine them in detail when I explore the impact of Lyapunov’s ethnomusicological research on his music (see Chapter Two).24  1.4 Critical Assessment of the Literature and Justification of the Study While most of the sources I consulted contain some valuable information on Lyapunov’s life and works, many are very superficial. They present the events in the composer’s life, and give cursory assessments of his major works and an overview of his style and the influences upon him. In addition, several sources (including the leading electronic resource, Grove Music Online) provide misleading and incorrect information about important biographical facts, dates, names, and the chronology of his works. While the errors in English writings seem to derive from limited access to primary Russian sources (to a large extent due, probably, to the language barrier), the false information in Russian literature has a very different origin.  23 Masters of the Piano Roll: Prokofiev Plays Prokofiev, Scriabin Plays Scriabin Plus Other Russian Rarities, digital disc (Dal Segno Records, DCPRCD 005, 2003). 24 F. M. Istomin and S. M. Lyapunov, eds., Pesni russkago naroda. Sobrany v guberniyakh Vologodskoi, Vyatskoi i Kostromskoi v 1893 godu [Songs of Russian People. Collected in the Regions of Vologda, Vyatka and Kostroma in 1893] (St. Petersburg: Imperial Russian Geographic Society, 1899); and F. M. Istomin and S. M. Lyapunov, “Otchyot ob ekspeditsii dlya sobiraniya russkikh narodnykh pesen s napevami v 1893 godu” [Report on the Expedition for Collecting Russian Folk Songs with Words in 1893], Izvestiya Imperatorskago Russkago Geographicheskago Obshchestva [News of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society], vol. XXX (1894): 331-354.  11  Most Russian books and articles about Lyapunov were written in the Soviet Union during a time of enormous political pressure. The state compelled “artistic compliance” with its official doctrine, travel abroad was very limited, and imposition of the fundamental ideological goals demanded the control, suppression, and, ultimately, complete replacement with atheism, of any kind of religious belief. To receive recognition and prestigious prizes from the government and for other career reasons, many scholars, scientists, historians, writers, musicologists, et al. (thankfully, not all of them) had to lie or hide facts that contradicted the official ideology of the communist leaders. For example, Shifman claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 contributed to the expansion of Lyapunov’s musical, scholarly, and pedagogical activities 25 in spite of the composer’s explicit denials. In fact, Lyapunov immigrated to Paris in 1923, following upon the establishment of the USSR in 1922, precisely because he could not work freely under the new regime. The communist authorities hid this fact by reporting that Lyapunov had gone to France on a concert tour, refusing to admit that he never had any intention of returning to his homeland. There are other striking examples of concealing the facts for political reasons, some of which relate directly to the subject of interpretation. I will elaborate on this topic when I discuss the programmatic elements in Lyapunov’s third étude, Carillon (see Chapter Two). Except in the work of a few scholars mentioned above (Shifman, Burford, and Onegina), the subject of interpreting Lyapunov’s music, and the Douze études in particular, has not received proper attention in Lyapunov scholarship. Even when these authors discuss certain issues related to the performance practice of Op. 11, they concentrate only on one or, at most, a few particular 25 Mikhail Yefimovich Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov S. M. Lyapunova i nekotorye cherty ego fortepiannogo stilya” [Twelve Études of S. M. Lyapunov and a Few Features of His Piano Style] (Abstract of the Ph. D. diss., Moscow State Conservatory, 1953), 6.  12  aspects, making interpretive conclusions based either on an internal analysis of the music itself or on the recollections and perspectives of other people in Lyapunov’s circle whom they deem worthy of attention. While believing this approach to be legitimate and valuable, and with my sincere appreciation for their efforts, I feel there are many topics relevant to interpreting this music that are still left uncovered. In particular, it is my deepest conviction as a performer that the broadest possible context must be taken into account, since interpretation is insufficiently informed where there is inadequate consideration of all the external aspects related to a given musical work, including the composer’s biography; his cultural, political, social, and religious views; any programmatic or extra-musical elements behind the composition; and the general cultural environment that surrounded the composer. By pointing to some biographical facts, uncovering a number of programmatic elements, referring to Lyapunov’s own musical and other points of view as well as to those of people close to him, examining the composer’s own recording, and contemplating the evidence I have gained from analysis and the fruits of my own performance experience, I hope to enhance the performance practice of Lyapunov’s étude cycle, thus opening new doors for further research in this field.  13  Chapter Two: Programmatic and Extra-Musical Elements as a Means to Interpreting the Douze études I begin the discussion of programmatic elements in this étude cycle by pointing out another notable connection between Lyapunov and Liszt, namely, their common attraction to “program music.” The majority of Liszt’s works are associated with programmatic or extramusical subjects, and the representation of poetry or abstract ideas through music became central to the composer’s conception. Liszt invented the term “program music” and defined a program as a “preface added to a piece of instrumental music, by means of which the composer intends to guard the listener against a wrong poetical interpretation, and to direct his attention to the poetical idea of the whole or to a particular part of it.”26 Liszt’s conviction was that music could not be understood unless the correct poetic concept was invoked in the listener’s mind beforehand. He insisted that true “program music” should have a narrative or descriptive element that was essential to its meaning. Analogous to Liszt’s studies, all études in Lyapunov’s collection are examples of “program music.” Each of them contains extra-musical and programmatic elements, bearing a depictive title in French 27 evocative of the subject matter.  2.1 Mysteries in the Publication History of Carillon A striking example of apparent concealment of the facts for political reasons, one that relates directly to the subject of interpretation, is found in a 1947 Soviet edition of the  26  May 2009.  Roger Scruton, “Programme Music,” Grove Music Online,, accessed 21  27 Only two studies are supplied with the Russian translations under their French titles in the Zimmermann edition (Nos. 3 and 8). See: Sergej Liapounow, 12 Études d’exécution transcendante pour le piano (Frankfurt am Main: Musikverlag Zimmermann, 1958), vol. I, 16 and vol. III, 8.  14  transcendental études.28 The score of the third étude has the following subtitles: “Étude III” and the Russian title “Трезвон” (see Example 2.1), translated to both French and English as Carillon. Example 2.1. Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 1-4. 29  In the Zimmermann edition of 1958,30 however, the page preceding the music of Carillon is provided with a written program by Lyapunov himself,31 presented in four languages: Russian, French, German, and English.32 The program describes the sounds of majestic church singing that alternates, and is later interspersed, with the triumphant ringing of church bells. To see this program as it appears in the score, refer to Appendix A. I present the English text here: In the distance is heard the ringing of a bell, across the measured strokes of which come the sounds of a hymn. The ringing grows louder and louder and the church-chimes 28  Sergei Lyapunov, Soch. 11: Dvenadtsat’ etyudov osobo-trudnogo ispolneniya dlya fortepiano [Op. 11: Twelve Transcendental Études for Piano] (Moscow: State Music Publishing, 1947). 29  All musical examples of Lyapunov’s études are taken from the 1947 Soviet edition, unless otherwise noted. See: Lyapunov, Soch. 11. 30  1905.  Julian Heinrich Zimmermann was the first to publish Lyapunov’s études in Leipzig between 1900 and  31  Andrew Banks erroneously identifies the program as being a short poem by Lermontov. See: Banks, “Musical Influences,” 16. 32  Liapounow, 12 Études, vol. I, 15. 15  blend with the sounds of the principal bell. The solemn tones of the hymn alternate with the sounds of the bells, ending in a general majestic choral effect interspersed with the deep sounds of the great bell.33 It goes without saying that if the composer decides to publish a program or an epigraph along with the score of a musical work 34 or to provide some other guide to representation, 35 such cues are essential to the work’s meaning and its interpretation and cannot be ignored. It seems most likely that in the case of this étude, the Soviet editors omitted the program because of the politically unwelcome allusions to the Russian Orthodox Church and what they might be presumed to reveal about the religious views of the composer. The mysteries of Carillon do not end with the omission of the program in the Soviet edition. This is evident from a simple comparison of the editions, which reveals another programmatic aspect that poses questions requiring more research, being as yet inadequately explained. In measure 38 of the Zimmermann edition, the marking pesante is followed by an enigmatic asterisk followed by a close parenthesis, which suggests the presence of an explanatory footnote (see Example 2.2).  33  Liapounow, 12 Études, vol. I, 15.  34  For example, in Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit or Brahms’s Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 1.  35 For example, in Liszt’s Spozalizio and Il Penseroso the composer requested that both pieces be illustrated with the drawings of Raphael’s painting The Marriage of the Virgin and Michelangelo’s sculpture on the inner title page.  16  Example 2.2. Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 38-40. 36  However, the corresponding footnote can be found neither at the bottom of the page nor anywhere else in the four volumes of this edition. Michael Burford is the only one who attempted to solve this mystery and did so only partially. He discovered that in the autograph, the asterisk was placed not at the second (m. 38), but at the first appearance of the chant-like theme (m. 7), after the identical performance indication, pesante. There, the asterisk has a corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page: “Mélodie de l’église orthodoxe russe.”37 Burford further pointed out that the Peters edition is the only one that did justice to the autograph by supplying the asterisk with the relevant footnote, still, however, not in measure 7 as originally indicated by Lyapunov but in measure 38. Burford explained that the reason for placing the asterisks in relation to the second appearance of the theme in both Zimmermann and Peters editions can be traced to the uncorrected proofs of the étude, where the asterisk with its footnote is deleted from measure 7 and inserted instead into measure 38.38 Although worthy of attention, this confusion on the location of the asterisk and the omission of the footnote is not the most remarkable attribute of this publication history. What is  36  Liapounow, 12 Études, vol. I, 19.  37  Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 201.  38  Ibid., 202. 17  striking is that in the 1947 Soviet edition, neither asterisk nor footnote is found, either in measure 7 or in measure 38 (see Examples 2.3 and 2.4). Example 2.3. Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 5-7.  Example 2.4. Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 38-40.  While Burford assumes that the omission of the footnote in the Zimmermann edition reflects carelessness on the part of the editor,39 I am not convinced this is the case with the Soviet edition. Obviously, the editors knew what the asterisk meant (as it is very unlikely that they didn’t have access to the autograph) and purposely removed it and the footnote, in the same way as they omitted the entire program to this étude by the composer. Not surprisingly, some Soviet musicologists (and following them, their Western colleagues) describe this theme using such vague words as, for example, “solemn melody of 39  Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 202. 18  Russian origin”40 or “joyful Russian melody.”41 Banks gets more specific but still claims that the main theme is only “reminiscent of an Orthodox chant melody.”42 Burford went to considerable effort to identify the true source for this church hymn but unfortunately did not do so correctly, claiming that this theme is a setting of Psalms 135 and 136.43 Only Onegina rightly identified the origin of this theme as one of the main Orthodox Church hymns, “O come, let us worship.”44 The words of this ancient chant, sung by the choir at every Divine Liturgy on Sundays and major feast days, are: “O come let us worship and fall down before Christ; O Son of God Who rose from the dead, save us who sing unto Thee: Alleluia.”45 While Lyapunov would have assumed that most Russians knew this hymn, he probably indicated the melody’s origin, in general terms, with a view toward Western consumption of the music. It is perhaps an indication of how successful the Soviet regime was in temporarily obliterating this central feature of Russian culture from the minds even of educated people, that musicians and scholars of the Soviet era could not immediately place it. I believe that the knowledge of these words and their context can have a great impact on the interpretation of Carillon. Traditionally, the Orthodox Church does not use musical instruments for its services, and instead relies on chanting and choral a capella singing, since the  40  Shifman, S. M. Lyapunov, 65.  41 Igor Chernyshev, “An Historical and Analytical Survey of the Transcendental Etudes by Sergei Liapunov” (DMA diss., University of North Texas, 2007), 13. 42  Banks, “Musical Influences,” 98.  43  Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 143.  44  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 144.  45  The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Stratford, Connecticut: The Savoy Press, 2002), 8. 19  human voice is seen as the most perfect instrument of praise.46 In the case of this étude, the main theme (in m. 7 and again in m. 38) evokes the singing of the male choir, mainly in four-part harmony. In view of this, it would be inappropriate, in performing these passages, to give prominence only to the top voice and to treat the other three voices as serving a subordinate, accompanying role. The same approach should also not be applied to the last statement of this theme, Poco meno mosso (mm. 99-107), which depicts the pious prayer now sung by a mixed choir and as if now heard coming from the church but afar (see Example 2.5). Example 2.5. Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 98-107.  In fact, performers of this étude often overemphasize the top voice in these places, thus depriving the music of the splendid resonance and richness associated with choral singing, and making it sound too pianistic. Instead, one should pay attention to all the voices, especially bringing out those that are moving either in parallel or contrary motion. That way, there is also no need for an exaggerated volume of sound. Note that Lyapunov indicates only forte in measure 38 and that fortissimo does not come until the victorious and majestic restatement of the main theme in  46 Even the bells are not used as musical instruments in the strict meaning of the term. They are rung to announce the beginning and end of services and to proclaim especially significant moments in them. As such, they are not considered to be a part of worship itself and are always positioned outside the church building.  20  measure 84, perhaps referring to the words “Who rose from the dead.” Even there, one should achieve a monumental and powerful effect without forcing the sound and resorting to unnecessary bodily tension, just as a choir, no matter how large, need never sound forced to create an impression of great strength. I would also like to point out that excessive body movements and virtuosic histrionics would be completely out of place in the performance of this étude, bearing in mind the evocation of prayer and the seriousness of the text. Similarly, excessive rubato and frequent changes of tempi, often heard on recordings, are inappropriate for this music. An overly Romantic approach to singing, involving ostentatious affectations, is simply absent from worship in the Orthodox Church. I think that the best way to summarize my own interpretive conclusions is to provide the recollections of the composer’s daughter, Anastasiya Lyapunova, concerning the performance manner of her father, especially since they relate directly to the interpretation of Carillon and run along lines parallel to those of my observations. These words are not direct quotations from Lyapunova but are as paraphrased in Onegina’s dissertation. The translation is mine. Onegina writes: According to the recollections of A. S. Lyapunova, the performance of her father was distinguished by the absence of external effects and convulsive tension, even in the most technically difficult places, by the attention to all details of the composition, and by the fullness and power of the sound. Outstanding in this regard was the composer’s interpretation of the étude Carillon, which Lyapunov performed with majestic simplicity. The bass sounds combined with the small bells struck their rhythm precisely and evenly, without any fuss. In the final Grandioso the tension was also absent, which to a large extent was compensated by the power inherent in the music itself. Lyapunov considered the necessary condition for a performance of Carillon, corresponding to his conception, the ability to maintain a single tempo throughout the entire piece and to correctly calculate one’s forces in temporal relation to an approaching climax. 47  47  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 162-163. 21  In what follows, I will introduce more specific remarks by Lyapunov himself regarding the interpretation of Carillon. This will enable us to acquire a more complete interpretive guide for this étude, from different angles (see Chapter Three).  2.2 Chant épique and Lyapunov’s Folk Expedition Another example of how a program enhances the interpretation of the music is found in one of the grandest études of the series, No. 8, Chant épique. This time, the existence of the program is not explicit since it does not appear in the score (as in the cases of Carillon and Térek). I believe I have discovered one, but only as a result of research. The programmatic aspect in this étude also has a very different origin, being derived from Lyapunov’s fascination with collecting folk music. According to Anastasiya Lyapunova, her father loved Russian folk songs from his childhood and regarded them as a very rich source of musical creativity.48 In 1893 Lyapunov became a member of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society. In the same year the Society commissioned him, together with Fyodor Mikhailovich Istomin49 to collect ancient Russian folk songs from the regions of Vologda, Vyatka, and Kostroma, to the north-east of Moscow. While Lyapunov was in charge of the musical part of their journey, Istomin was responsible for writing down the texts and making notes on the customs associated with the folk singing. The expedition was productive, returning with 265 folk songs, 165 of which were    48  Lyapunova, “S. M. Lyapunov”: 91.  49  Most English sources erroneously name Balakirev and Lyadov as Lyapunov’s companions for this expedition. See: Banks, “Musical Influences,” 88; Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 15; Chernyshev, “An Historical and Analytical Survey,” 5; Garden, “Lyapunov, Sergei Mikhaylovich”; David Norman Kaiserman, “The Solo Piano Music of S. M. Lyapunov (1859-1924): An Essay Together with a Comprehensive Project in Piano Performance” (DMA diss., University of Iowa, 1977), 11. 22  published by the Society in 189950 as the Songs of Russian People. 51 Besides gathering folk songs, Lyapunov was also very interested in discovering rare examples of folk instrumental music. He penned several examples of church bells, one of the shepherd’s pipe tunes he heard, and a few melodies played on gusli and other rare Russian folk instruments (and even acquired one of these instruments for himself). Some of these findings are reflected in the music of several études, and I point this out in Chapter Three. This 1893 expedition had enormous impact on Lyapunov’s creativity, and since that time, as Anastasiya Lyapunova has reported, a folk element entered securely into her father’s musical language, permeating not only his piano compositions but also his vocal and symphonic works.52 Chant épique is based on one of the folk songs, Iz za lesu-tu, da lesu temnova (“Out of the Woods, Dark Woods”) from the Songs of Russian People. While most scholars provide the name of this song in connection to this étude, none of them cites this book in a bibliography, and as a result, none of them presents the text. I had the great fortune to find this rare book and to study it in detail. Its 165 songs represent a variety of important Russian ancient song genres, including wedding, love, family, dance, ritual, funeral, epic, soldiers’, thieves’, and prisoners’ songs, as well as spirituals and Christmas carols. Each song is presented as a single-line melody with the initial words appearing underneath the tune. The entire text is presented separately, there having been no need to provide identical music for all the verses. Following each song and its text, there is indication of the name of the village, district, region, and province in which the  50  Both Burford and Chernyshev incorrectly indicate the year of publication for the Songs of Russian People as 1897 and 1894, respectively. See: Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 16; Chernyshev, “An Historical and Analytical Survey,” 5. 51  Istomin and Lyapunov, eds., Pesni russkago naroda.  52  Lyapunova, “S. M. Lyapunov”: 92. 23  given song was collected. At the end of this publication, an index is provided of the places Lyapunov and Istomin visited, with the names (and even ages) of all the people who had sung for them, and the dates on which specific songs were collected. A map of the entire expedition is also included.53 The scope and the subject of the present study does not allow the elaboration on the influence of this expedition and of the folk music on Lyapunov in general; this could easily constitute a subject for an entire thesis. However, it is worth mentioning two details that I find particularly interesting, as vividly and realistically portraying this trip. In the lengthy preface to the Songs of Russian People, where Istomin offers a fascinating account of various aspects of their expedition, he mentions that they had to stop their work on September 8th due to the extreme difficulties of traveling on the country roads, which became muddy and unpassable as a result of the continuous rain throughout August.54 One more down-to-earth episode can be found in another rare nineteenth-century publication, which is almost never cited. I was fortunate to find this journal in which, alongside Istomin’s account, Lyapunov himself describes the musical side of their voyage, particularly commenting on the unique folk instruments mentioned above.55 In his comments, Istomin eloquently describes how difficult it sometimes was to put the singers (who were mostly peasants) into a singing mood, in view of their resistance to performing before two seemingly high-ranking and unknown individuals from St. Petersburg, sent by the Tzar himself, as it were. Istomin realized that the fastest and easiest way of achieving a relaxed atmosphere in which the songs might easily flow from the peasants’ throats, would be to 53  It is interesting how Lyapunov’s careful researches antedate the supposedly path-breaking efforts of Bartók and Kodály, over a decade later, even resembling the latter in approach. 54  Istomin and Lyapunov, eds., Pesni russkago naroda, x-xi.  55  Istomin and Lyapunov, “Otchyot.” 24  lubricate their vocal chords with generous supplies of vodka (half of a bucket, as he writes) and other drinks, so that a merry feast might ensue.56 He was very aware, however, that the encouragement of drinking among the peasants was not part of their mission. As an alternative, therefore, Lyapunov and Istomin explained that by singing for them, the peasants would perform the invaluable and historic role of preserving part of the nation’s rich heritage before these songs were lost forever. Nevertheless, after Istomin and Lyapunov distributed some monetary compensation for their singing, the peasants typically used it right away to buy drinks in any case, and soon the entire village was filled with the sweeping singing of the very songs the research subjects had just sung for demonstration purposes, but in a rendition that was wholly unsuitable for transcribing.57 The folk song, “Out of the Woods, Dark Woods,” appears under the general category of so called “drawn out” or “prolonged” songs (protyazhnaya pesnya), a type of melismatic peasant song, which usually begins on a decorated fifth of the scale and descends to the tonic. This song also falls into a second subcategory, that of a recruits’ and soldiers’ songs. I present this song with its text, as it appears in the Songs of Russian People (see Appendix B). Although it was a challenge to translate this poetic nineteenth-century Russian text into English, I offer my own translation in Appendix C. It is interesting to note that Lyapunov retained the song’s original tonality of F-sharp minor, writing Chant épique in the same key. The first time that the melody of this folk song is quoted in the étude is in measures 41-46. Please compare Example 2.6 to Appendix B to see that these six measures of the étude almost literally follow the first six  56  Istomin and Lyapunov, “Otchyot”: 338.  57  Ibid., 337. 25  measures of the song, the only exception being that the first measure in the étude is complete while in the song it consists of only the two quarter notes. Example 2.6. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 38-49.  Taking into account the song’s melody and the fact that almost all statements of this theme in the étude retain its original contour, I would like to offer one piece of practical advice. Consider the presentation of the theme in measures 71-76, which is comprised of broken staccato octaves in the left hand and continuous sixteenth-note movement divided between both hands (see Example 2.7).  26  Example 2.7. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 70-78.  Although there are no extra stems to identify the melody more clearly, it is essential to bring it out. Therefore, it is decidedly not that one should emphasize every first sixteenth note played by the left hand’s thumb, and only those notes. There are three instances in which the thumb of the right hand must also be brought out, as though it had an imaginary eighth-note stem: on the second sixteenth note of the first beat in measure 72 (D4) and on the second sixteenth note of both the third and fourth beats in measure 75 (C-sharp 4 and A3). That way, the melody becomes clearly audible instead of being lost among the accompanimental layers. Some scholars deem Chant épique to be less successful than the other studies, criticizing it for its length (about eight minutes) and a lack of thematic development that allegedly renders it 27  static.58 Even Lyapunov’s teacher, Karl Klindworth, to whom the composer sent a copy of the cycle’s second edition for his assessment, while generally admiring the achieved result, had the following criticism to make: “Pianistically the work is both effective and original. But I would have preferred the form to be more compact; the more over-extended the form becomes the more it becomes apparent that the melodic content does not demand it. This deficiency was particularly noticeable to me in ‘Bylina’ (‘Chant épique’) where the theme of 6 bars is tiresomely rephrased through 19 pages.”59 Another assessment is worthy of citing in full despite its length, as it reflects a similar attitude toward this particular étude and to Lyapunov’s large-scale compositions in general: It is a pity that this study, whose opening tones contain the seeds of grandeur and whose melodic material is so appropriate to its programmatic content, emerges as the most emptily bombastic of all the works that constitute Opus 11. In Legend [this author’s translation of Chant épique] Liapunov appears to have succumbed to the least attractive characteristics of Liszt, and his tendency to reiterate thematic statements instead of endowing them with organic development inhibits the forward progress of the music. No matter how inventive and interesting the pianistic figurations, the fact remains that the themes themselves recur excessively without really being illuminated or enriched. Legend might have been salvaged by less repetitiousness and a greater sense of selfgenerating dynamism, but Liapunov, at least in his largest-scaled solo piano works, was more often than not incapable of such architectural vision. The unfortunate result is that in striving for a heroic sweep he is hoist with his own petard, and the themes, especially the first, with the suggested sounds of battle and galloping horses, are literally driven into the ground.60 While not denying Lyapunov’s tendency to exaggerate formal proportions and a predilection for unhurried thematic development in some of his large-scale works (for example, his Sonata in F minor, Op. 27), I believe that this leisurely and cumulative approach is totally 58  Alexander Dmitrievich Alekseyev, Russkaya fortepiannaya muzyka: konets XIX — nachalo XX vyeka [Russian Piano Music: From the End of the XIX to the Beginning of the XX Century] (Moscow: Nauka, 1969), 105. 59  Cited in Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 253.  60  Kaiserman, “The Solo Piano Music,” 91. 28  appropriate and even necessary in the case of this étude. First, as one can see, the text of this song itself is rather long, especially considering the fact that every second line has to be repeated. In addition, the poetic narrative unfolds in a very unhurried manner, thus creating a feeling of suspense and uncertainty. For example, after hearing the initial two strophes: “out of the woods dark woods,” and “out of the mountain steep mountain,” one cannot predict what is about to happen. Even after reading the third and fourth strophes, “it was not the white dawn that appeared,” and “it was not the red sun that rose,” one still cannot comprehend the song’s meaning, or even guess at it. Moreover, from the melodic point of view, we again see this slowmoving development, since the setting is usually melismatic (hence “drawn out” song). Thus, for example, the word лесу (forest) extends over one and a half measures, and the word темнова (dark), over two and a half measures (see Appendix B). In light of this, I do not consider Lyapunov’s numerous repetitions of short fragments of the song in augmentation (introduction, mm. 1-40) to be redundant and unnecessary in any way. Quite the opposite, they seem to correspond exactly with the suspense projected by the song’s words. I believe that it is the task of a performer to create this feeling of uncertainty. Moreover, I do not feel any sense of monotony or lack of musical process in this introductory section, precisely because none of these short fragments (or for that matter, any of the future statements of the theme) is literally repeated. Compare Examples 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 2.11, and 2.12 to notice that there are changes in dynamics and articulation, and variation by way of fragmentation and diminution, all of which contribute to achieving the effect of soldiers slowly approaching from the depths of the forest. Once again, I am convinced that it is up to the performer of this étude to pay attention to all these little differences and, by never repeating similar passages in exactly the same way, to produce the  29  desired effect. Even the first two motives, although identical, contain slight changes in dynamics, poco sf and sf, respectively, and one should definitely convey these differences in the performance (see Examples 2.8 and 2.9). Example 2.8. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 1-4.  Example 2.9. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 9-13.  30  Example 2.10. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 18-21.  Example 2.11. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 22-28.  31  Example 2.12. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 35-37.  I also want to consider a question first raised in an article by Richard Davis: “What was the significance of devising the last bar [of Chant épique] as a modification of the last bar of Balakirev’s piano Fantasy on themes from Glinka’s opera, A life for the Tsar?”61 The last measures of both works are indeed very similar, since they contain only rests for the duration of the entire measure, with the marking of fermata in the case of Lyapunov’s étude as can be seen by comparing Examples 2.13 and 2.14. However, there are countless examples in the piano literature in which the final measure contains only silence. For example, the last measure of Chant épique is, from this standpoint, identical with the last measure of the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in D major, Op. 28. But this fact has absolutely no significance. What Davis had surely meant is that at least the last eight measures of Lyapunov’s étude bear a striking resemblance to the material in the final eight measures of Balakirev’s Fantasy, a piece that was written as early as 1855 but revised in 1899, just a few years before the completion of this étude (compare Examples 2.13 and 2.14).  61  Davis, “Sergei Lyapunov”: 194. 32  Example 2.13. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 281-288.  Example 2.14. Balakirev, Reminiscences of the Opera “Life for the Tsar” by M. Glinka — Fantasy for piano, mm. 343-355. 62  Moreover, both works share the tonality of F-sharp minor and incorporate a number of Lisztian techniques (most notably bravura passages, tremolos, and octaves). What is the more telling, however, is that both compositions conclude in the parallel key of F-sharp major. In the 62  Mily Balakirev, Complete Works for Piano, vol. I (Moscow: Muzyka, 1952), 29. 33  case of the étude, Chernyshev understands this change to major as typical of the bylina genre, 63 saying that the coda “becomes a patriotic dance in celebration of victory over the invaders and the traditional happy ending to the Bylina.”64 In the case of Balakirev’s Fantasy, one must turn to the libretto of Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar to learn that, in the epilogue on the stage, the crowd of people celebrate the triumph of the new Tzar by proclaiming glory to him and to Susanin’s heroic memory. After I acquainted myself with the words of the song collected by Lyapunov, the answer to Davis’s question became clear to me. Just as is the case with the libretto of Glinka’s opera and, by association, with Balakirev’s Fantasy, the lyrics of the song also refer to the Russian Tzar, and Lyapunov’s use of this song as the basis for Chant épique reflected his patriotic and monarchistic worldview. Had Lyapunov chosen to hint at the program for this étude (e.g. by naming the song, or providing its initial lines or the entire text in the score), that would have undoubtedly aggravated the Soviet authorities. Had they suspected any reference to the Tzar in connection with the music of this étude, they would surely have removed the program as they did in the case of Carillon, and just as they changed the words of Glinka’s opera and its original title, A Life for a Tsar, to the more general and disguised title, Ivan Susanin.  2.3 The “Gifts” of Human Corpses as the Principal Image in Térek There are no mysteries connected to the programmatic aspect of the fourth étude, Térek. The program is neither concealed, as in the case of the Soviet edition of Carillon, nor requires in-  63  Bylina is the Russian title of Chant épique and appears underneath the French title in the Zimmermann edition since there is no adequate translation of this word to any language, Chant épique being only an approximate translation. Bylina is a traditional Russian epic heroic poem, traced by some historians as far back as the tenth century. Typically, bylinas depicted a heroic struggle of Russian people against various invaders and their mighty deeds and heroic victories. 64  Chernyshev, “An Historical and Analytical Survey,” 23. 34  depth research to be appreciated, as was the case with the folk song as the basis for Chant épique. This étude is based on a poem Dary Tereka (“The Gifts of Terek”), written in 1839 by Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841), one of the most celebrated Russian poets after Pushkin. The opening eight lines of this poem are quoted in the score itself in both the Soviet and Zimmermann editions, respectively in Russian, and in Russian and German.65 In general, the poem takes the form of an impassioned monologue delivered by the violent river Terek,66 and addressed to the Caspian Sea. The two images that are portrayed in the poem’s opening lines, which are found in the score, are the ferocious current of the mountain river and the contrasting calm when it is about to join the Caspian Sea: Terek bellows, wildly sweeping Past the cliffs, so swift and strong; Like a tempest is his weeping, Flies his spray like tears along. O’er the steppe now slowly veering – Calm but faithless looketh he – With a voice of love endearing Murmurs to the Caspian Sea.67 The appropriation of these lines has motivated some scholars to claim that the music of the étude is also based on those two contrasting images.68 Certainly, it seems reasonable to argue these images are the main ones reflected in the music. However, I contend that one cannot properly interpret the music without reading the entire poem, for which the quoted lines serve as a metonym. 65  Lyapunov, Soch. 11, 24; Liapounow, 12 Études, vol. II, 2.  66  Terek is the major river in the Northern Caucasus, and flows through Georgia and Russia into the Caspian Sea. 67  Laurence Kelly, Lermontov: Tragedy in the Caucasus (New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1978), 151.  68 See, for example, Chernyshev, “An Historical and Analytical Survey,” 14; and Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 146.  35  Consider the comparable case of the Intermezzo in E-flat major, Op. 117 No. 1 by Brahms, to which I have already referred, for the score of which he appended a two-line refrain from a Scottish ballade: “Sleep softly my child, sleep softly and beautifully! It troubles me to see you cry.”69 My interpretation of the piece was profoundly enhanced when I read the entire poem and realized that this music was considerably more than a relaxing and innocent lullaby. Rather, it represents a very dramatic account of the life of a woman and her complex psychological state, a woman who was betrayed and abandoned by her husband, and left with a child who carried the face and heart of her husband himself. It is a pity that, among all scholars who discuss Térek, only Burford informs his study with Lermontov’s poem in its entirety. By way of rectification, I present the English translation of the complete poem in Appendix D. As with the Brahms Intermezzo, there is much more to Lermontov’s poem than a simple description of the wild and gentle flows of the river. The poem goes on to describe how Terek feeds the Caspian Sea with its “gifts” of human corpses: dead warriors killed on the battlefield and a fair maiden’s head with pale flowing hair. As such, the poem is a concealed narrative of murder resulting from jealousy and subsequent suicide, and I am convinced that this undertone can be sensed in, and is amplified by the music. Had Shifman taken into account the implications of the entire poem for the music, he could hardly have concluded: “In accordance with the program, the composer constructs the étude as based on two main thematic elements. Nevertheless, in spite of the program, [he] concludes with the return of the “stormy” theme (coda).”70 Obviously, the music of Térek is not a verse by verse setting of  69  This translation from German is presented in Dillon Parmer, “Brahms and the Poetic Motto: A Hermeneutic Aid?”, The Journal of Musicology, vol. XV, No. 3 (Summer 1997): 368. 70  Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etydov S. M. Lyapunova,” 119. The translation is mine. 36  the poetry, but rather a general impression arising from consideration of Lermontov’s poetic images. As such, a wild and brutal atmosphere earns the right to dominate the étude as a whole, and thus to insinuate itself not only into the coda, but at will into other sections of the piece. Lyapunov achieves a persistently sinister and turbulent mood not only through the frequent absence of the third of the chords, as Burford has rightly noticed,71 but also by means of syncopated rhythms, sudden dynamic changes, countless accents and sforzandi, use of fff (m. 119), virtually continuous sixteenth-note figuration in passages encompassing the range of the entire keyboard, broken octaves and tenths, and such performance indications as impetuoso, con strepito, tumultuoso, and strepitoso. I will not, nor could I, provide a measure-by-measure interpretive analysis for this piece. Rather, I would only stress that in my view, this character of turbulence and indeed at times of horror is meant to invoke feelings directly related to those called up by the poem, with its dramatic images of corpses brought by the river to the Caspian Sea. I contend that this mood must be conveyed by the performance, and surely, any competent pianist will find the means of communicating it, presumably by emphasizing, and perhaps at times exaggerating the musical features described above. I would also point out that these devastating images of murder and suicide must continue to manifest themselves until the very end of the étude. Refer to Example 2.15 to see that almost all the elements that contribute to a particularly turbulent and ferocious atmosphere are present and even amplified in this concluding passage, which thereby acquires a character as far from amicable calm as could be. The tempo and character indication changes to molto animato tumultuoso and a few measures later to strepitoso, while the dynamic range increases to fff, the cascading martellato with the  71  Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 158. 37  pedal held throughout encompasses almost the entire range of the keyboard; the unorthodox harmonic progression appears in the last system (the bass notes of which form a whole-tone scale); and the syncopations do not stop even in the closing gesture, which acquires a special brutality through the omission of the chordal third. As a result, we experience a chaotic atmosphere that verges on mental derangement. Example 2.15. Lyapunov, Térek, Op. 11, No. 4, mm. 115-125.  38  Chapter Three: The Douze études in Lyapunov’s Interpretation In addition to the two rare nineteenth-century publications related to Lyapunov’s folk expedition, I would like to share another discovery of considerable importance for the performance practice of the Douze études. I earlier referred to the recollections of one of Lyapunov’s students, Zinaida Oskarovna Shandarovskaya, who orally transmitted the composer’s numerous interpretive remarks about most of the études to Mikhail Shifman, who, in turn, published them in Russia in 1958.72 Although not nearly complete, these precious comments from the composer himself cover such important performance topics as character, sound production, dynamics, phrasing, tempi, pedaling, articulation, form, and harmony. In general, Lyapunov’s suggestions indicate that he preferred a rather restrained and controlled performance of these pieces, and demanded strictness and simplicity, insisting on the precise observance of all his indications, most notably of tempi and dynamics. This approach corresponds to Anastasiya Lyapunova’s recollections (cited in Chapter Two) and is also evident from the composer’s own recording (discussed below). Shandarovskaya’s report also testifies that, on more than one occasion, Lyapunov changed his mind about some of his performance indications after they had already been published in the Zimmermann edition. This knowledge is of special significance since none of these alterations were implemented in subsequent editions. It would not be completely accurate to claim that I am the first to translate these recollections into English. Michael Burford discovered them in 1988 and translated them in his dissertation, taking them directly from Shifman’s article.73 However, he translated them only in  72  Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov Lyapunova.”  73  Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 234-245. 39  part, leaving out much important information. I must also add that additional interpretive indications (likewise stemming from Shandarovskaya’s testimony) are found in Shifman’s dissertation,74 which amplifies his article. But Burford did not translate these supplementary remarks, and I therefore present them together with the material found in Shifman’s article, where a larger part of these recollections appears. Moreover, I find the work that Burford did on these recollections confusing in several respects. He presented these remarks out of their original order, grouping them in several categories (tempi, dynamics, form, harmony, pedaling, and touch), and jumping from one étude to another within each grouping. I find his presentation confusing (even though I have studied and played all the études) as it does not provide a clear interpretive guide for any given étude. I presume even more frustration on the part of a performer who is learning one or several études of the cycle (as complete performances of the set are rare), and simply wants to get acquainted with Lyapunov’s remarks on these particular pieces. More significantly, I believe that one cannot understand or make an interpretive decision about, for example, dynamics or pedaling, without taking into account character, harmony, form, amongst other important factors. I am convinced that all these factors should be considered at the same time to arrive at the best possible resolution. I believe, then, that it is worthwhile to translate these recollections of Lyapunov’s student in their entirety and in their original order, and I will be the first to have done so. In the course of my presentation, I will provide specific measure numbers in square brackets as well as several musical examples to clarify particularly important points. That way, it will be easier for the reader to navigate through these recollections and see these points immediately in the music. In addition, I will amplify the composer’s  74  Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov S. M. Lyapunova.” 40  remarks with my personal comments, conclusions, and elaborations, identified in square brackets, to distinguish them from the words of the composer himself. In the course of the following discussion, I will also highlight the fact that Lyapunov shared with Liszt an interest in treating the piano orchestrally, regarding it as capable of imitating all kinds of musical instruments, since this aspect of Lyapunov’s style relates directly to the subject of interpretation. In several of the études, we will see that Lyapunov imitated the sounds of such diverse instruments as flute, piccolo, shepherd’s pipe, gusli, and Russian church bells.  3.1 Étude No. 1 in F-sharp Major: Berceuse Lyapunov advises that the introduction [mm. 1-5] should be played evenly and simply, and the cadenza [m. 6], airily and in a fairly lively tempo. He attaches great significance to the treatment of the final two chords of the cadenza, demanding strict observance of the ritenuto and decided melodiousness (see Example 3.1). Example 3.1. Lyapunov, Berceuse, Op. 11, No. 1, mm. 5-7.  I infer that, by the latter, the composer meant that these two chords must be played with a deep legato, beautifully voiced, and as if having an indication of cantabile. Lyapunov indicates that, occurring after a rapid passage, these two chords serve to reestablished the tempo and the character of the main theme of the first section. The composer further points out that using the 41  pedal on these chords is necessary in order to clearly distinguish them from the [preceding] passage performed without pedal. [By extension, one should apply these instructions to the corresponding cadenza in measure 48.] Speaking of a performance of the main theme [starting in m. 7], Lyapunov suggests that one should attain expressiveness on the basis of a beautiful and heartfelt sound, with small dynamic wave-like lines, and with a strict tempo, completely free from rubato. The composer considers it necessary to play the middle section [beginning in m. 26] slightly faster, taking into account a transparent and tender sonority, and to emphasize the inner notes in the third measure [mm. 28-29] — D-sharp, D-natural, and C-sharp — marked by quarter-note stems. In the repeat of the main theme in the recapitulation [beginning in m. 49], Lyapunov advises retaining the simplicity and strictness of performance that he advocated for the main strophe of the first section. The concluding episode [at m. 68], he states, should be performed in a slightly more lively manner, by analogy with the middle section. Again, the step motion marked by quarternote stems — G-sharp, G-natural, and F-sharp — should be brought out [mm. 70-71]. At the sudden modulation to D major [m. 75], the composer thought it important to emphasize the D major chord, by taking a bit of time on it. The final chords of the étude, he says, should be clearly separated from the preceding figurations, by strictly observing the rest and releasing the pedal. According to Lyapunov, and in the published instructions, the four chords must be played releasing the pedal [after each chord] to prevent blurring of sound (see Example 3.2).  42  Example 3.2. Lyapunov, Berceuse, Op. 11, No. 1, mm. 77-81.  3.2 Étude No. 2 in D-sharp Minor: Ronde des fantômes The composer insists that one should emphasize the strong beat of every measure, should scrupulously execute the numerous tiny dynamic ups and downs, and should strictly observe a piano after a hairpin with sforzando [for example, in mm. 40 and 48]. At the same time, he suggests retaining the general dynamic shape of every section, which he describes as involving an increase to the local climax at its end, and then, a brief diminishment of sound. Lyapunov recommends using a more melodious [cantabile] sound for the secondary theme [beginning in m. 64 and again in m. 164]. At the étude’s climax [beginning in m. 220], he suggests accenting the octaves in the bass, and making a big pause on the fermata after the brilliant ascent in arpeggios. He also advises performing the following passage, which runs along the length of the entire keyboard [meaning the cadenza in m. 238], without any pedal and with an airy sound and slight sforzandi. Only toward the end of the passage, he says, should the sound become heavier and the tempo slow down, to prepare for arrival at the sforzando chord that concludes the passage (see Example 3.3).  43  Example 3.3. Lyapunov, Ronde des fantômes, Op. 11, No. 2, mm. 238-240.  In the coda [beginning in m. 239], Lyapunov advises heightening the dynamic waves, so as to thoughtfully distinguish colourful harmonic juxtapositions. After the indication of rest (together with fermata and release of the pedal), the note D-sharp in the low register [m. 264] should sound heavy and imposing. During the sound of this note as a background, the fleeting single-voice passage across the entire keyboard should stay at the level of pianissimo, without any ups and downs. Only toward its end, when the left-hand figurations join in, should the sound decrease to ppp. [Note that in the printed edition the indication of ppp does not come until the final measure.] The small slowing of speed [in m. 275], and the swiftly ascending and descending arpeggios, together with the concluding sharp octave, all create the image of evaporating phantoms. In spite of the indication in the printed edition [to hold the pedal until the last note], Lyapunov considered it desirable to release the pedal together with the first note of the penultimate measure, so that the octave with the grace note in the following measure would sound sharper and more abrupt (see Example 3.4).  44  Example 3.4. Lyapunov, Ronde des fantômes, Op. 11, No. 2, mm. 259-279.  It is fascinating to discover the striking resemblance of these final measures of the étude to the concluding passage of “Scarbo” from Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit, a work that was written just a few years later, in 1908. The similarities encompass a descent into the lower register, a dynamic indication of ppp, and, most importantly, the fact that in both pieces the first note of the penultimate measure is a short staccato note on which both Ravel and Lyapunov ask that the pedal be released. The last section of Scarbo surely evokes the final strophe of the poem by Aloysius Bertrand which served as poetic inspiration for the music: “But soon his body turned blue, translucent like the wax of a candle, his face turned pale like the wax of a candlelamp —  45  and suddenly he blew himself out.”75 It seems reasonable to apply these words to the last lines of Ronde des fantômes, given its similarity with Ravel’s work, its descriptive title, and Lyapunov’s own comments.  3.3 Étude No. 3 in B Major: Carillon Lyapunov declares his intention to set the following task for the interpreter [of this étude]: to create the image of a festive celebration. The introduction, the composer indicates, should be played weightily, reproducing the mild, buzzing sound of a large bell. Each chord in the right hand should be emphasized by marcato, and the pedal should be taken on every other eighth-note chord [m. 2] and then on every quarter-note chord [m. 3, see Example 2.1]. The passages which follow [in mm. 5, 15, etc.] must illustrate a ringing sound that overflows and flies into the distance. The melody in the introduction [the first statement of the Orthodox Church hymn beginning in m. 7] must be played in a stately manner, proudly, and heavily. The strokes of the bell that accompany this melody must be played in such a manner as to cause the accent to fall on the main interval (C-sharp, G-sharp), while the accompanying F-sharp and Csharp merely supplement with the buzzing sound of a secondary broken fifth. Later, the same chord is enriched and expands, as broken fifths change to broken octaves. This expansion, together with the forward motion and the harmonic progression, must lead to a broad and strong increase in sound, concluding with a powerful stroke in the low register, at the fermata [m. 23]. The entire progressive dynamic line of the introduction must be geared to this local climax.  75 This translation from French by Richard Dowling is presented in Richard Dowling, ed., Gaspard de la nuit for Solo Piano by Maurice Ravel: Critical Performing Edition (Boca Raton, Florida: Masters Music Publications, Inc., 2006), 22.  46  The chiming of small and medium sized bells in the middle and high registers [beginning in m. 24] must sound brightly and with fervour; here it is necessary to achieve a particularly ringing and metallic tone. Bigger bells and the strokes of the great bell gradually join in with these smaller bells. The composer indicates that it is important to bring out a striking contrast between the registers, distinguishing the thick sound of the big bells from the playful pealing of the small and medium ones. It is from this combination that there arises the picture of a great and festive trezvon.76 Lyapunov emphasizes that the passage in both hands [cadenza in m. 37], which runs across the entire keyboard and precedes the main section, must be performed brilliantly and fairly fast when descending, and very rapidly [veloce] when ascending, unexpectedly stopping on the last sforzando note. [Shifman recommended playing this entire passage on one pedal, and holding the pedal for some time after its ending to create an impression of the sonorities spreading into the air.77] In the following solemn melody [the second appearance of the Orthodox Church hymn which begins in m. 38, see Example 2.2], each note, according to Lyapunov’s indication, must be performed marcato. There is no place here for the legato phrasing, he says, uniting several notes. The passages that surround and accompany this theme embody the bell’s resonance. The [following] two episodes, in E-flat major and A-flat major [mm. 50-62], must be played, according to the composer’s instruction, not piano [as indicated in the score] but pianissimo, slightly and abruptly emphasizing only the high and low voices, which form a canonic treatment of the theme. Lyapunov also suggests lightly accenting the bass notes, E-flat 76 Trezvon is the Russian title of Carillon. It is one of several bell changes used in the Russian Orthodox Church. The literal meaning is “treble peal,” and it consists in ringing all the bells three times. It expresses Christian gladness and solemnity. 77  Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov S. M. Lyapunova,” 116. 47  in the E-flat section [m. 51] and A-flat in the A-flat episode [m. 57]. In the rapido passage [mm. 82-84], immediately before the climax, the chiseled and emphatic performance of every chord must be combined, according to the composer’s indication, with observing the general ascent of the dynamic line. The octave passage at the end of the climax [mm. 97-99] must be played with a slight accelerando and be terminated abruptly on a sforzando. The coda [beginning in m. 108] must commence with soft buzzing sonorities played piano and then suddenly extend its dynamic range up to fortissimo. The dynamic line of the coda, with its striking and colourful tonal juxtapositions, must create a triumphant and festive mood. It is evident from the above explanations that Lyapunov encouraged performers of this étude to approximate the sounds of bells on the piano as closely as possible. To make this point clear, Lyapunov, in addition to the title and references to the pealing of bells in the program, supplied the music with such performance indications as quasi campanelli (m. 86) and quasi campana grande (m. 108, see Examples 3.5 and 3.6). Example 3.5. Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 85-87.  48  Example 3.6. Lyapunov, Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3, mm. 108-110.  In addition, the composer used three staves for most of Carillon (a technique created and championed by Liszt), and even four in the last fifteen measures (see Example 3.6), as extra staves were useful in accommodating the widest possible range of bell sonorities, from the lowest to the highest. In so doing, Lyapunov surpassed well known piano compositions that portray or allude to the sounds of bells (written both before and after Carillon), such as Mussorgsky’s “The Great Gate of Kiev” from Pictures at an Exhibition, Debussy’s “Cloches à travers les feuilles” from the second book of Images, Ravel’s “Le Gibet” from Gaspard de la Nuit, and Rachmaninoff’s Études-tableaux in E-flat major, Op. 33 No. 7, in C minor, Op. 39 No. 7, and in D major, Op. 39 No. 9, all of which are written on two or three staves, but never on four. I end by pointing out a final fascinating aspect of this multifaceted étude, namely, that it took its inspiration from Lyapunov’s 1893 folk expedition. Shifman reported that Lyapunov, according to his daughter Anastasiya, brought back with him his written notes on the sounds of the northern bells that he heard during this folk expedition. On this basis, Shifman suggested the 49  likelihood that these specific examples were used by Lyapunov in the music of Carillon. 78 As a matter of fact, Onegina has proved that this was exactly the case. In her dissertation, she provides a two-measure example (written down by Lyapunov himself on three staves) of the sounds of the bells that the composer heard at the cathedral in the town of Veliky Ustyug in the region of Vologda.79 Simply by comparing this example to the first four measures of the étude, Onegina notices the association of distinct rhythmic layers (tempi) with bells of various sizes and, most interestingly, the frequent use of the interval of the fourth, as being derived from the example.80  3.4 Étude No. 4 in G-sharp Minor: Térek According to the composer’s indication, the performance of this étude calls for a wide dynamic range from piano to forte and from forte to piano, as well as sudden transitions from sforzando to piano and broad dynamic strokes. Wave-like figurations in the low register, which accompany the main subject, must sound softly yet resonantly. It is very important to bring out the rising line (leaps of tenths) in the bass [mm. 5, 9, and on] and the descending line (staccato octaves) [mm. 6, 10, and on]. The composer suggests playing the second subject [beginning in mm. 35 and 99] lightly and gracefully, strictly observing the changes from staccato notes to slurred ones and the accents on weak beats that follow staccato eighth-notes. This second subject is another example of Lyapunov’s orchestrally depictive writing. Here, in both statements of this theme, Lyapunov 78  Shifman, S. M. Lyapunov, 64-65.  79  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 145.  80  Ibid. 50  urges the performer to imitate the sounds of flute and piccolo while playing these charming and delicate melodies in the high register. He does so by supplying the score with such performance indications as quasi Flauto (m. 35) and quasi Piccolo (m. 99, see Examples 3.7 and 3.8).81 Example 3.7. Lyapunov, Térek, Op. 11, No. 4, mm. 35-38.  As a general task, the composer singles out retention of the unity of the musical image. Terek raging and splashing, Terek tender and murmuring [notice the indication of mormorando in m. 99] — these are only different aspects of the same image. A suitable connection is achieved through the unity of the wave-like figurations, which tie together sections of the étude with different characters and prevailing moods.  81  The same indication of quasi flauto also appears on the trills in the high register in the Étude No. 5, Nuit d’été (m. 96). It is also interesting that Lyapunov’s fondness for treating the piano orchestrally is not restricted to the Douze études. The identical indications, quasi Flauto and quasi Piccolo, are found in his Mazurka No. 5 in Bflat minor, Op. 21 (mm. 125 and 143), written in 1903, three years after the completion of Térek. 51  Example 3.8. Lyapunov, Térek, Op. 11, No. 4, mm. 99-102.  3.5 Étude No. 5 in E Major: Nuit d’été Lyapunov demands that the performer bring out each successive harmony in a deliberate way. He also suggests an effort to achieve clarity in the voice-leading in the imitative episodes. Concerning the performance of the introduction and the main theme [beginning in m. 35], Lyapunov, as always, demands strictness and simplicity, insisting on the precise observance of phrasing as indicated by the slurs. He allows tempo rubato only in the accompaniment to the theme of the introduction, where the figurations must be played with a capriccioso nuance [mm. 20-26, see Example 3.9].  52  Example 3.9. Lyapunov, Nuit d’été, Op. 11, No. 5, mm. 19-25.  3.6 Étude No. 6 in C-sharp Minor: Tempête Lyapunov considers it essential to keep the divisions between episodes distinct, and to pay close attention to the modulations. He demands that brief dynamic waves be integrated into broad dynamic lines, yet that each phase of the dynamic ascent or descent be separated from the following one, instead of blended indistinctly. The composer also attaches great importance to bringing out syncopations and harmonic changes. He suggests beginning the second subject [starting in m. 39] at a moderate dynamic [despite the forte indication found in the music] and gradually allowing it to come to naught. Lyapunov recommends that the big dynamic increase leading to A minor [m. 79] should lead not to the forte (as is indicated in the printed editions] but to fortissimo (see Example 3.10).  53  Example 3.10. Lyapunov, Tempête, Op. 11, No. 6, mm. 76-79.  3.7 Étude No. 7 in A Major: Idylle82 Lyapunov advises that the melody of Idylle be played very simply, slightly emphasizing the bass line for harmonic clarity. The sound must be very gentle and tender, although every voice should still be distinct. The reprise [beginning in m. 67] should be played slightly faster and with more sound, only toward the end changing to sotto voce. The coda [beginning in m. 91] should be performed calmly, and should gradually decrease in sound, toward a complete fade. Generally, as the composer indicates, the étude must have a sustained pastoral quality. The shepherd’s pipe tune [beginning in m. 38], symbolizing a calm life in nature, should be played melodiously and with complete tranquility. Grace notes should be played calmly and unhurriedly as well (see Example 3.11). [The shepherd’s pipe tune to which the composer refers is an authentic shepherd’s melody that Lyapunov heard and recorded during one of his summers spent in Bolobonovo, a village that he dearly loved and where he had lived as a child. 83 This tune is introduced in the tenor voice in the left hand of measure 38, and although there is no 82  It is unclear why Burford chose not to present Lyapunov’s own interpretive comments about this étude.  83  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 151. 54  explicit indication that this is a shepherd’s pipe tune, Lyapunov provided an indication of poco marcato, to clearly set this tune apart from all the surrounding voices (see Example 3.11). Example 3.11. Lyapunov, Idylle, Op. 11, No. 7, mm. 38-46.  In this connection, it is worth mentioning that, during the 1893 folk expedition, the local shepherds from the Vologda region demonstrated their art of playing pipes to Lyapunov and Istomin.84 Lyapunov transcribed one of their tunes and, according to Istomin, the composer even brought a shepherd’s pipe back with him.85 In his report on the expedition, Lyapunov also  84  Istomin and Lyapunov, “Otchyot,” 346.  85  Ibid. 55  mentioned that every pipe was made by the shepherds themselves, and described the instrument’s form and materials.86]  3.8 Étude No. 8 in F-sharp Minor: Chant épique According to Lyapunov, each episode in this étude must stand out on its own in performance. The first statement of the main subject [mm. 41-46, see Example 2.6] must be played very quietly, with clarity and without pedal [note the marking of pp ma poco marcato and the absence of pedal in the score]. Gradually, as this theme becomes more complicated texturally, the dynamic increase leads to fortissimo and più animato [m. 101]. In the course of this growth, however, the small dynamic ascents and descents must be brought out. The composer recommends performing the second subject [beginning in m. 121] almost without pedal, lending a scherzando character to the performance (see Example 3.12). Example 3.12. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 121-128.  86  Istomin and Lyapunov, “Otchyot,” 353-354. 56  The dynamics continue to rise, become massive, and lead to a sforzando before falling away abruptly to piano [m. 165]. Noting the duration of the climax in the reprise, the composer suggests combining the powerful dynamic growth with an increasing tempo, which represents a “furious galloping,” and should be led to the Allegro vivo [m. 237] and brought to a maximum at the Presto [m. 257]. The concluding “whistle” [as Lyapunov termed the two final gestures, see Example 2.13], should be played, according to him, without pedal. This étude poses another interpretive problem for the performer, one that deserves a brief commentary. In the introductory section (mm. 1-40), and later at the return of the main theme (beginning in m. 165), the short fragments of the folk song’s melody are interspersed with arpeggiated figures marked armonioso imitante salterio (this indication appears in m. 4, see Example 2.8). This indication has challenged several scholars. Thus, Chernyshev defined these arpeggios as being harp-like, 87 while both Banks and Kaiserman suggested that the music of these passages should remind one of the bard who accompanies his singing on a psaltery.88 Only Shifman and Burford have rightly pointed out that Lyapunov, in this passage, is imitating the effect of gusli,89 the oldest Russian plucked keyboard instrument of the psaltery family.90 It is interesting that Lyapunov encountered one of the more primitive types of gusli and wrote down some examples of the music that he heard on this instrument during his 1893 folk expedition.91  87  Chernyshev, “An Historical and Analytical Survey,” 22.  88  Banks, “Musical Influences,” 19; Kaiserman, “The Solo Piano Music,” 89.  89 According to some scholars, gusli may have come to Russia from Byzantium by the year 1000. This instrument is considered to be a symbol of Russia’s musical culture and used to play a major role in the life of every Russian, being loved by the Tzars, nobility, and peasants alike. Gusli was the principal instrument of the skomorokhi, the professional wandering minstrels. It was also used by professional bards as well as by peasant storytellers, who accompanied their sung or spoken epic heroic poems (bylinas) on this instrument. 90  Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etydov S. M. Lyapunova,” 133; Burford, “The Transcendental Studies,” 89.  91  Istomin and Lyapunov, “Otchyot,” 346 and 353-354. 57  While most performers find, in one way or another, the piano sound appropriate for illustrating bells, flute, piccolo, and shepherd’s pipe (in connection with études Nos. 3, 4, and 7), it seems that the indication armonioso imitante salterio is generally misinterpreted not only in writings, but also in performances. Pianists too often overemphasize the highest voice (and/or the lowest notes) in these arpeggiated passages, treating them harmonically or chordally. By losing the presence and clarity of the inner voices, they make these passages sound too pianistic and sometimes even achieve a quasi-impressionistic effect. Without claiming to be an expert on the performance practice of gusli, I will nevertheless offer some practical suggestions on how to achieve the closest approximation to the sound of this folk instrument on the piano. Since the gusli is a plucked instrument, every note should be treated with equal value, and played with a more or less similar attack. I would suggest not playing these arpeggiated figures with relaxed fingers and, as a result, combining the eight notes into one gesture. Rather, I would urge the performer to treat them more melodically and to employ a precise attack on each of the eight notes. Quite a challenging task, considering that in some cases Lyapunov asks us to execute them with a piano or pianissimo dynamic, and also with the pedal being held for some time (implied by the long pedal tones in the bass). I also mention that despite the fact that gusli (when played solo) is a rather quiet instrument, it nevertheless has a certain brightness of tone and at times even a ringing sound. As such, these passages should not be played too quietly (perhaps, with the exception of mm. 169-173 and 177-181, where Lyapunov indicates pianissimo), but rather in such a way as to create an effect of resonance and to allow the overtones to spread in the air. Consider the episode in measures 85-89 (see Example 3.13), in which, I believe, Lyapunov evokes the effect of an entire ensemble of gusli players.  58  Example 3.13. Lyapunov, Chant épique, Op. 11, No. 8, mm. 83-90.  Although marked piano, Lyapunov adds the additional indication, ma sonore. I contend that one should apply the same performance directive to measure 4, also marked piano, and even more so to corresponding passages, which follow and in which the dynamic level rises. That way, these figures will not sound bleak and pale, but will rather acquire a certain resonance, brightness, and liveliness, namely, those characteristics typically associated with the gusli.  3.9 Étude No. 9 in D Major: Harpes éoliennes In his indications, Lyapunov pays attention to the necessity of combining airiness of sound with melodiousness [cantabile]. He also asks the player to clearly delineate harmonic changes and to emphasize the strong beat of each measure in the theme. The composer also demands the precise execution of printed instructions, according to which many passages rush  59  into the high register, not with a crescendo, but in the course of a diminuendo, keeping in this way an airy, flying quality of sound (see Example 3.14). Example 3.14. Lyapunov, Harpes éoliennes, Op. 11, No. 9, m. 8.  3.10 Étude No. 10 in B Minor: Lesghinka92 According to Lyapunov’s instructions, in the introduction one should not terminate segments of ascending octaves on the accented top notes [mm. 1, 3, and 5], but should rather extend the phrasing to embrace immediately following melodic continuations, so that the latter seem to pour out and result from these melodic heights (see Example 3.15). The impetuous dynamic ascent (from mf to ff in the course of the four measures) should be concluded loudly and brightly, so that the strong beats of the introduction’s last three measures are energetically emphasized [mm. 7-9].  92 Lesghinka is a national folk dance of the Lesghians, a Muslim tribe of the Caucasus Mountains, and can be performed as a solo, couple or group dance. Once again, Burford offers no translation of Lyapunov’s instructions about this étude.  60  Example 3.15. Lyapunov, Lesghinka, Op. 11, No. 10, mm. 1-5.  The theme of the main subject should be played in such a manner that the melody “flows,” with clear accents in the indicated places, whether on strong or on weak beats. The composer suggests playing the theme of the second subject [beginning in m. 97] gently and melodiously, and at the same time simply and strictly. In the course of its variation, it is necessary to emphasize the thematic elements occurring in the top voice [m. 109]. Before the climax of the second theme the dotted rhythm must be emphasized [mm. 129-136], and in the climax itself both the melody and the octaves in the left hand must be brought out [starting in m. 137]. Before the recapitulation [beginning in m. 157] the sound level should be reduced to nothing so that the introductory theme may burst in unexpectedly. In the variational episode of the recapitulation, the theme [beginning in m. 167] should be played dryly [secco], staccato, and with a muffled pianissimo [despite the printed indication of piano]. At the end of the coda, it is necessary to separate the concluding chords from the preceding passage.  61  According to the recollections of Anastasiya Lyapunova, the composer played Lesghinka brilliantly and with fire, imparting to the étude a passionate character. Shifman rightly reminds us that this heightened emotional performance was an exception, given that Lyapunov’s performance manner was generally characterized by a reserved communication of feelings.93  3.11 Étude No. 11 in G Major: Ronde des sylphes I would like to point out that neither Shifman’s article nor his dissertation (and consequently, Burford’s study) contain any remarks of the composer concerning the interpretation of the two final études of the cycle. Instead, Shifman briefly presents the history of these études’ conception, as manifested in the correspondence between Lyapunov and Balakirev, and discusses their music, character, and pianistic techniques in rather general terms. I already hinted at some of my own performance observations when comparing Lyapunov’s Ronde des sylphes to Liszt’s Feux follets (see Chapter One, pages 4-5). Without going into further detail, I would like to propose that if on musical grounds these two studies clearly belong together, then why not assume that by extension, similar performing and interpretive solutions would apply to them as well. As such, I offer what I deem to be marvellous performance advice given by France Clidat regarding the interpretation of Feux follets, which, I am convinced, is equally suitable for Lyapunov’s Ronde des sylphes: While taking every entry into account, the pinpoint accuracy of each finger should go unnoticed, like the specks of color in pointillistic paintings. A variegated, airy, fleeting sound is absolutely essential, despite the brilliant chromatic passages, double notes, leaps, broken chords, and sudden rhythmic surges — not to mention the colors alloted to both hands and described by expression marks ranging from “pianissimo” to  93  Shifman, “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov Lyapunova,” 396. 62  “piano dolce” and “sempre più piano.” This is far and away the most avantgardist and terrifying study of the whole collection. The instrument’s hammers ought to be unobtrusive. There is not a single measure whose fabric is loosely woven! The arpeggios in both hands, the first- and secondinversion chords — these and more represent some of the technical baggage which Liszt carried about with him while creating. Pianists approaching this work in hopes of mastering it are granted a fascinating encounter with their instruments’ possibilities. “Feux follets” [and for our purposes, Ronde des sylphes] is a veritable guide-book to a world of musical fantasy.94  3.12 Étude No. 12 in E Minor: Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt Although Andrew Banks reported that Lyapunov “made no piano rolls or acoustic recordings,”95 this, in fact, is not the case. Contrary to this testimony, Onegina claims that in 1910 Lyapunov recorded three of his études (Berceuse, Nuit d’été, and Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt) with “Chansonette enfantine” from the composer’s cycle Divertissements, Op. 35, on the Welte Mignon mechanical reproducing piano.96 Onegina neither discusses these recordings nor mentions whether any of these pieces were (and therefore might remain) available on records, compact-discs, or in any other format. I was very fortunate to discover a little known collection of historical recordings on compact disc that includes Lyapunov’s recording of the final étude in the series, Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt.97 This fascinating and unique collection, which appeared in 2003, features Prokofiev and Scriabin playing primarily their own compositions, and Lyapunov’s performance of his final étude on the last track as being one  94  France Clidat, “The Transcendental Studies: A Lisztian Pianist’s Impressions,” in New Light on Liszt and His Music: Essays in Honor of Alan Walker’s 65th Birthday, Michael Saffle and James Deaville, eds. (New York: Pendragon Press, 1997), 311. 95  Banks, “Musical Influences,” 8.  96  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 52.  97  Masters of the Piano Roll. 63  “other Russian rarity,” — in effect, a sort of encore. These are reproduced from the original piano rolls,98 and this reproduction was made with felt-covered aluminum “fingers,” which can read the paper rolls and when attached to any modern day piano, can reproduce the music from the original “recording,” allegedly with the touch, accents, subtleties, richness and immediacy of tone that was never captured by early gramophone records. 99 While questions can obviously be raised about the efficacy of this technique of reproduction, I believe that this primary source can shed some light on the composer’s own performance manner, thus contributing to the search for an authentic interpretation. Needless to say, one cannot evaluate Lyapunov’s abilities as a pianist on the basis of hearing him play this one étude, and it would surely be improper to conclude that this particular performance represents Lyapunov at his best. We cannot know, for example, whether Lyapunov had time to prepare for this recording and whether he knew that it would be heard and sold commercially a hundred years later (although I tend to doubt this possibility). Also, I have no information as what kind of piano and recording equipment were used for the original recording. For these reasons, I will not provide a critique of Lyapunov’s playing. I also do not intend to provide a measure-by-measure interpretive analysis of the composer’s performance. This recording is available for sale for those interested making their own interpretive conclusions. Instead, I will offer a few practical observations that might aid performers interpreting this particular étude and other compositions of the composer in general. My observations are my own, of course, but they have certainly been influenced by my extremely valuable encounter with the composer’s recording. 98  This early method of recording was invented in 1904, twenty-five years before electronic recording.  99  This claim of reproductive accuracy is made in the booklet that accompanies Masters of the Piano Roll. 64  As disclosed by Shandarovskaya, Lyapunov was particularly demanding regarding the choice of tempi, which for him (according to Onegina), was the greatest key to the interpretation of a given work.100 This can also be seen by observing that the composer, besides supplying the music with numerous and precise verbal indications of tempi and slight changes in tempo, also provided metronome instructions for all the études, and in the case of Chant épique, went so far as to notate three metronome markings for different sections of this piece. The timing for Lyapunov’s performance of the Elégie, on the recording, is 10 minutes and 51 seconds. This fact, in itself, might not appear to provide definite evidence of anything, but it acquires a deeper meaning in view of recent discovery by Onegina. She found that in his personal copy of the cycle, Lyapunov wrote down the precise timing for each étude in minutes: 1. Berceuse — 3 2. Ronde des fantômes — 4 3. Carillon — 5 4. Térek — 4 5. Nuit d’été — 6 6. Tempête — 4 7. Idylle — 5 8. Chant épique — 8 9. Harpes éoliennes — 6 10. Lesghinka — 7 11. Ronde des sylphes — 4 12. Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt — 11101 Onegina concludes that, according to these timings, the first half of the cycle should be 26 minutes in length, while the second part should last 41 minutes. Thus, the performance of the entire cycle should take 67 minutes.102 In no way would I advocate that one should strive for a  100  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 161.  101  Ibid.  102  Ibid. 65  rigorous arithmetical precision when playing these pieces (for example, Onegina’s calculations do not allow for any time between the études, which is simply unrealistic in a performance setting, not to mention the possibility of tempo variations based on the individual performer’s interpretation). However, I would agree with Onegina’s statement (based, apparently, on the composer’s expressed views), that any deviations from these time limits should be very small,103 and ought not to extend to two or even more minutes for any given étude, which is the case with some performances. (Perhaps the most striking discrepancy in tempo can be seen by comparing the duration of Malcolm Binns’ performance of the Nuit d’été (8:53 minutes) to that prescribed by Lyapunov (6 minutes), and noting the resulting difference of almost 50 percent!) As is evident from his recording, the composer not only followed his written indications of timing in the étude as a whole, but also took almost no tempo liberties by making additional ritenuti or accelerandi, that is, apart from those specified in the score. In connection with this recording, I would also like to draw attention to some other aspects of Lyapunov’s playing. Earlier I mentioned that in general, Lyapunov’s style of playing was rather restrained and controlled and devoid of any external virtuosic effects. This is clearly evident from listening to this recording. On this basis, one may surmise that his playing was totally opposite from the extraverted and theatrical performance manner of Liszt, who served as a model to Lyapunov in so many other ways. As a matter of fact, Lyapunov was very often criticized for this objective and somewhat “uninvolved” approach to performance, and, I am guessing, not entirely without reason. Even the composer’s daughter, Anastasiya, while generally admiring his father as pianist, commented:  103  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 161. 66  [His] playing was simple, noble, calm, and perhaps even too balanced. He possessed a solid technique and his repertoire included the works of the greatest difficulty — it is enough to mention [Balakirev’s] Islamey and his own études. But what I think he definitely lacked is confidence on the stage, that special “feeling for the stage” peculiar to virtuosi, [as a result of which,] in the concert hall and in front of the audience, the performance is colored with a particular nobility. I think that my father did not have that quality, and perhaps this was one of the reasons which made him reject the career of the virtuoso.104 Given the title of the étude, Lyapunov’s intention to provide a musical characterization of Liszt (or, in the words of Shifman, “portrait”),105 I expected that Lyapunov would attempt to imitate not only the compositional and pianistic characteristics of Liszt, but also his style of playing. Clearly, this was not the case with this particular performance. It is striking how simple and strict is the composer’s rendition of the first statement of the lyrical theme in D-flat major106 (mm. 88-103, see Example 3.16). Lyapunov prescribes and produces a molto tranquillo quality for this theme, but at the same time he also indicates molto espressivo, and it is this surely desirable aspect that I think is lacking in his performance. I think that Liszt would have played this theme quite differently, with a more Romantic approach, with much more rubato, with greater attention to each new harmony or modulation, with longer phrases, and while remaining within a low dynamic range, with more inner passion or longing. This is not to condemn Lyapunov’s performance, but only to suggest that a performer should have the latitude to perform this theme, and perhaps others like it, differently than the composer might have done.  104  Cited in Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 49. The translation is mine.  105  Shifman, S. M. Lyapunov, 80.  106 This key of D-flat major has a special meaning and significance for me, perhaps because of the fact that it was Rachmaninoff’s favourite major key. For me, his works or episodes in D-flat major are the most Romantic, impassioned, and expressive; the richest, the most filled with images and feelings of love; and they contain the most heartfelt and touching harmonic juxtapositions. Suffice it to say that they never leave me indifferent. His Variation No. 18 from the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43; Variations Nos. 14 and 15 from the Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42; and Moment musicaux, Op. 16 No. 5 are a few examples that immediately come to mind.  67  Example 3.16. Lyapunov, Elégie en mémoire de François Liszt, Op. 11, No. 12, mm. 88-103.  On the other hand, one can definitely benefit by taking one’s cue from Lyapunov’s somewhat introverted performance in other interpretive aspects. Since his playing is so balanced and controlled, he is very careful about the sound production. All the parts of the texture are 68  distinct and properly voiced. Lyapunov is very careful about observing all his dynamic indications, never overly exaggerating crescendi, and saving the most powerful sound for the climaxes. I can always hear in his playing the distinction between mezzo forte and forte, and between forte and fortissimo. Moreover, even in the most climatic episodes, for example in the powerful and final restatements of the main (m. 131) and second themes (m. 162) and towards the end of the coda, his sound is never forced or, insofar as I am able to judge, produced with bodily tension, but rather very full, majestic, and projecting a certain nobility. Lyapunov more than once advocated this approach to climaxes and loud episodes, and I believe that it should not only be applied to this particular étude or to the entire set, but also to much of the piano repertoire.  69  Chapter Four: Conclusion I will use this conclusion to cover three points. First, I will point out some lines along which our picture of Russian piano music has become peculiarly constricted. Second, I will suggest a practical reason why more attention ought to be paid to a wider selection of this music. Finally, I will underline the implications of my study for the project of recovering a fuller range of Russian piano music from the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century. This time period was extremely fruitful for the development of the “national” Russian school. The arts of piano playing and composition flourished in tandem. Contributing to this growth were such epoch-making developments as the opening of the first Russian conservatories (in Moscow and St. Petersburg), the establishment of the concert organization of the Russian Music Society, more frequent concert tours to Russia by famous Western pianist-virtuosi, and the emergence of a large group of indigenous composers who made enormous contributions to the piano literature.107 It is not an overstatement to say that during this period Russia became a leading, one might even say the leading, centre of musical activity on the world scene. However, Kaiserman rightly concludes that while “many orchestral and operatic works from that time have earned deserved places in the performance repertory, ... relatively few works for piano have attained a comparable status.”108 There is a second imbalance that also deserves mention: Moscow-based composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin remain well-known and are often played on concert stages today. However, one can notice a substantial gap in the presentation of music by the  107  Onegina, “Fortepiannaya muzyka,” 3.  108  Kaiserman, “The Solo Piano Music,” 1. 70  Slavophile group of composers centered in St. Petersburg (most notably, “The Mighty Five”). In fact, only two piano compositions from this group have secured a niche in the concert repertoire, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Balakirev’s Islamey, but these works “represent merely the tip of an iceberg.”109 By bringing attention to Lyapunov’s étude cycle, I intend to imply, as well, that there exists an enormous body of Russian Romantic piano repertoire, some of which is equal in value to important works by the more recognized Russian composers from this period. This is not to say that all of these composers — some of whom are truly minor — are unjustly forgotten, or that their music can rival the famous and popular piano works of, for example, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, or Stravinsky. Viewed in their entireties, the oeuvres of these Moscow composers stand unequalled in the Russian canon, but I would dare to say that even within Scriabin’s output, or that of any recognized composer, quality is uneven. By the same token, composers of the second rank have, in many cases, produced works that deserve continuing attention and appreciation. It is my hope, therefore, that both musicologists and pianists would investigate some of the lesser-known Russian composers from this time period (for instance, Lyadov, Arensky, Balakirev, Glazunov, Taneyev, Medtner, among others) in order to make their most successful efforts better known, thereby enriching the piano repertoire with which they were so passionately involved. This brings us to my second point, which relates to the practicalities of concert programming today. Without going into detail, I would briefly note that most pianists today prefer the safety of performing well-known works by esteemed composers, perhaps catering in this way to the audience’s desire to be comforted by hearing the familiar. Accordingly, I agree  109  Kaiserman, “The Solo Piano Music,” 1. 71  with Banks that it takes courage to include the more obscure works by lesser-known composers, even if they are well-written pieces.110 This is not only applicable to recital programs, but also, and perhaps to an even greater extent, to competitions. Among the numerous international piano competitions I have entered or know about, it is only the Montréal International Musical Competition that, in its obligatory category of études, allows for the possibility of performing these études by Lyapunov as alternative to works in the same genre by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Bartók, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Ligeti. But there are certainly competitions that encourage a free choice of repertoire, and I suggest that including lesser-known works (from any time period) will enhance one’s program and attract the attention of listeners and juries alike, by presenting something that is refreshing to them. I also believe that audiences, and perhaps especially less sophisticated ones, are inclined to be receptive to unfamiliar music, particularly if it is accessible and well executed. I say this based on personal experience, since I included four études from Lyapunov’s cycle in some thirty recitals that I gave as part of a Jeunesses-Musicalessponsored tour of Eastern Canada in 2009 and 2010. I remember how, after orally introducing these pieces and ending my recitals with them, in the most remote villages of northern Québec many people thanked me for presenting something new and of great value to them, instead of performing the crowd-pleasers (by, for example, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky) that are so much expected from a Russian pianist. This leads me, finally, to my third point, a deeper one. Earlier I mentioned that Lyapunov’s études are still largely unknown and rarely performed, that their scores are therefore hard to access, and that they discourage many pianists with their tremendous technical  110  Banks, “Musical Influences,” 100. 72  difficulties. Even if this is true, and I have little doubt that it is, much less technically demanding repertoire from this period is equally neglected. Obviously, then, a different explanation is needed for this more general state of affairs. I would suggest that a basic reason for this neglect lies in the misunderstanding of this music. How many scholars who have examined this Lyapunov cycle concentrated on the Lisztian aspects as demonstrating Liszt’s influence on Lyapunov’s style? Certainly, Liszt had a profound effect on Lyapunov’s compositional and pianistic techniques, as well as on his programmatic approach, as I have pointed out. However, as I took pains to make clear, these études are very Russian in spirit, and consequently involve a great deal more than mere imitation of Liszt’s style. I have demonstrated that Lyapunov was deeply rooted in the richest traditions of Russian culture. His reverence for that central presence in Russian life, the belief system of the Russian Orthodox Church together with its various material and symbolic expressions (which is manifested through his employment of liturgical music from the Russian Orthodox service and his references to Russian bells); his very deep love of, and fascination with, ancient folk traditions (folk singing and folk instruments); his finding inspiration in the best Russian poetry and other literary genres; not to mention his love for the Russian people and the Russian landscape — all these elements profoundly affected Lyapunov’s style and led directly to salient features in the Douze études. It is precisely the recognition of these very Russian, non-Lisztian elements that enhances one’s interpretation and makes this music come alive to both the performer and the audience. I cannot stress enough that interpretation is insufficiently informed when one does not take into account the widest possible context — consideration of the composer’s biography; his cultural, political, philosophical, social, and religious views; any programmatic or extra-musical  73  elements behind a given composition; and, finally, the general cultural environment that surrounded the composer, which may be one of absorption in a vast national heritage. I believe, then, that the ways in which I have examined the Douze études by Lyapunov could and should be applied not only to obscure compositions by lesser-known composers, but also to very prominent works by, for example, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky. How much this approach might illuminate the content of such popular work as Stravinsky’s Three Movements from the Ballet “Petrouchka”! How much more meaning the interpretation of this work would acquire if the performer were to realize that Stravinsky uses two Russian folk songs in the third movement of that work, each with more than a nod to its lyrics, as well as imitating some Russian folk instruments! But this is a subject deserving a separate essay. In conclusion, while it is true that Lyapunov’s music did not have an explicit, or any sort of determining, influence on future generations of Russian composers, his attitude to ambitious music, which was that it should reflect the basic sources and preoccupations of its cultural context, broadly understood, is common to most of the major Russian composers of his time, and is a major reason for the depth of conviction with which they composed, and for the evident success they had. Moreover, realizing this and drawing the appropriate insights therefrom should provide the musical community with an avenue for the more sympathetic consideration that I hope many fine Russian composers from the end of the long nineteenth century, and others similarly neglected, will enjoy in the future.   74  Bibliography Alekseyev, Alexander Dmitrievich. Russkaya fortepiannaya muzyka: konets XIX — nachalo XX vyeka [Russian Piano Music: From the End of the XIX to the Beginning of the XX Century]. Moscow: Nauka, 1969. Asafiev, Boris Vladimirovich. Russkaya muzyka: XIX i nachalo XX vyeka [Russian Music: XIX and the Beginning of the XX Century]. 2nd ed. Leningrad: Muzyka, 1979. Banks, Andrew G. C. O. “Musical Influences Which Shaped the Twelve Transcendental Studies Op. 11 by Sergei Liapunov (1859-1924).” DMA diss., West Virginia University, 2004. Burford, Michael Charles. “The Transcendental Studies of S. M. Lyapunov.” M.Mus. diss., University of Sheffield, 1988. Calvocoressi, M. D. and Abraham, Gerald. Masters of Russian Music. New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1944. Chernyshev, Igor. “An Historical and Analytical Survey of the Transcendental Etudes by Sergei Liapunov.” DMA diss., University of North Texas, 2007. Clidat, France. “The Transcendental Studies: A Lisztian Pianist’s Impressions.” In New Light on Liszt and His Music: Essays in Honor of Alan Walker’s 65th Birthday, eds. Michael Saffle and James Deaville, 305-320. New York: Pendragon Press, 1997. Davis, Richard. “Sergei Lyapunov (1859-1924), The Piano Works: A Short Appreciation.” The Music Review, vol. XXI, No. 1 (February 1960): 186-206. Garden, Edward. “Lyapunov, Sergey Mikhaylovich.” Grove Music Online. http://www.grove Accessed 14 March 2011. Gordon, Stewart. A History of Keyboard Literature: Music for the Piano and Its Forerunners. New York: Schirmer Books, 1996. Istomin, F. M. and Lyapunov, S. M. “Otchyot ob ekspeditsii dlya sobiraniya russkikh narodnykh pesen s napevami v 1893 godu” [Report on the Expedition for Collecting Russian Folk Songs with Words in 1893]. Izvestiya Imperatorskago Russkago Geographicheskago Obshchestva [News of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society], vol. XXX (1894): 331-354. Istomin, F. M. and Lyapunov, S. M., eds. Pesni russkago naroda. Sobrany v guberniyakh Vologodskoi, Vyatskoi i Kostromskoi v 1893 godu [Songs of Russian People. Collected in  75  the Regions of Vologda, Vyatka and Kostroma in 1893]. St. Petersburg: Imperial Russian Geographic Society, 1899. Kaiserman, David Norman. “The Solo Piano Music of S. M. Liapunov (1859-1924): An Essay Together with a Comprehensive Project in Piano Performance.” DMA diss., University of Iowa, 1977. Kelly, Laurence. Lermontov: Tragedy in the Caucasus. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1978. Lyapunova, Anastasiya. “Iz istorii tvorcheskikh svyazei M. Balakireva i S. Lyapunova” [From the History of the Creative Links between M. Balakirev and S. Lyapunov]. In Balakirev: issledovaniya i stat’i [Balakirev: Investigations and Articles], eds. Yu. A. Kremlyov, A. S. Lyapunova, and E. Frid, 388-421. Leningrad: Muzgiz, 1961. Lyapunova, Anastasiya, ed. “Perepiska V. Stasova i S. Lyapunova” [Correspondence between V. Stasov and S. Lyapunov]. Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 1 (1957): 71-78. Lyapunova, Anastasiya, ed. “Pis’ma M. A. Balakireva k S. M. Lyapunovu” [Letters of M. A. Balakirev to S. M. Lyapunov]. Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 9 (1950): 94-95. Lyapunova, Anastasiya, ed. “Pis’ma S. M. Lyapunova k P. A. Potekhinu” [Letters of S. M. Lyapunov to P. A. Potekhin]. Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 3 (1960): 81-87. Lyapunova, Anastasiya. “S. M. Lyapunov.” Sovetskaya Muzyka, No. 9 (1950): 90-93. Onegina, Olga Vladimirovna. “Fortepiannaya muzyka S. M. Lyapunova. Cherty stilya” [Piano Music of S. M. Lyapunov. Characteristics of Style]. Ph.D. diss., St. Petersburg State Conservatory, 2010. Scruton, Roger. “Programme Music.” Grove Music Online. Accessed 21 May 2009. Shifman, Mikhail Yefimovich. “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov Lyapunova i nekotorye voprosy ikh interpretatsii” [Twelve Études of Lyapunov and Some Questions Regarding Their Interpretation]. In Voprosy muzykal’no-ispolnitel’skogo isskustva [Questions of Musical-Performing Art], eds. L. S. Ginzburg and A. A. Solovstov, 374-401. Moscow, 1958. Shifman, Mikhail Yefimovich. “Dvenadtsat’ etyudov S. M. Lyapunova i nekotorye cherty ego fortepiannogo stilya” [Twelve Études of S. M. Lyapunov and a Few Features of His Piano Style]. Ph.D. diss., Moscow State Conservatory, 1953.  76  Shifman, Mikhail Yefimovich. S. M. Lyapunov. Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva [S. M. Lyapunov. A Sketch of His Life and Work]. Moscow: State Music Publishing House, 1960. The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Stratford, Connecticut: The Savoy Press, 2002.  Scores Balakirev, Mily. Complete Works for Piano. Vol. I. Moscow: Muzyka, 1952. Liapounow, Sergej. 12 Études d’exécution transcendante pour le piano. Frankfurt am Main: Musikverlag Zimmermann, 1958. Liszt, Franz. Études d’exécution transcendante. Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 2004. Lyapunov, Sergei. Soch. 11: Dvenadtsat’ etyudov osobo-trudnogo ispolneniya dlya fortepiano [Op. 11: Twelve Transcendental Études for Piano]. Moscow: State Music Publishing, 1947.  Sound Recordings Liapunov, Sergei Mikhailovich. 12 Etudes d’exécution transcendante, Op. 11. Konstantin Scherbakov, piano. Digital disc. Marco Polo, 8.223491, 1993. Lyapunov, Sergei. Transcendental Studies. Malcolm Binns, piano. Digital disc. Pavilion Records Ltd., SHE CD 9624, 1993. Lyapunov, Sergei. Twelve Transcendental Studies. Louis Kentner, piano. Digital disc. Pavilion Records Ltd., GEM 0154, 2002. Masters of the Piano Roll: Prokofiev Plays Prokofiev, Scriabin Plays Scriabin Plus Other Russian Rarities. Digital disc. Dal Segno Records, DCPRCD 005, 2003.  77  Appendices Appendix A. Lyapunov’s Program to Carillon, Op. 11, No. 3 111  111  Liapounow, 12 Études, vol. I, 15. 78  Appendix B. The Folk Song “Out of the Woods, Dark Woods”112  112 Istomin and Lyapunov, eds., Pesni russkago naroda, 249-251. The integer “2” after even-numbered lines indicates that these lines are repeated.  79  80  81  Appendix C. Translation of the Folk Song Iz za lesu-tu, da lesu temnova113 Out of the Woods, Dark Woods Out of the woods Dark woods. Out of the mountain, Steep mountain. It was not the white dawn That appeared, It was not the red sun That rose. There appeared rather The Tzar’s crest. The crest of the Tzar Of the Emperor. Behind the crest The White Tzar leads, And after Himself he leads His mighty legions, His forces, And not small ones. Not small forces But forty-three regiments. Forty-three regiments, Dense with soldiers. All the soldiers Who are new recruits. In front march All the volunteers, And behind lag All the conscripts. And the volunteers Burst out with songs, And the conscripts Cried tearfully. Then spoke The White Tzar: “Do not cry, My dear soldiers. 113 My own translation from nineteenth-century Russian into English is as literal as possible and does not capture the song’s original flow, charm, and rhythm.  82  When the morning comes I will Present you gifts. And I will not grant you rubles, Or poltinas,114 But six arshins115 Of the dark blue cloth. Of the dark blue cloth, And of the precious, dark red one!” Then they raised their voices All the soldiers: “Let us sew then A great coat for everyone, And out of the leftovers We’ll sew caps for everyone, And out of the clippings We’ll sew gloves for everyone!”    114  kopecks. 115  Poltina was a Russian Imperial silver coin, it was equal to the one half of the Russian rubble – 50 Arshin is an old Russian measurement unit of length equaling to 28 inches or 71 centimeters. 83  Appendix D. Lermontov “The Gifts of Terek”116 Terek bellows, wildly sweeping Past the cliffs, so swift and strong; Like a tempest is his weeping, Flies his spray like tears along. O’er the steppe now slowly veering – Calm but faithless looketh he – With a voice of love endearing Murmurs to the Caspian Sea: Give me way, old sea! I greet thee; Give me refuge in thy breast; Far and fast I’ve rush’d to meet thee – It is time for me to rest. Cradled in Kazbek, and cherish’d From the bosom of the cloud, Strong am I, and all have perish’d, Who would stop my current proud. For thy son’s delight, O Ocean! I’ve crush’d the crags of Dariál, Onward my resistless motion, Like a flock, hath swept them all.’ Still on his smooth shore reclining, Lay the Caspian as in sleep; While the Terek, softly shining, To the old sea murmur’d deep: – Lo! a gift upon my water – Lo! no common offering – Floating from the field of slaughter, A Kabardinetz 117 I bring All in shining mail he’s shrouded – Plates of steel his arms enfold; Blood the Koran verse hath clouded, That thereon is writ in gold: His pale brow is sternly bended – Gory stains his wreathed lip dye – 116 This translation, by Thomas Shaw, is taken from Laurence Kelly, Lermontov: Tragedy in the Caucasus (New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1978), 151-153. I present this poem with the explanatory footnotes as found in this book. 117  A mountaineer of the tribe of Kabarda. 84  Valiant blood, and far-descended – ‘Tis the hue of victory! Wild his eyes, yet naught he noteth; With an ancient hate they glare: Backward on the billow floateth, All disorderly, his hair.’ Still the Caspian, calm reclining, Seems to slumber on his shore; And impetuous Terek, shining, Murmurs in his ear once more: – ‘Father, hark! a priceless treasure – Other gifts are poor to this – I have hid, to do thee pleasure – I have hid in my abyss! Lo! a corse my wave doth pillow – A Kazachka118 young and fair. Darkly pale upon the billow Gleams her breast and golden hair; Very sad her pale brow gleameth, And her eyes are closed in sleep; From her bosom ever seemeth A thin purple stream to creep. By my water, calm and lonely, For the maid that comes not back, Of the whole Stanitza,119 only Mourns a Grebenskoi Kazak. ‘Swift on his black steed he hieth; To the mountains he is sped. ‘Neath Cchechen’s kinjal now lieth, Low in dust, that youthful head.’ Silent then was that wild river; And afar, as white as snow, A fair head was seen to quiver In the ripple, to and fro.  118  A Kazak girl.  119  Village of Cossacks. 85  In his might the ancient ocean, Like a tempest, ‘gan arise; And the light of soft emotion Glimmer’d in his dark blue eyes; And he play’d, with rapture flushing, And in his embraces bright, Clasp’d the stream, to meet him rushing With a murmur of delight.  86  Appendix E. Misprints in the Editions The following misprints and other errors are still present in both the Soviet and Zimmermann editions. Most of them consist in overlooking the required addition or cancellation of the accidentals and are evident by simple comparison with corresponding passages (where the music is repeated or transposed) or on the basis of common (harmonic) sense. 1. Étude No. 1: m. 48, LH, the top note of the first sixteenth-note interval should read E-natural, not E-sharp. 2. Étude No. 4: m. 34, RH, fourth beat, the penultimate sixteenth note should read D-natural, not D-sharp. 3. Étude No. 4: m. 114, LH, fourth beat, the top note should read C-sharp, not C double sharp. 4. Étude No. 8: m. 273, LH, the bottom note of the third chord should read D-sharp, not C-sharp. 5. Étude No. 12: m. 145, LH, the bottom note of the sixteenth-note interval should read G-sharp, not G-natural.  87  


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