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Thread: Anatoly Lyadov

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    Default Anatoly Lyadov

    Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov (also spelled Liadov), was a Russian composer known for his orchestral works and poetic, beautifully-polished piano miniatures. I can't believe that there isn't a guestbook for him yet, so here we go!

    The son of the conductor of the imperial opera, Anatoly entered the conservatory in 1870, studying composition with Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, but he was expelled for idleness in 1876. Readmitted in 1878, he later occupied various teaching posts in the conservatory and the imperial chapel. From 1897 he was much occupied with the arrangement of folk songs collected by the Imperial Geographical Society. Until 1900 he mainly composed piano pieces. Turning to orchestral music he wrote two of his most successful pieces, Kikimora and The Enchanted Lake, which were based on sketches for a fantastic opera he never finished.

    Orchestral music. The best-known orchestral compositions by Lyadov (as mentioned before) are the descriptive Russian fairytale pieces Kikimora and The Enchanted Lake. Another notable orchestral work is Baba-Yaga (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HpYaeJ60OU). His last in the genre was the symphonic poem Threnody. All are very much in the nationalist tradition exemplified by Rimsky-Korsakov.

    Piano music. Lyadov wrote a number of shorter piano pieces, including fugues and a set of canons, testimony to his contrapuntal ability. Other pieces have characteristic titles, examples of pleasing and well-crafted compositions for which there was a ready market.

    Vocal and choral music. Lyadov wrote a setting of the final scene of Schiller’s Die Braut von Messina for his Conservatory graduation. Of some 26 songs, 18 are children’s songs.

    Britannica and Naxos.com (more or less)


    A few more notes about Lyadov:

    If you are new to Lyadov's music, orchestral works are probably the best of his ouevre. A Fragment from the Apocalypse is one of my personal favorites. There are lots of other hidden gems on YouTube, so a long listen awaits you!

    As to why Lyadov is so obscure. I'm not completely sure, but part of it may have to do with his laziness and perfectionism (the same curse that befell Balakirev and many others). For example, Baba-Yaga ―an orchestral miniature barely three minutes long ―took him 13 years to compose start to finish!


    Any thoughts, comments, and questions about Anatoly Lyadov are welcome. Hopefully one day he will be more of a household name....
    Last edited by Portamento; Feb-21-2017 at 02:17.

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    Senior Member chromatic owl's Avatar
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    I have seen this name a couple of times, merely referred to as an editor or some teacher at the conservatory but not as a composer. Thank you, this is really interesting.
    Lyadov wrote a number of shorter piano pieces, including fugues and a set of canons, testimony to his contrapuntal ability.
    I would really enjoy listening to some of those

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    Quote Originally Posted by chromatic owl View Post
    I would really enjoy listening to some of those
    Cool. Try these:

    Three Pieces, Op. 11 ―https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJj_C2Bvjk0
    The Music Box, Op. 32 ―https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogEYzIiKGBQ (performed by Richter!)
    Two Fugues, Op. 41 ―https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qeis2QkXIo
    Variations on a Polish Theme, Op. 51 ―https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MknyZcaYE3s (a testament to Lyadov's greatness as a composer)
    Three Pieces, Op. 57 ―https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daMA4GrJSO0
    12 canons on a cantus firmushttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2u8A8F8C6Q

    This is just a start; some of Lyadov's piano works are quite appealing!
    Last edited by Portamento; Feb-20-2017 at 22:27.

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