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VLADIMIR REBIKOV

Les démons s'amusent (No. 2 from Les rêves, Op. 15)
Les géants dansent (No. 1 from Dans leur pays, Op. 27)
Feuilles d'automne, Op. 29
Une fête, Op. 38
Chansons blanches, Op. 48
Esclavage et liberté, Op. 22
Two episodes from Yolka (The Christmas Tree), Op. 21
Trois idylles, Op. 50
Scènes bucoliques, Op. 28
Tableaux pour enfants, Op. 37
Parmi eux, Op, 35

ANTHONY GOLDSTONE (piano)

Divine Art dda25081

Apart from the horrid overprinting on the covers, this Russian Piano Music Series has much to commend it for musical explorers.

Innovative in his time and an early proponent of the whole-tone scale, the all but forgotten music of Vladimir Rebikov (1866-1920) foreshadowed composers like Debussy, Scriabin, Stravinsky, Copland and Villa-Lobos. His tiny experimental pieces tackle a variety of problems; the Chansons blanches, on white keys only, anticipate Constant Lambert's 30 years on.

This survey has 42 little pieces in 50 minutes, outdoing in their brevity Webern's to come, plus one of Rebikov's few extended Lisztian Tableaux musical-psychologiques, a continuous stream-of-consciousness 20 minutes single movement.

Anthony Goldstone's comprehensive notes draw you into this unique composer's world, and he plays all the music with a winning flair, recorded close by his home in the village church at Alkborough, Lincolnshire.

Warmly recommended, and lots of worthwhile pieces to consider for piano teachers (who just might know The Christmas Tree) [Scores available free on line, e.g. .pdf of the Chansons blanches]

blanches


Sergei Lyapunov

Piano Sonata in F minor, op. 27;
Barcarolle in G sharp minor, op. 46;
Variations on a Georgian Theme, op. 60;
Fêtes de Noël, op. 41;
Nocturne in D flat major, op. 8;
Mazurka in G minor, op. 36

Anthony Goldstone
Russian Piano Music Series Volume 4

Divine Art DDA25084 [TT: 72.36 £7.95]

In contrast to the originalty of Rebikov, this disc of music by Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov (1859-1924) offers more conventional satisfactions. The selection of pieces is well chosen and they all sound well, recorded in his village church on Goldstone's usual Grotrian piano.

The sonata is a 25-mins continuous work, modelled partly on Liszt's, and it is a wholly viable concert work, better than Tchaikovsky's, I thought. And the Georgian Theme's variations are worth knowing, too. This ongoing series of recordings by Goldstone and McLachlan is definitely worth exploring.

Anton Arensky

Préludes, Op. 63
Essais dur les rythmes oubliès, Op. 28
12 Études, Op. 74
Arabesques, Op. 67
3 Morceaux Op 42


Anthony Goldstone (piano
Russian Piano Music Series Volume 5

Divine Art DDA25085

This one has a far better cover image, but the music is on the whole less interesting that that of the composers reviewed above.

The pieces (39 of them in 71 mins) are easy listening and reward piano playing facility, but don't add up to a satisfactory recital. There are some teasing rhythmic rregularities in the Essais dur les rythmes oubliès and one of the Etudes.

All put across with the enthusiasm and expertise we have come to expect from Goldstone.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See also Goldstone & Clemmow http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/cddvd/G&C_British.htm