Tag Archives: moscow conservatory

Historic musical bits: VICTOR MERZHANOV – Liszt. Six Grandes Études de Paganini (1851), S.141, great compositions/performances

VICTOR MERZHANOV – Liszt. Six Grandes Études de Paganini (1851), S.141

great compositions/performances: Barbirolli – Arensky: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky (improved sound)


Barbirolli – Arensky: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky

London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1947

John Barbirolli in the mid-1960s

John Barbirolli in the mid-1960s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Barbirolli
Born: 12/2/1899 – Holborn, London, England
Died: 7/29/1970 – London, England

Anton Stepanovich Arensky (Russian: Антон Степанович Аренский) (12 July 1861 — 25 February 1906), was a Russian composer of Romantic classical music, a pianist and a professor of music.

Anton Arensky, 1895

Anton Arensky, 1895

Arensky was born in Novgorod, Russia. He was musically precocious and had composed a number of songs and piano pieces by the age of nine. With his mother and father, he moved to Saint Petersburg in 1879, where he studied composition at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. After graduating from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1882, Arensky became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. Among his students there were Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Gretchaninov. In 1895 Arensky returned to Saint Petersburg as the director of the Imperial Choir, a post for which he had been recommended by Mily Balakirev. Arensky retired from this position in 1901, spending his remaining time as a pianist, conductor, and composer. Arensky died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Perkjärvi, Finland. It is alleged that drinking and gambling undermined his health.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky was the greatest influence on Arensky’s musical compositions. Indeed, Rimsky-Korsakov said, “In his youth Arensky did not escape some influence from me; later the influence came from Tchaikovsky. He will quickly be forgotten.” The perception that he lacked a distinctive personal style contributed to long-term neglect of his music, though in recent years a large number of his compositions have been recorded. Especially popular are the orchestral Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky based on one of Tchaikovsky’s Songs for Children, Op. 54.

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Great Composers/Compositions: Shostakovich Plays Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102

Dmitri Shostakovich
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102

Dmitri Shostakovich, piano movements:

  1. Allegtro (A jolly main theme)
  2. Andante (The second movement is subdued and romantic)
  3. Allegro (The finale is a lively dance in duple time)

Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
André Cluytens, conductor

From Wikipedia

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102, by Dmitri Shostakovich was composed in 1957 for his son Maxim’s 19th birthday. Maxim premiered the piece during his graduation at the Moscow Conservatory. It is an uncharacteristically cheerful piece, much more so than most of Shostakovich’s works.
The work is scored for solo piano, three flutes (third doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four hornstimpanisnare drum andstrings.


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Great Performances: Leonid Kogan – Cantabile, Paganini

  • Leonid Borisovich Kogan was a preeminent Soviet violinist during the 20th century. He is considered to have been one of the greatest representatives of the Soviet School of violin playing. Wikipedia


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Fabulous Performers: VICTOR MERZHANOV Plays – Beethoven’s Sonata no. 10 in G Major, op. 14, no. 2


Ludwig van Beethoven. Piano Sonata no. 10 in G Major, op. 14, no. 2
1. Allegro 
2. Andante variations 06:21
3. Scherzo: Allegro assai 11:09
Recorded in 1954.

 The Piano Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14, No. 2, composed in 1798–1799, is an early-period work by Ludwig van Beethoven, dedicated to Baroness Josefa von Braun. A typical performance lasts 15 minutes. While it is not as well known as some of the more original sonatas of Beethoven’s youth, such as the ‘Pathetique’ or ‘Moonlight’ sonatas, Tovey[1] described it as an ‘exquisite little work.’

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Victor Merzhanov

Victor Merzhanov at Moscow Conservatory (2010)
Background information
Birth name Victor Karpovich Merzhanov
Born August 15, 1919
Died December 20, 2012 (aged 93)
Genres Classical
Occupations PianistPedagogue
Instruments Piano

Victor Karpovich Merzhanov (Russian: Ви́ктор Ка́рпович Мержа́нов) (August 15, 1919 – December 20, 2012) was a Russian pianist

Merzhanov was born in Tambov and studied at Tambov Musical College with Solomon Starikov and Alexander Poltoratsky. Between 1936-1941 he studied at the Moscow Conservatory in the classes ofSamuil Feinberg (piano) and Alexander Goedicke (organ), graduating with distinction.


He achieved international recognition as a pianist in 1945 when he won the first prize (shared withSviatoslav Richter) at the Third All-Soviet-Union Piano Competition. In 1949, he was placed tenth at theInternational Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Merzhanov became a Moscow Philharmony soloist in 1946.


Merzhanov was a Professor at the Moscow Conservatory from 1947 until his death. Among his students are prize-winners of international competitions: Vladimir Bunin, Oleg Volkov, Igor Girfanov, Yuri DidenkoMikhail OlenevHideyo HaradaNazzareno CarusiTatiana ShebanovaRuslan SviridovIrina KhovanskayaAnna YarovayaAnahit NersesyanElena Ulyanova and many others. His name is inscribed on the Moscow Conservatory’s marble wall along with those of Alexander Scriabin andSergei Rachmaninoff. He was also a professor at the Tambov Rachmaninov Institute.


During his 60-year stage career, Merzhanov gave more than 2,000 recitals and concerts in Russia, Europe, the United States, China, and other countries, with such conductors as Lorin MaazelKurt SanderlingKirill Kondrashin, Nikolai Anosov, Aleksandr GaukGennady RozhdestvenskyYuri Temirkanov and Yevgeny Svetlanov.


His recordings (on major labels in the United States, Italy, Japan and the USSR) show his repertoire, including works from the Baroque period to contemporary music, from works by Bach and Beethoven to those by Prokofiev and Shostakovich.



Great Performances: Chopin – Valentina Igoshina – Fantasie Impromptu

This is Valentina Igoshina playing Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu in C Sharp Minor, Op. 66. Apologies for the shoddy editing! Check out my channel for information about Valentina and her music

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Valentina Igoshina

Valentina Igoshina in March 2010 at Rickman Auditorium in Arnold, Missouri
Background information
Born November 4, 1978 (age 35)
Origin Russia
Genres classical
Occupations classical pianist
Instruments piano
Labels Warner Classics International
Website www.valentina-igoshina.com

Valentina Igoshina (b. 4 November 1978 BryanskBryansk OblastRussia) is a Russian classical pianist.

Valentina Igoshina began studying piano with her mother,[1] and first took lessons at home at the age of four. At the age of twelve she began attending the Moscow Central School of Music and became a student of Sergei Dorensky and Larissa Dedova at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.[2]

Igoshina has also served as a teacher of piano at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Between recitals and concerts, she currently divides her time between Moscow and Paris.[3] Her home in France is near Giverny in Haute-Normandie.




Tchaikovsky : Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op.13 ” Winter Dreams “

Tchaikovsky : Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op.13 ” Winter Dreams ”

Gershwin – Summertime / Chamber Orchestra Kremlin and Kathleen Battle/Montreal Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by the Music Director of the orchestra, Misha Rachlevsky. From the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

Kathleen Battle and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra with conductor Charles Dutoit. Gala concert, 1994.

Send “Summertime” Ringtone to your Cell


Send “Summertime” Ringtone to your Cell

And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Oh, Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry

One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky

But until that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy standing by

And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry



Heinrich Neuhaus plays Beethoven Sonata No. 24 Op. 78 in F sharp Major (“À Thérèse”)

I. Adagio cantabile – Allegro ma non troppo
II. Allegro vivace 
rec. 1950   (the best interpretation of ” À Thérèse”)

Heinrich Gustavovich Neuhaus (Russian: Генрих Густавович Нейгауз, Genrikh Gustavovič Nejgauz; 12 April [O.S. 31 March] 1888 — October 10, 1964) was a Soviet pianist and pedagogue of German extraction. He taught at the Moscow Conservatory from 1922 to 1964. He was made a People’s Artist of the RSFSR in 1956. His pedagogic book The Art of Piano Playing (1958) is regarded as one of the most authoritative and most widely used treatments on the subject.
He was born in Elisavetgrad (known since 1939 as Kirovohrad), Ukraine. Although both his parents were piano teachers, he was largely self-taught. The biggest influences on his early artistic development came from his cousin Karol Szymanowski (tutored by another relative, Gustav Neuhaus) and especially his uncle Felix Blumenfeld on his visits to his sisters’ home. He also received some lessons from Aleksander Michałowski. In 1902 he gave a recital in Elisavetgrad with the 11-year-old Mischa Elman and in 1904 gave concerts in Dortmund, Bonn, Cologne and Berlin. Subsequently he studied with Leopold Godowsky in Berlin and from 1909 until the outbreak of World War I at his master classes in Vienna Academy of Music.

In 1914 Neuhaus started teaching in Elisavetgrad and later Tbilisi (Tiflis) and Kiev (where he befriended Vladimir Horowitz). After having been temporarily paralyzed, Neuhaus was forced to halt his concert career in the interests of his pedagogical activities. In 1922 he began teaching at the Moscow Conservatory where he was also director between 1935 and 1937. When the Germans approached Moscow in 1942, he was imprisoned as a “German spy” but released eight months later under pressure from Dmitri Shostakovich, Emil Gilels and others. His pupils there included Yakov Zak, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Anatoly Vedernikov, Tikhon Khrennikov, Yevgeny Malinin, Lev Naumov, Tamara Guseva, Ryszard Bakst, Teodor Gutman, Vera Gornostayeva, Alexander Slobodyanik, Leonid Brumberg, Igor Zhukov, Oleg Boshniakovich, Anton Ginsburg, Valeri Kastelsky, Gérard Frémy, Zdeněk Hnát, Rudolf Kehrer, Eliso Virsaladze, Alexei Lubimov, Aleksey Nasedkin, Victor Eresko, Vladimir Krainev, Evgeny Mogilevsky and Radu Lupu.

He died in Moscow in 1964.

Neuhaus was renowned for the poetic magnetism of his playing and for his artistic refinement. He was a life-long friend of Boris Pasternak, and Osip Mandelshtam expressed his admiration for Neuhaus’s playing in a poem. Stanislav Neuhaus, Heinrich’s son by his first wife Zinaida (who married Pasternak in 1931), was also a noted pianist; Stanislav Bunin is his grandson.

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