VICTOR MERZHANOV – Liszt. Six Grandes Études de Paganini (1851), S.141
London Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in 1947
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.
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.
VICTOR MERZHANOV, piano
Victor Merzhanov at Moscow Conservatory (2010)
|Birth name||Victor Karpovich Merzhanov|
|Born||August 15, 1919
|Died||December 20, 2012 (aged 93)
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 Didenko, Mikhail Olenev, Hideyo Harada, Nazzareno Carusi, Tatiana Shebanova, Ruslan Sviridov, Irina Khovanskaya, Anna Yarovaya, Anahit Nersesyan, Elena 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 Maazel, Kurt Sanderling, Kirill Kondrashin, Nikolai Anosov, Aleksandr Gauk, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Yuri 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.
Valentina Igoshina in March 2010 at Rickman Auditorium in Arnold, Missouri
|Born||November 4, 1978 (age 35)|
|Labels||Warner Classics International|
Valentina Igoshina began studying piano with her mother, 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.
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. Her home in France is near Giverny in Haute-Normandie.
Tchaikovsky : Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op.13 ” Winter Dreams ”
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
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.