Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov |

Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov |

Sergei Lyapunov

Date of birth
Date of death

Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov |

Born on November 18 (30), 1859 in Yaroslavl in the family of an astronomer (elder brother – Alexander Lyapunov – mathematician, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences; younger brother – Boris Lyapunov – Slavic philologist, academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences). In 1873-1878 he studied in music classes at the Nizhny Novgorod branch of the Imperial Russian Musical Society with the famous teacher V.Yu.Villuan. In 1883 he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory with a gold medal in composition by S.I. Taneyev and piano by P.A. Pabst. By the beginning of the 1880s, Lyapunov’s passion for the works of the authors of the Mighty Handful, in particular M.A. Balakirev and A.P. Borodin, dates back. For this reason, he rejected the offer to remain a teacher at the Moscow Conservatory and moved to St. Petersburg in the autumn of 1885, becoming the most devoted student and personal friend of Balakirev.

This influence left a mark on all of Lyapunov’s composing work; it can be traced both in the composer’s symphonic writing and in the texture of his piano works, which continue the specific line of Russian virtuoso pianism (cultivated by Balakirev, it relies on the techniques of Liszt and Chopin). From 1890 Lyapunov taught at the Nikolaev Cadet Corps, in 1894–1902 he was assistant manager of the Court Choir. Later he performed as a pianist and conductor (including abroad), edited together with Balakirev the most complete collection of Glinka’s works for that time. From 1908 he was director of the Free Music School; in 1910-1923 he was a professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he taught piano classes, and from 1917 also composition and counterpoint; since 1919 – professor at the Institute of Art History. In 1923 he went on tour abroad, held several concerts in Paris.

In the creative heritage of Lyapunov, the main place is occupied by orchestral works (two symphonies, symphonic poems) and especially piano works – two concertos and a Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes for piano and orchestra and many plays of different genres, often combined into opus cycles (preludes, waltzes, mazurkas , variations, studies, etc.); he also created quite a few romances, mainly to the words of Russian classical poets, and a number of spiritual choirs. As a member of the Russian Geographical Society, in 1893 the composer traveled with the folklorist F.M. Istomin to a number of northern provinces to record folk songs, which were published in the collection Songs of the Russian People (1899; later the composer made arrangements for a number of songs for voice and piano). Lyapunov’s style, dating back to the early (1860s–1870s) stage of the New Russian School, is somewhat anachronistic, but distinguished by great purity and nobility.


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