|Artist||Vincenzo Maltempo piano|
Sergei Lyapunov (1859-1924), Russian composer and pianist, wrote his “12 Etudes d’exécution transcendante” between 1897 and 1905. The studies are clearly modelled on the etudes with the same title by Franz Liszt, his idol to whom he was “completely enslaved” as he confessed. A pianist of considerable reputation (his teacher was Karl Klindworth, a Liszt pupil) he adapted Lisztian pianism as a vehicle for the display of his own virtuosity and musical personality. A member of the “Group of Five” Lyapunov frequently used folkloristic elements in his music. The Etudes are highly attractive tone poems, depicting a dance of the Sylphes (modelled on Liszt’ s Feux follets), orthodox chant complete with church bells, a wild Caucasian dance akin to Balakirev’s Islamey and a haunting “Nuit d’été.
Vincenzo Maltempo delivers a dazzling performance of these masterpieces. Maltempo’s recent recording of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies received rave reviews, a Gramophone Editor’s Choice: “extraordinary breadth and nobility..little short of perfection..”, “9/9, close to ideal” (Jed Distler Classicstoday.com). His recordings of Alkan have “confirmed his place in the restricted circle of Alkan’s best performers, 5 stars”(Diapason), “Exhilarating, thrillingly demonic, 5 Stars” (Andrew Clement in The Guardian.