Balakirev: Complete Piano Works

Balakirev: Complete Piano Works
Composer Mili Balakirev
Artist Alexander Paley piano
Format 6 CD
Cat. number 94086
EAN code 5028421940861
Release November 2010

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About this release

Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) was the founder of the group of Russian composers called ‘The Mighty Handful’. Together with Borodin, Rimsky Korsakov, Cui and Mussorgsky he helped create a distinctive Russian school of music that was not reliant on the influence of the Austro German school.

Studying at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, he won the praise of Glinka, and had an influence on the young Tchaikovsky. He wrote two symphonies, two piano concertos, several symphonic poems and many piano works.

On these 6CDs his entire output for piano can be found. A superb pianist, he produced one of the most taxing works ever written for the instrument, his Oriental Fantasy Islamey. His piano sonata is no less impressive, and the Seven Mazurkas are wonderfully melodic works. There is much to discover on these discs.

Sadly, Balakirev suffered a complete nervous breakdown in 1871, and he withdrew from life, eventually emerging to take up a minor management role on the railways. In 1876 he began to compose again, and in 1883 was appointed as director of the Imperial Chapel. He retired in 1895, and continued composing, but by now considered old fashioned and was forgotten even by his old friends. However, one young composer, Igor Stravinsky had a soft spot for him, and pitied him as he suffered from bouts of depression.

Other information:
- Balakirev is a figure of great importance in 19th-century Russian music.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Islamey, Oriental Fantasy
  2. Fantasia, On Themes from Glinka’s A Life For The Tsar
  3. Fantasiestück
  4. Nocturne No. 1 in B-Flat Minor
  5. Nocturne No. 2 in B Minor
  6. Nocturne No. 3 in D Minor
  7. Capriccio

Disk 2

  1. Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 5: Andante
  2. Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 5: Mazurka
  3. Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 5: Andante
  4. Sonatina (Esquisses): Allegro moderato
  5. Sonatina (Esquisses): L’Istesso tempo
  6. Sonatina (Esquisses): Coda-poco a poco piu agitato
  7. Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor: Andantino
  8. Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor: Mazurka-moderato
  9. Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor: Intermezzo-larghetto
  10. Piano Sonata in B-Flat Minor: Finale-allegro non troppo ma con fuoco

Disk 3

  1. Transcription: Glinka: Kamarinskaya
  2. Transcription: Glinka: Ne govori
  3. Transcription: Chopin: Romance from Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11
  4. Transcription: Beethoven: Cavatina from String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130
  5. Transcription: Beethoven: Allegretto from String Quartet No. 8 in E Minor, Op. 59 No. 2
  6. Transcription: Zapolsky: Réverie
  7. Transcription: Balakirev: Pustinya
  8. Transcription: Berlioz: Introduction to La Fuite en Egypte
  9. Transcription: Balakirev: Impromptu on the themes of Two Preludes by Chopin
  10. Transcription: Glinka: Jota Aragonesca

Disk 4

  1. Valse di bravura (No. 1) in G Major
  2. Valse mélancholique (No. 2) in F Minor
  3. Valse-Impromptu (No. 3) in D Major
  4. Waltz No. 4 in B-Flat Major (Valse de Concert)
  5. Waltz No. 5 in D-flat Major
  6. Waltz No. 6 in F-Sharp Minor
  7. Waltz No. 7 in G-Sharp Minor
  8. Polka
  9. Tarantella
  10. Valse-Caprice No. 1 in A-Flat Major (after A.S. Taneyev)
  11. Valse-Caprice No. 2 in D-Flat Major (after A.S. Taneyev)

Disk 5

  1. Mazurka No. 1 in A-Flat Major (2nd version)
  2. Mazurka No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor (2nd version)
  3. Mazurka No. 3 in B Minor
  4. Mazurka No. 4 in G-Flat Major
  5. Mazurka No. 5 in D Major
  6. Mazurka No. 6 in A-Flat Major
  7. Mazurka No. 7 in E-Flat Minor
  8. Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor
  9. Scherzo No. 2 in B-Flat Minor
  10. Scherzo No. 3 in F-Sharp Major

Disk 6

  1. Miscellaneous: Dumka
  2. Miscellaneous: Au jardin
  3. Miscellaneous: Gondollied
  4. Miscellaneous: Berceuse
  5. Miscellaneous: The Lark
  6. Miscellaneous: Spanish Melody
  7. Miscellaneous: Spanish Serenade
  8. Miscellaneous: La fileuse
  9. Miscellaneous: Tyrolienne
  10. Miscellaneous: Chant du pêcheur
  11. Miscellaneous: Humoresque
  12. Miscellaneous: Réverie
  13. Miscellaneous: Novelette
  14. Miscellaneous: Toccata