Anatoly Liadov (1855-1914) was, like his Norwegian contemporary Grieg, a miniaturist. At a time when his fellow Russian composers were composing operas, symphonies and concertos, he concentrated on producing a remarkable collection of wonderfully scored and evocative orchestral miniatures. He did sometimes venture into larger musical forms, and this is illustrated by ‘Fragment from the Apocalypse’, a large unfinished work that shares the same visionary sound world as Scriabin. One of his most famous works ‘the Enchanted Lake’ is suffused with a Debussian soundscape. This work, like ‘Kikimora’ (about a tiny thimble sized human hating witch who listens to stories told by her cat) were intended to be incorporated into operas that were either never started or finished.
Liadov was the first composer Diaghilev asked for a ballet on the Russian folktale ‘The Firebird’. Liadov’s legendary laziness saw to it that he never completed the commission – another pupil of Rimsky Korsakov, the young Igor Stravinsky was asked instead and made it his first major ballet success.
Liadov’s research into folk music – another thing he had in common with Grieg, laid the foundations for other composers including Bartok, Kodaly, and Vaughan Williams to preserve and exploit the rich musical heritage of folk music in Europe.
- Recorded in 2001.
- Booklet notes included.
- Of interest to those who like Rimsky Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Glazunov, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky.