Taneyev: Piano Music
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Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev: Piano Concerto, Music for solo Piano

Catalogue Number: TOCC0042
EAN: 5060113440426
Release Date: 7 August 2006
Duration: 77:18

Piano Concerto in E flat
Prelude in F major
Lullaby in B flat major
Theme and Variations in C minor
Allegro in E flat major
Andantino semplice in B minor
Repose (Elegy) in E major
March in D minor
Four Improvisations
The Composer’s Birthday, for narrator and piano, four hands
The Composer’s Birthday, for piano, four hands

Joseph Banowetz, piano
Russian Philharmonic of Moscow, orchestra
Thomas Sanderling, conductor
Vladimir Ashkenazy, narrator
Joseph Banowetz and Adam Wodnicki, piano duet

The piano music of Sergei Taneyev (1856–1915) is one of Russian’s hidden secrets. Student and friend of Tchaikovsky, Taneyev – a formidable pianist and composer of the front rank – has never had the attention he deserves. The CD couples a first-ever recording of the only two movements he recorded of his youthful piano concerto with more premiere recordings of music for solo piano from across his career. The Four Improvisations, composed jointly by Taneyev, Rachmaninov, Arensky and Glazunov, bring a composite first recording for all four composers. And The Composer’s Birthday, for narrator and piano, four hands, was written as a light-hearted birthday present for Tchaikovsky.

Booklet texts (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
DOWNLOAD COMPLETE ALBUM 77:18
1-2 Piano Concerto in E flat (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano
Russian Philharmonic of Moscow, orchestra
Thomas Sanderling, conductor

(first recording)
33:31
1 I. Allegro 25:03 play
2 II. Andante funebre 8:28 play
3 Prelude in F major (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano
3:18 play
4 Lullaby in B flat major (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano
3:28 play
5-17 Theme and Variations in C minor (1876)
[tempo indications in square brackets are Pavel Lamm’s editorial suggestions]

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano

(first recording)
10:53
5 Theme 0:48 play
6 Variation I, [Un poco più mosso] 0:44 play
7 Variation II, Allegretto alla quartetto di P. Tschaikovsky 0:57 play
8 Variation III, [Allegro] 0:57 play
9 Variation IV, [Allegretto] 0:20 play
10 Variation V, Andante espressivo 0:50 play
11 Variation VI, Allegro 0:30 play
12 Variation VII, Andante 0:46 play
13 Variation VIII, Allegro vivace 0:17 play
14 Variation IX, Allegro 0:30 play
15 Variation X, [Con moto] 0:58 play
16 Variation XI, Andante 0:50 play
17 Variation XII, Andante [non troppo lento] 2:26 play
18 Allegro in E flat major (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano

(first recording)
7:47 play
19 Andantino semplice in B minor (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano
5:09 play
20 Repose (Elegy) in E major (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano
3:07 play
21 March in D minor (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano

(first recording)
2:06 play
22-25 Four Improvisations (with Arensky, Glazunov and Rachmaninov) (1876)
[tempo indications in square brackets are Pavel Lamm’s editorial suggestions]

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz, piano

(first recording)
4:03
22 No. 1, [Moderato], E minor 1:15 play
23 No. 2, Allegretto, C major 0:46 play
24 No. 3, [Allegro scherzando], B flat minor 0:43 play
25 No. 4, Largo, F minor 1:19 play
26 The Composer’s Birthday, for narrator and piano, four hands (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Vladimir Ashkenazy, narrator
Joseph Banowetz and Adam Wodnicki, piano duet

(first recording)
2:03 play
27 The Composer’s Birthday, for piano, four hands (1876)

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer
Joseph Banowetz and Adam Wodnicki, piano duet

(first recording)
1:53 play

Artists

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, composer

Joseph Banowetz

Joseph Banowetz, piano

Moscow Symphony Orchestra ‘Russian Philharmonic’

Russian Philharmonic of Moscow, orchestra
[credit: Oleg Nachinkin, 2011]

Thomas Sanderling

Thomas Sanderling, conductor

Vladimir Ashkenazy, 2007

Vladimir Ashkenazy, narrator
[credit: Petr Novák, Wikipedia]

Joseph Banowetz and Adam Wodnicki, piano duo

Joseph Banowetz and Adam Wodnicki, piano duet

Reviews

An Intellectual Force

Ron Bierman Music & Vision 8th January 2008

…Gorgeous Playing

The prize here is a sampling of Taneyev's piano music, which sounds like a cross between Schumann and Tchaikovsky. Mr. Banowetz plays gorgeously, with a warm, unforced tone and natural expressivity. He's joined by faculty colleague Adam Wodnicki in Taneyev's short, four-hands birthday tribute to Tchaikovsky, performed both with and without narration (spoken in Russian by Vladimir Ashkenazy)…

Scott Cantrell The Dallas Morning News 14th July 2007

Last year saw the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Taneyev, and this enterprising release by Toccata Classics is devoted entirely to first recordings of his work. (See our article about the composer on page 62 for further background.)

In the Piano Concerto we see a tremendous feeling for atmosphere and an advanced understanding both of motivic treatment and of orchestration. The piano writing is intense and rich, and Joseph Banowetz plays with colour and persuasiveness, if not always with the maximum degree of imagination. There is a clear debt to Tchaikovsky in many of the textures, but a more advanced harmonic sense and a more subtle treatment of the thematic material, which is approached symphonically and in a rather Brahmsian grand manner. It is not difficult upon hearing this music to realise how Medtner arrived at his fusion of Russian Romantic temperament with a strict approach to form and development. It is also easy to imagine this work gaining greater popularity if performed more regularly.

The solo music includes four charming Improvisations to which Taneyev contributed. As a miniaturist, Taneyev stands with contemporaries such as Kopyloff in his ability to create a distinct mood with economy of gesture, and produces some attractive melodic ideas. One striking miniature is The Composer’s Birthday, where Banowetz is joined by Adam Wodnicki as his piano duet partner and Vladimir Ashkenazy as narrator, for a delightful piece that ends with a quote from The Nutcracker.

This is an extremely worthwhile disc to explore, and hopefully it will be the first of many to bring Taneyev back into the spotlight.

John Kersey International PIano

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