Classiqueinfo-Disque

It is a praiseworthy enterprise to try to interest the western world in Russian piano music, the generic title of the series produced by Divine Art: one admires the perseverance and the devotion to this repertoire of the English pianist Anthony Goldstone, responsible for four of the five volumes that have appeared… The fourth volume [is] dedicated to some rare works by Sergei Lyapunov… Fortunately for lovers of romantic Russian music, Anthony Goldstone delivers unrivalled versions of all the pieces that he records…

The influence of Liszt is evident in [Lyapunov’s] technically very demanding piano music… [The sonata contains] a succession of tumultuous episodes, complicated by chains of five-note chords in both hands – writing that sometimes makes direct reference to the orchestra… Anthony Goldstone succeeds, with an exemplary fidelity to the text, in respecting the minutest indications of nuances, delineating the constant variations in atmosphere, unlocking the strands, with an intelligence and a love reflected in his booklet notes. He never stops at technical flamboyance, giving priority to the lyricism and the melody… Happily he also knows how to give all the necessary projection to imagery when the music becomes pictorial and one can see caravans snaking through the desert in The Procession of the Magi, when singers can be heard approaching from the distance intoning a religious chorale, for the music of Lyapunov is as strongly marked by exotic images as by liturgical tradition: with what seems to us today a certain nostalgic tenderness, mixed with salon-upholstered delicacy, it evokes a world about to disappear, which celebrates, with a naive joy, age-old traditions that from one moment to the next might vanish in a puff of smoke…

This superb disc … of Russian music … magnificently interpreted by an English pianist … obviously deserves to be available anew.

—Fred Audin