Date of Graduation
The Twelve Transcendental Studies Op. 11 for solo piano by Russian composer Sergei Liapunov (1859â€“1924) were written between 1897 and 1905 as a deliberate attempt to finish the key cycle begun by Franz Liszt (1811â€“1886) in his twelve studies of the same title. Whereas Liszt composed his twelve transcendental studies in each of the flat keys, the Liapunov studies are written in the sharp keys, completing the circle of fifths. The central purpose of the paper is to examine the diverse musical influences which Liapunov incorporated into his composition of the Op. 11 set, and how they contribute to the artistry and overall merit of the studies. The most evident Lisztian influences are seen in borrowed textures in many of Liapunov's etudes. The use of Lisztian cadenzas and the â€œLiszt octavesâ€ are also notable (Chapter II). However, the Op. 11 studies are actually more Russian than Lisztian in character. Liapunov's mentor Mili Balakirev left an indelible mark in the form of several quoted passages as well as subject matters related to the Caucasus region (Chapter III). Other Russian composers of his time, most notably the other members of the nationalist â€œMighty Five,â€ also inspired Liapunov (Chapter IV). The inclusion of distinctively Russian elements such as folk music, â€œOrientalâ€ music from the outer regions of Russia, and the sounds of Russian bells, adds a unique character to the Op. 11 set (Chapter V). On the whole, Liapunov was successful in skillfully incorporating the varied external influences in the Op. 11 studies. While demonstrating his lyrical gift and developing his own individual style, he achieved a highly accomplished, if rarely heard, set of piano pieces. Liapunov's Op. 11 remains largely unknown and scarcely performed today, partly due to the formidable technical demands and occasionally uneven quality of the studies. Nevertheless, the Op. 11 claims its place in piano literature as a set of masterworks by a retrospective composer who, at the onset of the twentieth century, rejected the emerging new styles of music and made one final masterful stroke in the Lisztian tradition of Romantic piano music.
Banks, Andrew G., "Musical influences which shaped the â€œTwelve Transcendental Studiesâ€ Op. 11 by Sergei Liapunov (1859â€“1924)." (2004). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8441.