Anatol Liadov, classical music composer

Anatol Liadov

Biography

Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov or Liadov (Russian: Анато́лий Константи́нович Ля́дов; May 11 (old style April 29), 1855, St Petersburg - August 28 (old style August 15), 1914, Polynovka estate, Borovichevsky uezd, Novgorod guberniya) was a Russian composer, teacher and conductor.

Lyadov was born in St. Petersburg into a family of eminent Russian musicians. He was taught informally by his conductor father from 1860 to 1868, and then in 1870 entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory to study piano and violin. He soon gave up instrumental study to concentrate on counterpoint and fugue, although he remained a fine pianist. His natural musical talent was highly thought of by, among others, Modest Mussorgsky, and during the 1870s he became associated with the group of composers known as The Mighty Handful. He entered the composition classes of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, but was expelled for absenteeism in 1876. In 1878 he was readmitted to these classes to help him complete his graduation composition.

He taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1878, his pupils including Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Mikhail Gnesin, Lazare Saminsky and Boris Asafiev. Consistent with his character, he was a variable, but at times brilliant instructor. Conductor Nikolai Malko, who studied harmony with him at the conservatory, wrote, "Lyadov's critical comments were always precise, clear, understandable, constructive, and brief.... And it was done indolently, without haste, sometimes seemingly disdainfully. He could suddenly stop in midword, take out a small scissors from his pocket and start doing something with his fingernail, while we all waited."

Igor Stravinsky remarked that Lyadov was as strict with himself as he was with his pupils, writing with great precision and demanding fine attention to details. Prokofiev recalled that even the most innocent musical innovations drove the conservative Lyadov crazy. "Shoving his hands in his pockets and rocking in his soft woolen shoes without heels, he would say, 'I don't understand why you are studying with me. Go to Richard Strauss. go to Debussy.' This was said in a tone that meant 'Go to the devil!'" Still, Lyadov told his acquaintances about Prokofiev. "I am obliged to teach him. He must form his technique, his style—first in piano music." In 1905 he resigned briefly over the dismissal of Rimsky-Korsakov only to return when Rimsky-Korsakov was reinstated.
Lyadov introduced timber millionaire and philanthropist Mitrofan Belyayev (M. P. Belaieff) to the music of the teenage Alexander Glazunov. Interest in Glazunov's music quickly grew to Belayev's patronage of an entire group of Russian nationalist composers. In 1884 he instituted the Russian Symphony Concerts and established an annual Glinka prize. The following year he started his own publishing house in Leipzig. He published music by Glazunov, Lyadov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin at his own expense. In addition, young composers appealed for Belayev's help. Belayev asked Lyadov to serve with Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov on an advisory council to help select from these applicants. The group of composers that formed eventually became known at the Belayev Circle.

In November 1887, Lyadov met Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Nearly seven years earlier Tchaikovsky had given a negative opinion to the publisher Besel about a piano Arabesque Lyadov had written. Even before this visit, though, Tchaikovsky's opinion of Lyadov may have been changing. He had honored Lyadov with a copy of the score of his Manfred Symphony. Now that he had actually met the man face-to-face, the younger composer became "dear Lyadov." He became a frequent visitor to Lyadov and the rest of the Belayev Circle, beginning in the winter of 1890.

(from Wikipedia)

Composer Title Date Action
Anatol Liadov Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 57, No. 1 06/01/2009 Play Add to playlist
Anatol Liadov Prelude Op. 31, No. 2 12/04/2012 Play Add to playlist
Anatol Liadov Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 57, No. 1 12/04/2012 Play Add to playlist
Anatol Liadov Prelude Op. 11 12/04/2012 Play Add to playlist
Anatol Liadov Mazurka (In Dorian Mode) 12/04/2012 Play Add to playlist