Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov (1859–1924) the distinguished Russian composer, pianist, conductor, musicologist and teacher was born in Yaroslavl in the family of an astronomer. That was the future composer’s mother to bring him into the world of music. Then there was a college at the Nizhny Novgorod Department of the Russian Music Society, followed by the Moscow Conservatoire, where he studied till 1883 and acquired two specialties — composition theory at N. A. Gubert and S. I. Taneyev, piano at K. Klindworth and P. I. Pabst.
The composers of the Mighty Group (Moguchaya Kuchka guided by M. Balakirev) stirred Lyapunov’s mind from the early childhood. His removal to Petersburg in 1883 made for the beginning of the long-lasting friendship with M. A. Balakirev, interrupted only in 1910 by the music leader’s death.
1894–1902 — served as the manager’s assistant at the Court Kapelle;
1910 — invited to the Petersburg Conservatoire as the piano professor;
1917 — conducted special theory, counterpoint and instrumentation;
1919 — elected as the professor of the Arts’ History Institute (history music department);
1923 — departed abroad with author’s concerts;
1924 — died and buried in Paris.
Lyapunov’s music is distinct for bright vitality, tightly connected with traditional songs.
Lyapunov left a lot of compositions in diverse genres, beside the opera. He used to show his piano skill, performing meanwhile as a conductor of his own compositions.
It was in 1920, when Lyapunov created his grandiose cantata “Evening Song”, op. 68, for soloist, mixed choir and symphony orchestra to A. S. Khomyakov’s verses. Once the same poem was used by S. I. Taneyev (edited by P. Jurgenson, 1882), and A. T. Grechaninov (op. 12 № 1, 1897) — also in choral compositions.
Any researcher would find it most interesting to compare different interpretations of the same poem set to music by three distinguished composers.
Just pay attention to stylistic devices, inner conception, structure and melodic nature.
Lyapunov enriches orchestral hues (separate group of solo timbres, solo tenor mingled with choir and orchestra etc.). Isn’t it interesting to discover the idea having enthralled three of them, the representatives of the Russian classical music? This is the premiиre publication of the “Evening Song” — both score and piano score made by the author himself.