The Russian Piano Quartet

The Russian Piano Quartet


Artist: The Ames Piano Quartet

Composers: Alexander Borodin, Paul Juon, Sergei Taneyev

Format: 1 CD


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Mahlon Darlington (violin), George Work (cello), Jonathan Sturm (viola), William David (piano)

Employment for composers has evolved over the course of Western history from early positions as employees of either the church or aristocratic families, through a period in the nineteenth century of self-employed concert performers and private teachers, ultimately to positions as university professors. By the time both Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915) and Paul Juon (1872-1940) were composing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a position as a professor at a conservatory was both a normal career goal and a coveted lifestyle. For Taneyev—who had studied as a youth at the Moscow Conservatory with Tchaikovsky, had given the Moscow premiere of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, and had toured France with the celebrated violinist and pedagogue Leopold Auer—assuming the position of composition professor at the Moscow Conservatory upon Tchaikovsky’s death essentially meant a stable career in music from that point forward. He originally accepted the post on condition that he teach no more than two classes, yet upon the subsequent deaths of a piano faculty member and another composition teacher, he assumed more and more responsibilities until at last he was given the directorship of the conservatory. This crescendo of activity restricted his time to compose, and ultimately he resigned first the directorship, and then all of his responsibilities at the conservatory in order to devote himself to composing and performing.

—Jonathan Sturm

Track List

Paul Juon (1872-1940)
Rhapsody, Op. 37
1. Moderato
2. Allegretto
3. Sostenuto

Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915)
Piano Quartet in E Major, Op. 20
4. Allegro brillante
5. Adagio più tosto largo
6. Finale: Allegro molto

Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)
(Arr. Geoffrey Wilcken)
7. Polovetsian Dances

Total time: 78:57
Release date: 2000
UPC: 053479321527

Ames Piano Quartet plays with power, sensitivity, and brilliance.
— Victor Carr Jr.,

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