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KONSTANTIN IGUMNOV
Russian pianist (1873 - 1948)



Konstantin Igumnov was a pupil of Nikolai Zverev whose students numbered Alexander Siloti, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin, and Alexander Goldenweiser.  At the Moscow conservatory he studied piano with Siloti and Paul Pabst, and composition with Taneyev, Arensky and Ippolitov-Ivanov.

His list of students includes some of the most prominent names of the Russian school including Bolesław Kon, Naum Shtarkman, Elena Beckman-Shcherbina, Yakov Flier, Lev Oborin, Maria Grinberg, Andrzej Wasowski, Ryszard Bakst, Tengiz Amirejibi, Natalia Satina (Rachmaninoff's wife), Bella Davidovich, Rosa Tamarkina, and the legendary conductor Issay Dobrowen.

He Premiered Rachmaninoff's first piano sonata and was known for his late Beethoven sonatas and his Liszt, none of which are available to me to hear.

Konstantin Igumnov's style belongs to a past era.  When you consider that he was an exact contemporary of Rachmaninoff, it sounds dated.  His Beethoven is not my idea of Beethoven, and I am not overwhelmed by his take on Tchaikovsky and Liadov, but it gives an interesting view into how the late Russian Romantics might have approached such music. Of course, their are moments of sheer genius.

For me, Konstantin Igumnov is well suited to Schumann.  Both are extremely romantic and somewhat erratic in their approach. His playing of the 2nd movement from Kreisleriana, and its struggle between Florestan and Eusebius, grabs and holds my attention.  And I find his Scriabin Poème just beautiful.

I also find Igumnov's Chopin mazurka curiously appealing, while his performance of the sonata is perhaps the most disturbing of the lot, sounding as though he were arguing with the music much of the time.



Beethoven  Piano Sonata 7 in D major, Op 10~1

i Presto
07:02ii Largo e mesto
14:55iii Minuetto - Allegro
17:26iv Rondo - Allegro

recorded live in 1947




Chopin  Mazurka in B major, Op 56~1

recorded in 1935




Chopin  Piano Sonata 3 in B minor, Op 58


i Allegro maestoso
ii Scherzo - Molto vivace



iii Largo



iv Finale - Presto non tanto. Agitato




Schumann  Kreisleriana, Op 16

recorded in 1941


ii Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch



iii Sehr aufgeregt
iv Sehr langsam




Tchaikovsky-Pabst  from Six Romances for voice and piano, Op 16
1 Cradle Song (Lullaby)

recorded live in 1947




Tchaikovsky  "Evening Dreams" in G minor, Op 19~1

recorded live in 1947




Tchaikovsky  "The Seasons", Op 37a

recorded in 1947


1
January - "By the Fireside"
04:50 2 February - "Shrovetide"
07:28 3 March - "Song of the Lark"



4 April - "The Snowdrop"
02:37 5 May - "White Nights"



6 June - "Barcarolle"
04:29 7 July - "The Song of the Reaper"
06:12 8 August - "Harvest"



9 September - "The Hunt"
02:42 10 October - "Autumn Song"



11 November - "Troika"
03:03 12 December - "Christmas"




Tchaikovsky  Piano Sonata in G major, Op 37

i Moderato e risoluto
12:31 ➢ ii Andante non troppo quasi moderato
21:24 ➢ iii Scherzo - Allegro giocoso
24:22 ➢ iv Finale - Allegro vivace

recorded live in 1947




Liadov  "Variations sur un thème de Glinka" Op 35

recorded live in 1947




Scriabin  Poème in F major, Op 32~1

recorded in 1935










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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