This month we mark the centenary of the death of Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev, on 19 June, 1915.
Taneyev entered the Moscow Conservatory when he was only nine years old. He studied composition with Tchaikovsky and piano with Nikolay Rubenstein, graduating in 1875 as the conservatory's first ever student to win the gold medal for composition and piano performance. Counterpoint held a fascination for Taneyev throughout his life.
His instrumental compositions include a number of chamber works (among them string trios, quartets and quintets, plus a piano quintet), four symphonies and a concert suite with violin; his choral works include a number of songs, two cantatas and the opera Oresteya, which Taneyev considered his finest achievement.
Taneyev was the soloist in the first Moscow performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a role he repeated in all Tchaikovsky's later works for piano and orchestra. Over time, he assumed more and more responsibilities at the Conservatory, becoming director in 1885. His pupils included Scriabin and Rachmaninov.
“The Carpe Diem players perform this music with the same devoted intensity as if they were rediscovering a lost work by Tchaikovsky…the players here communicate such delight in the Russian’s quirky inspiration that the ear is led effortlessly on.”
– The Strad
Listen to an extract from
String Quartet No. 7: IV. Allegro molto
“This is a thoroughly winning disc. Ivan Peshkov is wonderful in the two violin works, and Olga Solovieva, as both soloist and accompanist, is one of the best advocates Taneyev has. Urgently recommended.”