A DMA recording project accompanied by an essay on an interpretation of selected Russian composers' piano music in the late 19th-century
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The selected piano works in this recording constitute a significant sampling of the Russian style of piano music in the last quarter of the 19th-century. Containing influences from the Western European Romantic style, Russian traditions, and a number of unique innovations, this program for solo piano covers many important aspects of Lyadov, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky's overall piano music output. From the miniature pieces like Lyadov's Three Morceaux and Musical Snuffbox, to Mussorgsky's huge cyclic work, Pictures at an Exhibition, the genesis of the selected pieces is discussed in this document. This paper accompanies a recording of each piece discussed, complete with discussions of performance choices and comparisons to other recordings. These compositions give an interesting snapshot of the overall output of Russian piano music because they show a great diversity of style, influence, and compositional techniques—fitting for a music tradition as diverse as that of Russian piano music in the late 19th-century.