A pupil of Tchaikovsky, whom he replaced at the Moscow Conservatory, Sergey Taneyev was a virtuoso pianist and a teacher of Scriabin and Rachmaninov. Although as a composer Taneyev is best known today for his four symphonies, he also composed a sizeable body of chamber music, including six String Quartets. These beautifully crafted works are marked by technical assurance at every turn, as well as dramatic inspiration and intense lyricism. The masterly five-movement Quartet No. 1, in fact Taneyev’s Fifth, includes two notable slow movements, while the lighter Quartet No. 3 features a graceful theme with eight variations, alternately playful and contemplative.
A pupil of Tchaikovsky, who called him the ‘Russian Bach’, Sergey Taneyev is best known today for his four symphonies, although he also composed a sizeable body of chamber music, including nine complete String Quartets. Quartet No. 9 is a memorably melodic work, while the beautifully crafted Quartet No. 6, his last completed quartet, is rather more austere, though marked by a playful Jig, and even more masterful in construction.
We all seem to lead such busy lives these days, juggling family, friends and work and freetime and trying to keep in touch with all our friends and duties that we forget to slow down to enjoy life - like Carpe Diem ("use and enjoy the day"). While it is important to schedule time to get things done, it is equally important to take time to simply appreciate life. It can be hard to stop, relax and enjoy ourselves. But with a little thought, imagination and organisation it is possible to lighten the load and make life easier. Carpe Diem - use the day!