The Bohemian Eduard Nápravník (1839–1916) was central to Russian musical life from his arrival in St Petersburg in 1861 until his death. He was the conductor of the Imperial Opera from 1869 to 1916 giving the premieres of dozens of important works including operas by Musorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. He composed four symphonies, four operas, much chamber music and many piano works. (You can hear his Concerto symphonique and Fantaisie russe in Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series on CDA67511
.) Nápravník’s Notturno, subtitled ‘La réminiscence de Chopin’, is the first of his two pieces Op 48 (No 2 is entitled Scherzo), published in 1894. Its main theme in D flat major (strikingly similar to Ketèlbey’s Bells across the meadows
) leads to a more animated central section in A major before returning via a series of Chopinesque modulations to the maddeningly catchy first subject.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010