Nénie (Скорбная песнь) Op.67
Лядов для духового оркестра
(Lyadov is also spelled Liadov or Liadow - no confusion in Russian: Лядов)
Nénie - Скорбная песнь
Like most Russian music of the period this was published in the west under its French title; there is no single word in Russian for a dirge/elegy/lament/threnody, and "Skorbnaya pesn" means "Mourning Song".
In this his last orchestral work Lyadov (1914) enters a world that sounds uncannily like that of Scriabin (who was himself only months away from death although he could not know it). Conservative academic though he was, Lyadov was clearly not deaf to what was going on around him, and he slips easily into a style which he may not have endorsed publicly, but which reflects the mood of escapism which followed the disillusion of 1905. The harmonies are not particularly complex and can be analysed conventionally - the music spends 60% of its time on the tonic A, the subdominant D and the dominants of E and Bb; what is striking is their kaleidoscopic progress, as if they wish to let go of each other rather than connect, and it is easy to think of the piece as a personal farewell - there is no dedication to anyone else. As with Scriabin, who despite his mystical trappings kept an unerring sense of form, Lyadov's construction is disarmingly simple so that the listener is beguiled but not confused.