Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Lyapunov, Sergei, Mikhailovich, Sonata, Opus 27, Piano, Two Dimensional Sonata, Double Function, Single Movement, Liszt, B minor, Concerto Op. Posth., Balakirev, Chopin, Prokofiev, Op. 82, No. 6, Liapounow, Liapunov, Ljapunov, Lyapunow, Russian Orthodox Church Music

Major Advisor

Dr. Richard Bass

Associate Advisor

Irma Vallecillo

Associate Advisor

Dr. Peter Kaminsky

Field of Study



Doctor of Musical Arts

Open Access

Open Access


Sergei Mikhailovich Lyapunov (1859-1924), Russian composer, pianist, conductor, musicologist, editor and pedagogue, holds an important place in the history of Russian music.Lyapunov established his reputation as a composer and as a distinguished professor at the Saint Petersburg Conservatoire in the early 1900s. Given his prominence in Russian music history, it is surprising that his work is relatively unknown in the United States.

Lyapunov’s Op. 27 Piano Sonata, composed in 1906-08 and published in 1908, is a work of considerable merit both compositionally and pianistically. It is one of the few consequential works modeled directly after Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, in which the different movements of a sonata cycle are combined within one single-movement sonata form.

Chapter one discusses Lyapunov’s life and compositional output. Chapter two includes a historical overview of Op. 27 that explores the compositional progress of the work as documented in letters between Lyapunov and Balakirev, as well as a complete analysis of the work focusing on formal and tonal structure, thematic content and motivic development, texture, and harmony. The third chapter addresses influences on Lyapunov’s compositional style as reflected in this sonata. The final chapter provides information about early reception of Op. 27 as well its performance history, recordings, and some performance considerations.

A large portion of this dissertation is based on previously unpublished materials obtained from the Department of Manuscripts at the National Library of Russia and the Department of Manuscripts at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in Saint Petersburg.