One of Konstantin’s older brothers Alexander Nikolayevich Liadov, having started his musical career as a violinist, became a ballet and ballroom conductor. The 1840s were the peak of his fame, and he was called ‘a magician of illustrious balls’. The first piano pieces written by Alexander were published at the time when his brother Konstantin began composing (Alexander was over 30 years old). Alexander, as contemporaries recall, was not able to orchestrate the music. Once he received an order from Emperor Nicholas I who whistled a waltz tune to him and requested that this waltz be performed with the orchestra that same evening. Alexander wrote down the tune and rushed off to Konstantin to ‘beg him to help resolve this difficult task’. In two and a half hours his brother’s orchestration was ready, and the orchestra performance of the waltz that evening was conducted by Alexander – for which he received a ‘valuable gift from the Tsar’. All known details of the life and career of the both brothers allow us to conclude that many musical pieces printed under the name of Alexander Liadov, probably involved his brother Konstantin’s participation. Besides, Konstantin did not have the right to publish sheet music under his own name: composing such music was part of his instructional and later, professional work at the Imperial Theatres, and as such the music was the property of the Imperial Theatres.
Igor Prokhorov and Anatoly Evgen’evich Pomazansky