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Nikolai Tcherepnin: Piano Music

David Witten Audio CD

Price: £12.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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1. RÍverie
2. …tude
3. Idylle
4. Fourteen Sketches On Pictures from the Russian Alphabet, Op. 38
5. Andantino Commodo
6. Moderato Assai
7. Moderato Assai Molto Risoluto
8. Andantino Mosso
9. Marziale Maestoso
10. Andantino Con Moto

Product Description

Product Description

Nikolai Tcherepnin (18731945) was the first of what would become his familys musical dynasty: a conductor, composer, and professor at the St Petersburg Conservatory. He was principal conductor for the first few seasons of the Ballets Russes A student of Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov, his most famous student was Prokofiev, who was very fond of his conducting professor and dedicated three of his early works to him Tcherepnin developed a flair for colourful orchestration from these earlier composers as well as an interest in Russian folklore, art, mythology and fairy tales as subjects for musical inspiration. He also became an enthusiast for French Impressionism from frequent trips to Paris, where he eventually emigrated so much so that his friends used to tease him by calling him Debussy Ravelovich These influences show in his piano music here: the Three Pieces (early 1890s) have echoes of Chopin and Rachmaninov, and the remainder is inspired by classics of Russian childrens literature and the exquisite illustrations of Alexander Benois the Fourteen Sketches from Benois alphabet book for children, and Pushkins famous poem The Fisherman and the Fish complete with watery splashes! Benoiss exquisite illustrations are reproduced beautifully in the full-colour booklet.

Product Description

3 pièces, op.24 - 14 Sketches on Pictures from the Russian Alphabet, op.38 - The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish, op.41 / David Witten, piano

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars A really rewarding discovery 14 Sep 2013
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945) was a well-known and influential figure in his day, but unlike the music of his son Alexander, Nikolai's music appears to receive scant exposure these days. On the evidence of the music on this disc, this situation is quite inexplicable - this is memorably melodic, appealing, imaginative music, personal yet approachable and immediately attractive, and the program here reveals a composer with a wide range of compositional resources.

The three pieces op. 24 are romantic and intensely atmospheric, comprising a singing, haunting RÍverie, a stormy Etude and a marvelously wistful idylle. These are relatively early works and the style is obviously indebted to the example of Chopin rather than particularly individual, but none the worse for that, and they are apt to be beloved by anyone who at all enjoys romantic piano music. The language is slightly more harmonically explorative, and the voice more obviously personal, in the 14 Sketches on Pictures from the Russian Alphabet - 14 small but exquisitely crafted and often memorable, atmospheric snapshots inspired by the illustrations to a children's book. One is perhaps sometimes reminded of Tchaikovsky's op. 72 pieces, but Tcherepnin's miniatures are superior and display a far greater range when writing for the piano. Indeed, this is, despite the short duration of each individual numbers, a collection of gems. It certainly doesn't hurt that Toccata also gives us color reproductions of the pictures that inspired the composer.

In the "6 Musical Illustrations to Pushkin's `The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish'" the harmonic language is even more distinctive - indeed, it doesn't really sound like anything else (apparently there exists an orchestral version as well). Originally supposed to be accompanied by a narrator reciting the tale, the images conjured up by the piano are vivid enough by themselves - and the booklet also gives us the full text - and, though not as immediately appealing as the preceding 14 Sketches (though more original), this is a really fascinating piece. David Witten turns in excellent performances, full of warmth, color, subtlety and sensitivity, and he is captured in warm, clear sound. All in all, I was deeply impressed with this disc, and though I at one point deliberated whether to award it four or five stars, the color reproduction of the pictures and the full text for the Fisherman really clinched the matter. Strongly recommended.
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