Nikolai Tcherepnin: Songs

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Catalogue No: TOCC0221
EAN/UPC: 5060113442215
Release Date: 2014-03-03
Composer: Nikolai Tcherepnin
Artists: David Witten, Elena Mindlina

Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945) — a student of Rimsky-Korsakov and teacher of Prokofiev — was a Russian-born composer and conductor, and the first of his family's musical dynasty. This CD provides an overview of his ninety-plus songs, which cover a wide range of styles. The early ones are in a late-Romantic idiom; the Japanese Lyrics of 1923 display oriental colours; and the extraordinary Oceanic Suite (1917-23), which sets a series of incantations by the symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont, presents modern evocations of primitive ritual.

Elena Mindlina, soprano
David Witten, piano

Listen To This Recording:

    Fairy Tales, Op. 33 (Balmont; 1905)

  1. No. 1 ‘Morning’
  2. No. 6 ‘Cat’s House’
  3. No. 8 ‘Pansies’
  4. No. 10 ‘Fairy’s Charms’
  5. No. 11 ‘Fairy’s Breeze’
  6. No. 15 ‘The Butterfly’
  7. Four Songs, Op. 16 (Tyutchev; 1903)

  8. No. 1 ‘Thoughts and Waves’
  9. No. 2 ‘Last Love’
  10. No. 3 ‘Lake in Tsarskoe Selo’
  11. No. 4 ‘Twilight’
  12. Japanese Lyrics, Op. 52 (1923)

  13. No. 1 Andante (Ōshikōchi no Mitsune)
  14. No. 2 Molto sostenuto e tranquillo (Anon.)
  15. No. 3 Andantino tranquillo, quasi Andante (Saigyō Hōshi)
  16. No. 4 Andantino pensieroso, tranquillo (Ooi)
  17. No. 5 Sostenuto assai (Tekkan Yosano)
  18. No. 6 Sostenuto assai, molto tranquillo (Tekkan Yosano)
  19. No. 7 Moderato con moto (Kakinomoto no Hitomaro)
  20. Four Songs, Op. 8 (1900)

  21. No. 1 ‘Tears’ (Tyutchev)
  22. No. 2 ‘Like a Wavering Cloud’ (Fet)
  23. No. 3 ‘On a Quiet Night’ (Tyutchev)
  24. No. 4 ‘Spring Solace’ (Tyutchev)
  25. Oceanic Suite: A Cycle of Incantations, Op. 53 (Balmont; 1917)

  26. No. 1 ‘To the Earth’
  27. No. 2 ‘Incantation to the Heart’
  28. No. 3 ‘Incantation to the Earth Spirit’
  29. No. 4 ‘Incantation to the Maker of Shadows’
  30. No. 5 ‘Incantation to Love’
  31. No. 6 ‘Incantation to Memory’
  32. No. 7 ‘To the Earth’
  33. No. 8 ‘Maguey-Agave’

4 reviews for Nikolai Tcherepnin: Songs

  1. :

    ‘Profound lyrical enchantment fusing exultant Russian melodiousness with a fastidious palette worthy of Ravel, in masterly performances that radiate the intense joy of each fresh musical discovery.’

    —Julian Haylock, BBC Music Magazine

  2. :

    ‘… They are highly romantic in the manner of Rachmaninov and with a strong vein of impressionism. I have no doubt at all that if you already have favourites among the latter’s songs then you can buy this collection with complete confidence. … David Witten is a mature and sensitive pianist… Mindlina brings just the right blend of Slavonic combustibility, dreamy introspection, fairytale fantasy, dark shadows, honeyed sweetness, girlish innocence, play-acting vocal characterisation and operatic blow-torch.’

    —Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

  3. :

    ‘…The Four Songs, Op 8; Four Songs, Op 16; and Fairy Tales, Op 33, are late romantic in style, all well written. …Mindlina does a fine job on all these songs; she has a brighter voice than what comes into my head when I think of a Russian soprano, and she’s a delight to listen to. …The Oceanic Suite: A Cycle of Incantations inhabits a different world than the other sets— it’s less romantic than the three earlier sets, but of fuller texture than the Japanese Lyrics. So, songs worth hearing if not worth obsessing about.’

    —Stephen Estep, American Record Guide

  4. :

    ‘This collection of songs by Nikolai Tcherepnin seems the very definition of the Russian soul. […]

    These songs fit right into that position between the Romantics and the Moderns, and they are very engaging songs that deserve a more visible place in the repertoire than they have. Anyone who enjoys the songs of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and, for instance, Sibelius is likely to respond well to these. They are evocative and very beautiful. […]

    [Elena Mindlina] is clearly a very good musician and knows these songs well (she and the pianist collaborated on the superb program notes). She sings with intelligence, with well-thought-out inflection and phrasing, and with real dynamic variety. […] Witten plays the piano parts with an equally involved sense of color and shaping, and the recorded sound is very well balanced. ‘

    —Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2014

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