One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £10.50 postage paid world-wide.

Nikolai TCHEREPNIN (1873–1945)
Fairy Tales, Op. 33 (1905) [14:14]
Four Songs, Op. 16 (1903) [15:18]
Japanese Lyrics, Op. 52 (1923) [13:59]
Four Songs, Op. 8 (1900) [12:08]
Oceanic Suite, Op. 53 (1917) [23:37]
Elena Mindlina (soprano)
David Witten (piano)
rec. 7-8, 10-11 June 2013, Distler Performance Hall, Tufts University, Boston.

Of the Tcherepnin dynasty Nikolai is the father of the lineage. His music is close to the world of Rimsky-Korsakov, his teacher, and to the world of early Prokofiev, his pupil. Those remarks need to be filled out a little in the context of this very fully-packed CD; Tcherepnin wrote about ninety songs; about the same number as Rachmaninov. 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 who has already recorded Nikolai’s piano music for Toccata (TOCC0117: Three Pieces; Sketches on Pictures from the Russian Alphabet; The Fisherman and the Fish). He is equably balanced with Elena Mindlina. The two elements in these songs are well put across.
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. Enunciation is good as far as I can tell – the typically classy 28 page booklet sets Cyrillic side by side with English translations. Listen to how Mindlina produces a wan disembodied effect for The night in springtime – the first of the seven Japanese songs in Balmont translations. Quiet and unshakeable concentration cries out from both the singing and the pianism. By contrast the singing in the final Maguey-Agave (tr. 29) recalls nothing so much as the jet black and raven-haired muscularity of de Falla’s gypsy songs in El Amor Brujo. These are remarkable songs. When compared with the instrumental ensemble settings made by Lambert and Bliss of oriental poems the main contrast is the absence of quick or jocular music. The Op. 8 setting of Tyutchev’s Tears - which also forms the basis of the third movement of Rachmaninov’s Suite No. 1 for two pianos – is implacable and slowly powerful. As to power, much the same can be said of all these treasurable songs.
This composer is also a master of Russian orchestral fantasy as you can hear on Pletnev’s Russian Overtures collection on Newton Classics. Other works worth tracking down include his 66 minute ballet Le pavillon d'Armide (1907) recorded by Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Henry Shek (Marco Polo 8.223779). On Chandos there’s his 54 minute ballet Narcisse et Echo (CHAN 9670) from Gennady Rozhdestvensky and the Residentie Orchestra The Hague. If you would like to sample more of Nikolai’s songs then you need to hear Gedda on a Tcherepnin père et fils twofer issued by EMI in 2011.
By the way, Toccata also have a disc of Alexander’s solo piano music 1913–61 on TOCC0079. It collects archival recordings made by Alexander and new recordings by Mikhail Shilyaev.
Delphian have just issued a superb 3 CD set of the Rachmaninov songs to place alongside your Chandos/Brilliant set. Do not forget to pick up this disc at the same time. Satisfaction can be pretty much guaranteed. Now, when will some inspired person produce a complete set of the Medtner songs?

Rob Barnett

Complete track-listing
Fairy Tales, Op. 33 (Balmont; 1905)
1 No. 1 ‘Morning’ 2:01
2 No. 6 ‘Cat’s House’ 2:13
3 No. 8 ‘Pansies’ 1:59
4 No. 10 ‘Fairy’s Charms’ 2:51
5 No. 11 ‘Fairy’s Breeze’ 1:36
6 No. 15 ‘The Butterfly’ 3:34
Four Songs, Op. 16 (Tyutchev; 1903)
7 No. 1 ‘Thoughts and Waves’ 2:47
8 No. 2 ‘Last Love’ 3:46
9 No. 3 ‘Lake in Tsarskoe Selo’ 4:35
10 No. 4 ‘Twilight’ 4:10
Japanese Lyrics, Op. 52 (1923)
11 No. 1 Andante (Ōshikōchi no Mitsune) 1:16
12 No. 2 Molto sostenuto e tranquillo (Anon.) 1:28
13 No. 3 Andantino tranquillo, quasi Andante (Saigyō Hōshi) 1:59
14 No. 4 Andantino pensieroso, tranquillo (Ooi) 3:20
15 No. 5 Sostenuto assai (Tekkan Yosano) 1:42
16 No. 6 Sostenuto assai, molto tranquillo (Tekkan Yosano) 2:27
17 No. 7 Moderato con moto (Kakinomoto no Hitomaro) 1:47
Four Songs, Op. 8 (1900)
18 No. 1 ‘Tears’ (Tyutchev) 3:28
19 No. 2 ‘Like a Wavering Cloud’ (Fet) 2:26
20 No. 3 ‘On a Quiet Night’ (Tyutchev) 3:38
21 No. 4 ‘Spring Solace’ (Tyutchev) 2:36
Oceanic Suite: A Cycle of Incantations, Op. 53 (Balmont; 1917)
22 No. 1 ‘To the Earth’ 2:23
23 No. 2 ‘Incantation to the Heart’ 2:26
24 No. 3 ‘Incantation to the Earth Spirit’ 3:31
25 No. 4 ‘Incantation to the Maker of Shadows’ 2:06
26 No. 5 ‘Incantation to Love’ 3:49
27 No. 6 ‘Incantation to Memory’ 5:15
28 No. 7 ‘To the Earth’ 1:36
29 No. 8 ‘Maguey-Agave’ 2:31