Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tcherepnin, Alexander Nikolayevich. (1899-1977) Orchestral Works. CD I.

From my collection.
Bought in 2010.
Label: BIS.
First listen: 4-3-2014,
Second listen: 16-11-2016.
Recording dates: January 1999.
Recording venue: Victoria Concert Hall, Singapore.
Recording engineer: Hans Kipfer.
Running time: 75:17.
Classical relevance: Reference recordings and performances.

Works. CD 1.

Symphony No 1 in E major, opus 42. (1927)
Symphony No. 2 in E flat major, opus 77. (1947-1951)
Piano Concerto, No. 5, opus 96. (1963)

Performers.

Noriko Ogawa, Piano.
Singapore SO, Lan Shui.

What I like in this composer, is his logical build up of the music. Straightforward, lucidly scored, with a strong rhythmic sense, placed into the music in a very economical way. No waste notes so to say!

Tcherepnin has its own voice, there is no one quite like him, and that fact alone makes him for me very interesting. He combines many stylistic elements, from many cultural musical backgrounds, without falling into the trap of sounding like any of the given inspirations. He is mostly tonal, albeit stretched to the limit at times. His music has a forward thrust that makes you want to run after it. Not that it is easy to define where your going after, but the adrenaline is in constant supply, and keeps you on your toes.  His first Symphony is a powerhouse of all the things I mentioned, tightly constructed, emitting a sort of see through coolness, but a cold environment that is pleasant to the senses. It's like time and music are frozen on the spot, but one has a clear outlook at what's beyond. I like it very much.
The Piano concerto, has the same kind of coolness, and this very logical build up of crystal clear notes. A very deliberate tempo in the first movement, almost majestic, and very grand, distanced even. Again a  friendly freezing atmosphere. Ogawa keeps the textures very open, softly staccato playing, not putting too much stress on the keys, the music simply doesn't need that.
The second movement is like a Ice palace, icicles everywhere, reminded me of the film Doctor Zhivago, were the lovers go to a house in the middle of nowhere, and outside as inside, all is frozen in a sort of magical way, with a enormous silence around them. Beautiful.
The third movement is a jolly ride in a sleigh over the frozen landscape, with the driver standing up, and using his whip every so slightly to push the horse to an even faster speed, just to go back to a trot, as easily. Again crystal clear playing, orchestra and soloist keep the landscape very open. Such images, I am wondering myself about this. But they emerge from me, just like that.
The second symphony is a different animal, the first movement introduction being almost balletic in nature, with a faster dancing lilt later on, almost a waltz. Less technical, it has a friendly outlook, that will involve you in the bustle of optimistic thoughts. The second movement is a trip to fairy land, ethereal at moments, a fine filigree of melodic fragments floating by. 
The third movement is a bustle again of dialogue, between all desks in the orchestra, fiercely arguing at times, but always in a friendly manner. The outlook of the music is less straight faced, but aims more to a harmonic balance. Rhythmically a very exciting movement.
The Fourth movement opens a bit dissonantly, as if dipping its feet in cold water, and shying away from it, because its too cold. Then it's like a fire starts crackling, and the warmth is enveloping the listener.  The sound is of demonstration class. And the performance is utterly convincing.




Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760) Partitas for Harpsichord. Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: July 2017. First listen: 26-7-2017. Label: Analekta. Recording dates: September 2001. Recording v...