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Nikolai Tcherepnin CD Release "Songs"

A landmark CD sponsored by the Tcherepnin Society has just been released on the Toccata Classics label: the first-ever recorded program devoted exclusively to Nikolai Tcherepnin’s songs for voice and piano.

(TOCC0221). Soprano Elena Mindlina and pianist David Witten perform 29 songs from five of the composer’s published collections, ranging from late-Romantic efforts of the late 1890s to more experimental scores of the 1910s and 20s.

In September 2014, the Grand Piano label released the eighth and final CD in its landmark series devoted to Alexander Tcherepnin’s complete solo piano works, splendidly performed by the Czech virtuoso Giorgio Koukl and produced with the support of the Tcherepnin Society. Including almost eight hours of music, these CDs present many works in world premiere recordings and offer several significant unpublished scores.

The concluding Volume 8 (GP 659) centers on Tcherepnin’s remarkably substantive piano pieces for children, almost all recorded here for the first time. Highlights among these premieres are the disarmingly lyric For Young and Old, Op. 65 (1940), the hymnodic Story of Little Therèse of the Child Jesus, Op. 36B (1926), the Piano Study on the Pentatonic Scale (1934-35), comprising two tiny suites intended for very young Chinese pianists along with the more demanding Chinese Bagatelles, the vivacious Episodes, written during Tcherepnin’s childhood in Russia, and a series of deft little gems for the very young, produced during the composer's later decades in America.

Volumes 5, 6 and 7 of Mr. Koukl's Tcherepnin series all appeared earlier in 2014. Volume 5 (GP 650) juxtaposes two of the composer's youthful publications, the neo-Romantic Eight Preludes Op. 9 and the impressionistic Arabesques, Op. 11 with works from Tcherepnin’s last years: the experimental Twelve Pieces from 1969 and the composer’s final project: Opivochki, Op. 109, a series of 39 ultra-brief piano vignettes.

Volume 6 (GP 651) offers the lyrical Songs without Words, Op. 82 from the 1950s, along with varied works from 1940s�Chant et Refrain, Op. 66, Le monde en vitrine, Op. 75, La Quatrième and Rondo à la russe. It also includes world premiere recordings of the Deux Novelettes, Op. 19, the unpublished Prayer from 1914 and the virtuoso Transcriptions Slaves, Op. 27 (these include a rousing version of the well-known “Volga Boat Song”).

World premieres on Volume 7 (GP 658) are the scintillating Etude de Concert and the elegant Canon, both from the 1920s, the sprightly Pastorale from The Lost Flute, Op. 89 (1955), the songful Dialogue from 1938 Suite Georgienne, Op. 57, the mischievous Badinage (1941) and two scores composed by Tcherepnin at age eighteen: the Old St. Petersburg waltz and the ambitious Ballade. Other highlights are three key pieces from the 1920s: the kaleidoscopic Voeux, Op. 39B, the suavely lyric Canzona, Op. 28 and the grandiose Toccata No. 2, Op. 20. Heard as well is the charming suite Autour des Montagnes Russes, and an amusing travel memoir, “Souvenir de Voyage,” both written during the ’30s.

Enthusiastic reviews have greeted the earlier volumes of Mr. Koukl’s series, issued in 2012-2013. (Volume 1, GP 608; Volume 2, GP 632; Volume 3, GP 635; Volume 4, GP 649). The Naxos Blog has posted a podcast devoted to this extraordinary CD series, entitled “Sounding the World” which may be found at

Alexander Tcherepnin Piano Music CDRECENT RELEASE
On October 1, 2012, Toccata Classics released an exceptionally significant CD of Alexander Tcherepnin’s piano music (TOCC 0079) which features rare 1965 archival radio performances by Tcherepnin himself.  Recorded in remarkably fine sound, Tcherepnin presents both of his Piano Sonatas, the Préludes Nostalgiques, Op. 23 and a Prelude from Op. 85 in supremely cogent readings that radiate urgent excitement.  On the rest of the disc, the Russian virtuoso Mikhail Shilyaev plays Tcherepnin’s Expressions, Op. 81 along withdisc world premieres of the composer’s Petite Suite, Op. 6, Moment Musical (1913), Entretiens, Op. 46, Scherzo, Op. 3, and three works from the 1940s (Rondo à la Russe, Polka and La Quatrième).

Nikolai Tcherepnin Piano Music CD

Nikolai Tcherepnin
Piano Music

Toccata Classics has released a brand new recording of piano music by Nikolai Tcherepnin, brilliantly played by pianist David Witten. Rave reviews have appeared, including 3 excerpted below. This CD also includes color reproduction of 14 of the original Children’s Alphabet Book paintings by Alexandre Benois  which Tcherepnin chose to interpret, as well as informative written notes by Witten. Listen to samples and purchase at or at

The ObserverNikolai revealed in all his pianistic glory in these fascinating first recordings, from the lushly romantic early "Three Pieces", with their tinges of Chopin and Rachmaninov, to a charmingly original set of tone poems based on children's alphabet sketches... David Witten is entirely at home in the vivid imagery of "The Fisherman and the Fish" – all watery splashes and flashing sunlight. Enchanting stuff. - Stephen Pritchard

Fanfare Magazine: David Witten unfailingly finds the right approach to each of these selections... an ability to capture the poetic moment Tcherepnin so plainly cherished...bright, forward, and lifelike. With excellent notes by the pianist, this is a disc that will hopefully generate not merely sales of itself, but interest in its seldom heard composer. - Barry Brenesal

MusicWeb-International: On the evidence at least of this release, Tcherepnin's piano music...merits a place in every pianist's repertoire and on every music-lover's shelf.  -  Byzantion

Alexander Tcherepnin: The Saga of a Russian Emigre Composer

Alexander Tcherepnin: The Saga of a Russian Emigré Composer.

Click here for more information.

Click here to purchase this book from Indiana University Press.

NEW: For information about upcoming as well as recent Tcherepnin Society news and concerts, click here.

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Nikolai Tcherepnin
Alexander Tcherepnin
Ivan Tcherepnin

THE TCHEREPNIN SOCIETY is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the music and aesthetic ideals of the Tcherepnin family's three generations of distinguished composers: Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945), Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977) and Ivan Tcherepnin (1943-1998). Our particular model for activity is the multifaceted career that earned Alexander Tcherepnin the sobriquet "Musical Citizen of the World." A superlative composer, a lifelong pioneer in new musical techniques, and a dedicated educator, he was also an enthusiastic internationalist whose fascination with folk idioms brought him through Eurasian culture to China and Japan. It was to carry on these shared ideals that Alexander's widow Hsien Ming Tcherepnin (1911-1991) founded the Society. Under her leadership, the organization played an important role in re-normalizing musical contacts between China and the West after the disruptions of the Cultural Revolution. After her death, leadership passed to Ivan Tcherepnin, whose global interests as a composer and professor at Harvard University melded modern technology with a variety of near- and far-Eastern philosophical and aesthetic concerns.


Buffalo Boy's Flute by Heh Liuting won first prize in the landmark Chinese composers' competition sponsored by Alexander Tcherepnin in Shanghai in 1934. Tcherepnin soon chose a buffalo boy logo for the publishing firm he founded in Tokyo to issue Chinese and Japanese concert works, offering Mr. Heh's score as No. 1 in his catalogue.

To Ivan Tcherepnin, who made the buffalo boy his own a generation later, this filial icon represented the youthful joy that accompanies and blesses the creative act.

Today the Tcherepnin Society continues to furnish financial and artistic support for concerts, new recordings and the reissue of important older recordings of music by the Tcherepnins, particularly of scores that suffer unjust neglect. We provide financing for scholarly books and articles that contribute to increased understanding of the Tcherepnins' artistry. We subsidize international concertizing by musicians who aim at Alexander and Ivan Tcherepnin's multicultural reach, and also underwrite educational travel and study programs that enable young musicians of all nations to immerse themselves in musical traditions radically different from those in their homelands.

Alexander Tcherepnin's view of music as a moral force that breaks down artificial barriers between peoples has a special relevance in our own troubled times. We invite you to help us in our efforts to keep these ideals alive and flourishing.

Contributions to The Tcherepnin Society, a 501 (c) (3) organization, are tax deductible.

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