Alexander + Nikolai Tcherepnin & Prokofiev / Alexander Gadjiev

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Alexander Gadjiev writes: “This is a special album that exclusively features brief pieces taken from short anthologies or collections. For me it’s like a journey without a chronology: I just wanted to choose an interesting itinerary. All these pieces seem to evoke a “dark meditation”. Even in lively passages there is an underlying mood of brooding: it is the atmosphere of the early 20th century and the cultural milieu of Symbolism. These are brief, abstract visions of different worlds. You can sense that a single chord or series of sounds could escalate to evoke an entire universe.”


Even knowing what’s in store from Prokofiev’s Sarcasms doesn’t entirely prepare you for the sheer venom he unleashes at the opening, nor for the intelligence with which he moderates that attack thereafter. The set of five pieces is not just the epitome of Prokofiev’s grotesque and motoric manners; it is also underpinned by eeriness and fantasy, as Gadjiev’s own interview-note puts it and as his playing beautifully demonstrates. The coupling is pleasingly adventurous but also logical, given that the Eight Pieces by Tcherepnin fils are so thoroughly indebted to Prokofiev and that Prokofiev himself was not only taught (orchestration) by Tcherepnin père but also (exceptionally) expressed his admiration. That several of Alexander’s Eight Pieces could be interleaved with the Sarcasms and probably fool most listeners is a tribute to their craftsmanship and strength of character.

I shall certainly be returning to Nikolay Tcherepnin’s rarely heard Illustrations to Pushkin’s Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish. These may borrow extensively from Debussy but they also display a subtle sensibility all their own[.]


Product Description:

  • Release Date: July 08, 2022

  • Catalog Number: AVI 8553494

  • UPC: 4260085534944

  • Label: Cavi

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Sergei Prokofiev, Alexander Tcherepnin, Nikolai Tcherepnin

  • Performer: Alexander Gadjiev