Thursday, 5 August 2010

A prelude to 'La Princesse'...

Among the handful of composers to have had a bash at the Rudel legend (besides the previously-blogged-about Kaija Saariaho) is the Russian composer Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945). I think you'd have to call him one of the minor late Romantics, on a par with someone like Anatoly Lyadov or Vasily Kalinnikov.

Tcherepnin (not to be confused with his son Alexander or his grandson Ivan, both also composers but of a very different stripe) studied composition with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov at the St Petersburg Conservatory. While still a student he was commissioned to write an orchestral prelude for Rostand's Rudel drama, La Princesse Lointaine (1896). According to the Tcherepnin family's website, 'Tcherepnin later observed that his concept of professionalism owed much to the experience of writing and exhaustively rewriting his Prélude pour la Princesse Lointaine, Op. 4, under Rimsky's guidance'.

Inevitably, you can listen to the piece on youtube. It's quite floaty and tone-poem-esque.

Update, 6 August 2011: No you can't - it's been removed.

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