Folksong from Yunnan. English text by the composer.
A rehearsal peformance by Peter Mellalieu (baritone). In preparation for a performance for the Auckland Lieder Group, New Zealand.
Recorded 22 October 2010 on Zoom H4N digital recorder. Postproduction on Garageband.
Note: There is one recording of this song available on the internet recorded by Sally Light, in Russian. Heidi Waleson provides a brief bibliographic note detailing Tcherepninb's passion for China. He subsequently founded his own publishing house in Tokyo for the purpose of promoting Chinese and Japanese composers (Ramey).
By the time Tcherepnin arrived in China in 1934 on one of his worldwide concert tours, he was weary of his technical experiments and ripe for what he later called his "folk cure." Tcherepnin was so taken with China (and with a young Chinese pianist, Lee Hsien-Ming) that he canceled the rest of his tour and remained there for several years, even after Ming left to study in Brussels and Paris. Concerned about the impending dilution of Chinese music, he became assistant to the Minister of Culture. As a professor at the Shanghai Conservatory, he educated a generation of composers in techniques of expressing their native styles in modern forms, and set up competitions to encourage its creation, publication, and dissemination. (He was to do this again in Japan.)
Tcherepnin's own work became imbued with Chinese techniques and sensibilities. The Five Concert Etudes, Opus 52, use the pentatonic scale, and gracefully translate Chinese ideas for Western ears. "The Lute" is based on a Chinese tale for the friendship between a woodcutter and a mandarin and the lute that symbolized their bond; it recreates the resonating strings of the Chinese instrument, called the kou chin, by sustaining a single chord throughout the piece to create a sea of sound. "Homage to China", dedicated to Lee Hsien-Ming, whom he married in 1938, mimics the sound the mandolin-lie pipa, which is played with picks or fingernails, while "Punch and Judy" is based on a traditional Chinese puppet-theater air. (Waleson, n.d.)References
Score copyright 1956 M. P. Belaiefff, Bonn.
Biography of Alexander Tcherepnin by Phillip Ramey. (n.d.). TheTcherepnin Society. Retrieved October 16, 2010, from http://www.tcherepnin.com/alex/bio_alex.htm
Chou, L. (n.d.). Alexander Tcherepnin: A Generic Catalogue of Works. TheTcherepnin Society. Retrieved October 24, 2010, from http://www.tcherepnin.com/alex/comps_alex.htm
The Tcherepnin Society Website - Welcome! (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2010, from http://www.tcherepnin.com/
Waleson, H. (n.d.). Aexander Tcherepnin. Retrieved October 24, 2010, from http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~echew/performances/amp96/tche.html#chin