Alexander Scriabin: Das Solo-Klavierwerke [CDs+DVD]

Alexander Scriabin: Das Solo-Klavierwerke [CDs+DVD]

by Maria Lettberg

CD(Bonus DVD)

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Overview

For many years, listeners who wished to own the complete piano works of Alexander Scriabin had little other recourse than to settle for Michael Ponti's analog recordings on Vox, or to assemble a playlist piecemeal from various artists. Fortunately, Swedish virtuoso Maria Lettberg has recorded all of the published solo piano music for Capriccio, and it is an exceptional offering that fills collectors' needs admirably. Lettberg has made Scriabin's music a specialty within her large and varied repertoire, and her performances are consistently insightful, polished, and electric, which places her set among the finest recordings available. Her handling of the ten piano sonatas seems almost effortless and uncannily natural, despite their enormous technical demands and textural and rhythmic complexities, and her vibrant interpretations bear comparison with any other great pianist's. The preludes, etudes, mazurkas, impromptus, poems, and other short pieces are just as impressive, and Lettberg elevates each to the highest level of execution and expression. Because Maria Lettberg is not yet a household name in the United States, and Capriccio has limited distribution outside Europe, listeners should make a special effort to remember her and acquire her Scriabin, because the opportunity is too good to miss. Presented on eight CDs with a bonus DVD that offers video clips of some of the sonatas and "Vers la flamme," and an interview with Lettberg, this trimline box may not look like a deluxe package, but the extraordinary music it contains is priceless.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/2011
Label: Capriccio
UPC: 4006408495864
catalogNumber: 49586
Rank: 47964

Tracks

  1. Dances (2) for piano, Op. 73
  2. Pieces (2) for piano, Op. 59
  3. Feuillet d'album for piano, Op. 58
  4. Pieces (2) for piano, Op. 57
  5. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 56
  6. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 52
  7. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 51
  8. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 49
  9. Scherzo for piano in C major, Op. 46
  10. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 45
  11. Fantaisie for piano in B minor, Op. 28
  12. Polonaise for piano in B flat minor, Op. 21
  13. Allegro de concert for piano in B flat minor, Op. 18
  14. Pieces (2) for piano (for left hand alone), Op. 9
  15. Nocturnes (2) for piano, Op. 5
  16. Allegro appassionato for piano in E flat minor, Op. 4
  17. Vers la flamme, poème for piano, Op. 72
  18. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 71
  19. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 69
  20. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 63
  21. Poème-nocturne for piano, Op. 61
  22. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 44
  23. Poème for piano in D flat major, Op. 41
  24. Poème satanique for piano in C major, Op. 36
  25. Poème tragique for piano in B flat major, Op. 34
  26. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 32
  27. Impromptus (2) for piano, Op. 14
  28. Impromptus (2) for piano, Op. 12
  29. Impromptus (2) for piano, Op. 10
  30. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 71
  31. Quasi-valse for piano in F major, Op. 47
  32. Mazurkas (2) for piano, Op. 40
  33. Waltz for piano in A flat major, Op. 38
  34. Mazurkas (9) for piano, Op. 25
  35. Mazurkas (10) for piano, Op. 3
  36. Waltz for piano in F minor, Op. 1
  37. Etudes (3) for piano, Op. 65
  38. Etudes (8) for piano, Op. 42
  39. Etudes (12) for piano, Op. 8
  40. Pieces (3) for piano, Op. 2
  41. Preludes (7) for piano, Op. 17
  42. Preludes (5) for piano, Op. 74
  43. Preludes (2) for piano, Op. 67
  44. Preludes (4) for piano, Op. 48
  45. Preludes (4) for piano, Op. 39
  46. Preludes (4) for piano, Op. 37
  47. Preludes (3) for piano, Op. 35
  48. Preludes (4) for piano, Op. 33
  49. Preludes (4) for piano, Op. 31
  50. Preludes (2) for piano, Op. 27
  51. Preludes (4) for piano, Op. 22
  52. Preludes (5) for piano, Op. 16
  53. Preludes (5) for piano, Op. 15
  54. Preludes (6) for piano, Op. 13
  55. Preludes (24) for piano, Op. 11
  56. Piano Sonata No. 10 ("Trill"), Op. 70
  57. Piano Sonata No. 9 ("Black Mass"), Op. 68
  58. Piano Sonata No. 8, Op. 66
  59. Piano Sonata No. 7 ("White Mass"), Op. 64
  60. Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 62
  61. Piano Sonata No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 53
  62. Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30
  63. Piano Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor ("Etats d'âme"), Op. 23
  64. Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor ("Sonata-Fantasy"), Op. 19
  65. Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 6

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Alexander Scriabin: Das Solo-Klavierwerke [CDs+DVD] 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
curtadams More than 1 year ago
Pros: The only option for a complete Scriabin set with modern recording quality. A distinct artistic vision Outstanding pianistic skills Dang, it's inexpensive! Cons: Her artistic vision doesn't match mine. Pieces are often too short for CDs to be satisfying to listen to. If you want to hear a broad selection of Scriabin's music, you probably have a hard time finding it. There are a kajillian recordings of the 5th Sonata, and of a couple other pieces, but beyond that choices thin out fast and many pieces are almost impossible to find. Maria Lettberg addresses that issue with a very capably performed complete set of Scriabin's solo piano work which still might not completely satisfy you. One thing about these performances that popped out at me was that her tempos are often noticeably slower than I normally hear. Lettberg uses the slower speed to bring out a lot of detail and voicing which is normally hard to hear. For me, on the whole, this doesn't match how I like to hear the pieces. It's nice to hear the details and the late sonatas in particular are greatly improved, but for me the very best part of Scriabin's music is the middle period sonatas and I really miss the emotional sweep created by the more usual "wall of sound" approach. Other people of course will have different opinions. The one place where I do find Lettberg's performance choices revelatory is the Etudes, which sound absolutely incredible in her hands. They are beautiful, fascinating, and pianistically amazing. I could listen to her play these all day. The collection showed me one of the reasons much of Scriabin's repertoire is minimally recorded; most of it is too short for the recorded music culture. Apart from the sonatas, there are only 2 pieces longer than 6 minutes, and they are only 8 minutes. This is far too short to build a CD around. There are many miniatures less than 1 minute long and this is much shorter than most expect to hear even on the radio or on shuffle play. They're obviously intended to be worked into a concert hall performance, but for some reason there aren't a lot of CDs with an analogous structure where a mixture of shorter pieces are melded into a performance. When heard as collections, there's a kind of "snacks for dinner" effect. Individually the pieces are really tasty but the barrage of so many unconnected pieces can leave me feeling unsatisfied and kind of off. The only CDs that are really satisfying to listen all the way through are the sonatas, which have length and intellectual heft, and the Etudes, because they're just that good. Finally, the collection is well worth buying if you like Scriabin at all, simply because it's so cheap. 28 dollars for eight CDs is a really good deal. It's a great opportunity to hear many hard-to-find pieces which are quite enjoyable to hear and to study how Scriabin's music changed over time.