Alexander Scriabin: The Composer as Pianist

Alexander Scriabin: The Composer as Pianist

by Alexander Scriabin

CD

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Overview

Composer and pianist Alexander Scriabin did make recordings in the form of wax cylinders in about 1913, but these were lost sometime during the chaos of the Russian Revolution. As a result, the only evidence left to posterity of what Scriabin may have sounded like at the keyboard is the 10 Welte Mignon piano rolls that he made for the Moscow office of Welte in 1910. How well this early digital technology transmits the effect of Scriabin's playing depends largely on the quality of maintenance on the reproducing instrument used for playback and the speed chosen for reproduction of the roll. Other factors, such as the size of the room in which the roll is played, can likewise matter significantly. In this regard, Pierian Recording Society has done the best job yet in realizing these requirements on its compact disc release Alexander Scriabin: The Composer as Pianist. The Pierian Recording Society recorded this issue in a parlor roughly the size of the original recording room, with the rolls played at speeds carefully chosen. As a result, Scriabin's rolls do reflect his sense of touch and personal preferences in interpretation. Some of these preferences do not explicitly appear in Scriabin's already heavily marked published music, and students who are learning Scriabin would do well to get to know these performances. Scriabin's 10 short piano rolls will not fill up a whole CD, and the Pierian Recording Society has answered this challenge by including early roll performances by other pianists of Scriabin's era. The additional performances help demonstrate how well Scriabin's music was ingrained in the piano repertoire even during his lifetime -- the recording included of Josef Lhevinne was made in Freiburg before even Scriabin's own Welte session. The most startling revelation among these extras is American pianist August Conradi, whose six selections from 1921-1922 reveal a dazzling technique and a real sensitivity to Scriabin's idiom. Piano rolls remain a controversial means of conveyance for the playing of long-departed pianists who did not make conventional recordings. Nonetheless, if one is looking for the best possible representation of Alexander Scriabin's at the piano, one need go no further than here.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/30/2004
Label: Pierian
UPC: 0750532929729
catalogNumber: 18
Rank: 77453

Tracks

  1. Prelude for piano in C major, Op. 11/1
  2. Prelude for piano in A minor, Op. 11/2
  3. Poème for piano in F sharp major, Op. 32/1
  4. Etude for piano in D sharp minor, Op. 8/12
  5. Désir, for piano, Op. 57/1
  6. Prelude for piano in G sharp minor, Op. 22/1
  7. Mazurka for piano in F sharp major, Op. 40/2
  8. Prelude for piano in G flat major, Op. 11/13
  9. Prelude for piano in E flat minor, Op. 11/14
  10. Nocturne for piano in D flat major (for left hand alone), Op. 9/2
  11. Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor ("Sonata-Fantasy"), Op. 19: 1st Movement
  12. Mazurka for piano in F sharp major, Op. 40/2
  13. Prelude for piano in D major, Op. 11/5
  14. Prelude for piano in G major, Op. 11/3
  15. Prelude for piano in E minor, Op. 11/4
  16. Prelude for piano in B minor, Op. 11/6
  17. Feuillet d'album for piano in E flat major, Op. 45/1
  18. Etude for piano in C sharp minor, Op. 2/1
  19. Désir, for piano, Op. 57/1
  20. Caresse dansée, for piano, Op. 57/2
  21. Enigme, for piano, Op. 52/2
  22. Poème for piano in F sharp major, Op. 32/1
  23. Nocturne for piano in D flat major (for left hand alone), Op. 9/2

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