Scriabin: The Piano Sonatas

Scriabin: The Piano Sonatas

by Vladimir AshkenazyVladimir Ashkenazy

CD(Dutch Import)

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Alexander Scriabin's piano sonatas chart his career from Romantic piano virtuoso to mystical voyant more clearly than any of his other works. Yet hearing them in order also reveals that their increasing complexities and stylistic advances developed on a continuum, and that they are actually quite unified, despite their dramatic changes of forms, harmonies, rhythms, and tonality. Some pianists perceive a split between "Sonata No. 4" and "No. 5," as if that is where the seeds of Scriabin's messianic madness first took root; as a result, the cycle is frequently divided between vaguely Chopin-esque, parlor interpretations for the earlier works and crazy, excessive readings for the remaining pieces. However, Vladimir Ashkenazy deserves credit for comprehending the progression of the sonatas and for taking a consistent interpretive stance from first to last. He is remarkably thoughtful and coherent, and from the outset presents Scriabin's work as a search for greater musical freedoms, not as a gradual slide into madness. Ashkenazy may be faulted for rushing, and for more than a little explosiveness, but he must be accorded honors for producing one of the truly great Scriabin sets, both passionate and reasoned. The mix of ADD and DDD recordings may disappoint some, but the excellence of the music makes the slightly variable sound quality a minor issue. This 1997 London twofer reissue has bonus tracks of Scriabin's Opp. 32, 51, 56, and 73, which give it extra value.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/26/1997
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028945296128
catalogNumber: 452961
Rank: 73160


  1. Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 6
  2. Piano Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor ("Sonata-Fantasy"), Op. 19
  3. Piano Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor ("Etats d'âme"), Op. 23
  4. Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30
  5. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 56
  6. Dances (2) for piano, Op. 73
  7. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 32
  8. Piano Sonata No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 53
  9. Piano Sonata No. 6, Op. 62
  10. Piano Sonata No. 7 ("White Mass"), Op. 64
  11. Piano Sonata No. 8, Op. 66
  12. Piano Sonata No. 9 ("Black Mass"), Op. 68
  13. Piano Sonata No. 10 ("Trill"), Op. 70
  14. Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 51

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