James Kreiling - A. SCRIABIN - COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
- 01 – Scriabin Sonata No 5 Op 53
- 02 – Scriabin Danses Op 73 Guirlandes
- 03 – Scriabin Danses Op 73 Flammes sombres
- 04 – Scriabin Poeme-Nocturne Op 61
- 05 – Scriabin Sonata No 6 Op 62
- 06 – Scriabin From 2 Morceaux Op 59 1. Poeme
- 07 – Scriabin From 2 Morceaux Op 59 2. Prelude
- 08 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 63 1. Masque
- 09 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 63 2. Etrangete
- 10 – Scriabin Sonata No 7 (White Mass) Op 64
- 11 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 71 1
- 12 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 71 2
- 13 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 1
- 14 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 2
- 15 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 3
- 16 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 4
- 17 – Scriabin 5 Preludes Op 74 (1914) 5
- 18 – Scriabin Vers la flamme Poeme Op 72
- 19 – Scriabin Morceaux Op 57 1. Desir
- 20 – Scriabin Morceaux Op 57 2. Caresse dansee
- 21 – Scriabin Two Preludes Op 67 No 1
- 22 – Scriabin Two Preludes Op 67 No 2
- 23 – Scriabin Sonata No 9 (Black Mass) Op 68
- 24 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 69 No 1
- 25 – Scriabin 2 Poemes Op 69 No 2
- 26 – Scriabin Sonata No 10
- 27 – Scriabin Prelude Op 56 No 1
- 28 – Scriabin From 4 Pieces Op 56 2. Ironies
- 29 – Scriabin From 4 Pieces Op 56 3. Nuances
- 30 – Scriabin Etude Op 56 No 4 (1908)
- 31 – Scriabin Feuillet d album Op 58
- 32 – Scriabin Sonata No 8 Op 66
- 33 – Scriabin Three Etudes Op 65 No 1
- 34 – Scriabin Three Etudes Op 65 No 1
- 35 – Scriabin Three Etudes Op 65 No 3
JAMES KREILING – ALEXANDER SCRIABIN – COMPLETE LATE PIANO MUSIC
Scriabin specialist James Kreiling invites us into the composer’s heady and intoxicating musical world as he performs Scriabin’s complete late piano music.
Scriabin was a master of the miniature, and these short works make up the majority of his musical output. To listen to Scriabin’s late music is to enter a different world, a realm of suggestion, seduction, delirium, dance, beauty, even terror. Within 20 years, his music had developed from the romantic miniature, influenced by Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt, to music which extended tonality to its limitations.
The late miniatures heard on this release are perhaps the best place to start if approaching this music for the first time. More than just musical experiments in preparation for the longer sonatas, they are perfectly contained musical worlds, each entirely different and unique from the others. They range from more extended works such as the dream-like, half-lit world of the Poème-Nocturne, to rarely-heard gems such as the Feuillet d’album, the Quatre Pièces, and Scriabin’s exploration of the intervals of the 9th, 7th, and 5th, in the Trois Études, Op. 65.
Most of Scriabin’s miniatures were published in contrasting pairs, emphasising a key element of his late style: opposites and contrast. The concept of opposing forces is found throughout Scriabin’s thinking, taking on many forms: impulsive, energised and fiery, versus languorous, beautiful, seductive; or as contrasting states – purity and terror, material and spiritual, good and evil, light and dark.
James Kreiling, who specialised in this repertoire for his Doctorate, brings a rare level of insight and inspiration to his performances of Scriabin’s late music. Every nuance is understood and communicated with subtlety and sensuality, the kaleidoscope of Scriabin’s palette of colours drawn out in Kreiling’s outstanding interpretations.
Booklet in English, German and French.
Program notes by James Kreiling.
“With scrupulous attention to detail and an insightful approach to the music (James’s doctoral research focussed on the late piano sonatas), James captures the composer’s idiosyncrasies with a compelling naturalness and an acute sensitivity to the shifting moods and colours, combining muscularity and delicacy… Recommended.”
The Cross-Eyed Pianist - Francis Wilson / 21 December 2018
“The music of Alexander Scriabin inhabits a distinctive, personal soundworld which is hard to define. It is the music of excess, ecstasy, tumult and passion. It is excessive, overripe, decadent, heavily perfumed, languorous and frenzied, lacking in structure and sometimes downright bizarre. The music of extremes, it is “hyper everything”, and as such it defies description or categorization. Its language is complex, often atonal and frequently almost impenetrable. For some listeners, and artists too, it is this “over-the-top-ness” that is off-putting; for others, myself included, it is this sense of excess and rapture that is so compelling. His personal life and outlook mirrored the excesses of his music: he was dissolute, he could be outrageous, he had high-falutin’ ideas of his own self-worth, and he believed music should be intimately connected to all of human experience. Perhaps this explains the breathless sensuality, the roaring passion and mystic spirituality of his music. All of human life is here, in all its ecstasy, agony, terror and beauty.
In his piano music, he reveals himself as a master of the miniature, and while he wrote 10 piano sonatas – interesting in themselves as they chart his compositional development (nos. 5 to 10 are included on this album) – his shorter works for piano, including some 85 Preludes, distil in microcosm his unique style.
If anything, Scriabin’s late piano music is perhaps his most interesting, revealing his move away from the “pure” Chopin/Schumann/Liszt-influenced romanticism of the nineteenth century as he experimented with unusual harmonies (his “mystic chord”, derived from a dominant 7th) and a kaleidoscopic tonal palette. In addition, fleeting fragments of melody, fleeting filigree figurations, brooding dream sequences, haunting chromaticism, febrile complex rhythms point towards Schoenberg, Messiaen and the avant garde and leave us wondering what Scriabin might have written had he lived longer into the 20th century.
In this generous 2-disc recording James Kreiling makes a persuasive case for Scriabin’s late piano music, suggesting in his detailed readable liner notes that this is the best place for the Scriabin ingénue to start exploring his music. With scrupulous attention to detail and an insightful approach to the music (James’s doctoral research focussed on the late piano sonatas), James captures the composer’s idiosyncrasies with a compelling naturalness and an acute sensitivity to the shifting moods and colours, combining muscularity and delicacy. The free-form nature of this unusual music and the brevity of many of the works draw the listener into a continuous flow of sound – and a lovely sound it is too. The piano is bright-toned yet warm (the recording was made at Henry Wood Hall with Iain Gordon as piano technician, engineered by Michael Ponder), and stylishly-produced album artwork reflects the high quality of the recording.