The history of Scriabin’s piano music is like a condensed history of piano music, for his style changed perhaps more than any other composer during his life. It has been said that young Scriabin kept Chopin’s music under his pillow, and the early Preludes and Mazurkas certainly breathe the same heightened air of ardour and yearning. His journey from the traditional tonal harmony of these Chopinesque beginnings to his atonal ‘Mystic chord’ (based on fourths) is, however, a masterfully smooth one, best appreciated when taking the sum of his work into account. Born in 1947, long resident in London as a professor at the Royal College of Music, Dmitri Alexeev entered the Moscow Conservatory at six years of age. A string of EMI recordings in the 80s established his reputation worldwide, but they included scant representation of one of his most ardent passions, the music of Scriabin, beyond the concertante Prometheus conducted by Riccardo Muti. Alexeev’s touch emulates the contemporary accounts of Scriabin’s own playing, which did not rely on power because of his slight build. Rather, he ‘captivated the listener through his ability to enhance his sound with an extraordinary range and gradation of color…his fingers seemingly plucked the sound from the piano keys…as if his hands flew over the keyboard barely touching it.’ Made between 2008 and 2019 in London and in the purpose-built Music Room at Champs Hill, home to many superlative modern chamber-music albums, these recordings won broad critical acclaim on their original publication. Their reissue at super-budget price makes an obvious first port of call for any listener looking to immerse themselves in the rich, heady world of Scriabin’s piano writing.
January 07, 2022
Label: Brilliant Classics
Number of Discs:
Composer: Alexander Scriabin, Scriabin
Performer: Dmitri Alexeev
Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.