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.
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