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Alexander Scriabin: The Composer as Pianist

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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
See all 23 tracks on this disc

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Amazon.com: 1 review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Extraordinary Document Aug. 27 2009
By Music Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Scriabin did not live long enough to record his music on either acoustically or electrically inscribed disks. This excellent CD presents the next best thing. The first nine tracks on this disk present realizations of piano-roll recordings of Alexander Scriabin playing his own music, circa 1910 if I am not mistaken. If you love Scriabin, or even if you don't much care for the composer but love artistic and individual pianism, you must buy this CD.

I have always shied away from piano-roll recordings, under the belief that they were clumsy and lifeless imitations of 'real' recordings. In fact, there were many different piano-roll recording systems and the quality of the realization depends a great deal on the skill of the technician replaying the roll. In this case, the technician clearly knows what he is about. The playing and recording are hauntingly life-like and charismatic. Scriabin plays his own music with the kind of improvisational verve only acceptable from the composer himself. His handling of dynamics, voicing, rhythm and color is quite simply unique. I would be tempted to say that his readings of each piece is definitive, except that he probably would have interpreted them rather differently on another day or in another mood. It is a shame that all he has left us are performances of miniatures from his early and middle period.

The remaining tracks on this disk contain realizations of other excellent pianists' piano rolls of Scriabin's music. These recordings are also of very high quality, but they cannot hold a candle to Scriabin's own.