More than two hours of preludes--90 in all--may seem too much of a good thing, but put on these discs and you are swiftly drawn into Scriabin's fascinating sound world. The preludes make a long journey from the 1889 of Op.2 No.2 to the 1914 of Op.74, and it is one which constantly captivates. There could be no better opener to this Pandora's Box than that first work of 1889--just a few bars long, but a delightful, gentle taster of what is to come. Scriabin the miniaturist is in his element with this music, and while he is a master of beguiling the ear with beautifully written lyrical material, he never falls into the trap of sameness. You don't get too settled with hypnotically relaxing preludes before he offers a grand wake-up call or cranks up the tempo to exhilarate and enthral. Piers Lane is easily the master of all this, his understated playing of the quieter material particularly pleasing. You get the sense this music is in his blood, and indeed this is his second Scriabin marathon for Hyperion, following "The Complete Etudes"
recorded some years ago. The preludes have been well worth waiting for. --Keith Clarke