Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Preludes, Volume 2.
Four Preludes, Op. 22. Two Preludes, Op. 27. Four Preludes,
Op. 31. Four Preludes, Op. 33. Three Preludes, Op. 35. Four Preludes, Op.
37. Four Preludes, Op. 39. Prelude in E flat, Op. 45 No. 3. Four Preludes,
Op. 48. Prelude in F, Op. 49 No. 2. Prelude in A minor, Op. 51 No. 2. Prelude
in E flat minor, Op. 56 No. 1. Prelude, Op. 59 No. 2. Two Preludes, Op. 67.
Five Preludes, Op. 74.
Julian SCRIABIN (1908-1919) Four Preludes.
Evgeny Zarafiants (piano).
Naxos 8.554145 [DDD]
The first volume in this series
contained the 24 Preludes Op. 11 as its main offering. This volume takes
us from Op. 22 through to Op. 74 and includes four preludes by Julian Scriabin
(and yes, the dates in the title to this review are not a typo).
There is a musical journey for Scriabin père here, from
post-Chopinesque pianistic Romanticism to a mystically searching prophet.
The disc starts with the Four Preludes, Op. 22; yearning and intimate yet
still firmly within Romantic convention. Even as soon as Op. 27 one is aware
of a partial blossoming of creativity. Zarafiants is a trusty guide, but
needs more abandon to do full justice to the music. Op. 31 No. 3, for example,
is marked Presto, but Zarafiants is several notches below this. He excels,
however, in the eggshell like fragility of Op. 23 No. 1 or in the elusive,
fragmentary Op. 35 No. 1.
The recording unfortunately cannot sustain the depth of sound Zarafiants
conjures up in Op. 39 No. 3 (marked languido), a pity, as the engineering
should ideally be able to pick up every nuance in this repertoire.
The Four Preludes, Op. 48 are the first pieces that rally usher in the twilight
world of the mature Scriabin. Zarafiants seems more at home in the post-1910
works: the near stasis of Op. 67 No. 1 is appropriately desolate and the
Op. 74 No. 4 (marked Lent, vague, indécis) is so flighty it
is almost a torso.
The curiosity offered by this disc lies in the appending of four preludes
by Julian Scriabin (who died at the age of eleven). The works do, indeed,
sound like his father's music. A haunting end to an interesting disc.