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Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 5 Preludes; Medtner: Sonata Reminiscenz

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Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 5 Preludes; Medtner: Sonata Reminiscenz

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On this record, the playing's the thing. A lesser pianist could hardly hold the listener's interest in these sonatas by Scriabin (who had messianic delusions) and Medtner (who never found much recognition outside Russia), or meet the Herculean demands of the Stravinsky pieces. Scriabin's Preludes are charming, poetic, dreamy miniatures of contrasting tempo and character; the Sonata's corner movements are dramatic and fiery, the second surges, the third is lyrical and atmospheric. Scriabin attached an ambitious program, but the music speaks for itself, although in a very idiosyncratic language. Medtner's Sonata, composed when he was about to leave Russia, is romantically tuneful, melancholy and ruminative, with a feeling of nostalgia and perhaps anticipated homesickness. Stravinsky's transcription of the Petrouchka excerpts, written for Arthur Rubinstein, are among the most hair-raising bravura pieces in the repertoire. It is hard to believe that ten fingers can negotiate these torrents of notes, clusters of chords, leaps and runs. Kissin's virtuosity is not only spectacular but seems entirely effortless; his right hand literally does not know what his left hand is doing as they simultaneously produce different rhythms, articulation, and dynamics. Perhaps even more remarkable are his sense of poise and balance, his emotional range, his ability to change mood and character instantly. His tone is invariably beautiful; his control of volume, touch, color, and inflection can give it a gossamer delicacy and a radiant shimmer; even at its most forceful and percussive, it never sounds harsh. "i"--Edith Eisler

Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 5 Preludes; Medtner: Sonata Reminiscenz

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