Scriabin: Complete Preludes
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
The Complete Preludes constitutes another captivating milestone in Dmitri Alexeev’s ongoing project to record Scriabin’s entire oeuvre for the piano on Brilliant Classics, a cycle that already includes the complete Piano Sonatas and Complete Études. The 90 preludes composed by Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915) span the entirety of the three periods into which his musical career is usually divided. His fastidious habit of indicating the date and location of compositions allows us to trace groups of roughly contemporary pieces. Consequently, it can be seen that around half of the preludes fall into the ‘first period’ (1888–1900), in which the composer’s music was heavily influenced by Frédéric Chopin’s work. Scriabin’s music evolved over the course of his life, and in 1900, he completed the 2 Preludes Op.27. These compositions exorcised the spirit of Chopin which had hovered over their predecessors, therefore marking the end of the so-called ‘first period’. Whilst more harmonically adventurous, his ‘middle period’ works still mostly adhere to traditional functional tonality. In the third period (1910–14) Scriabin composed his final works, the Preludes Op.74. Stable tonality and key signature disappear completely. However, Scriabin’s interest in symmetrical patterning is highly evident. They raise the tantalising question of where Scriabin might have taken 20th-century music had he not tragically died the following year. Russian pianist Dmitri Alexeev is one of the world’s most highly regarded artists. His critically acclaimed recitals on the world’s leading concert stages and concerto appearances with the most prestigious orchestras have secured his position as one of ‘the most remarkable pianists of the day’ (Daily Telegraph).