Scriabin Preludes, Etudes & Sonatas Nos. 4 & 5

Vadym Kholodenko

Scriabin Preludes, Etudes & Sonatas Nos. 4 & 5
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Scriabin Preludes, Etudes & Sonatas Nos. 4 & 5

Vadym Kholodenko

Sampling the three periods of Alexander Scriabin’s music, Vadym Kholodenko presents a coherent and colorful program that includes a representative handful of the early preludes, two of the middle piano sonatas, a set of etudes, and three of the poems for keyboard.

While Scriabin’s music steadily evolved from his youthful Chopinesque phase and a transitional, impressionistic period, similar in evocative harmonies and effects to Debussy, to a nearly atonal and atmospheric style all his own, there was always a virtuosic complexity in his piano pieces that makes it challenging for performers and listeners alike.

Kholodenko’s ample technical skills and expressive powers combine to make these performances both evanescent and powerful, and the sounds he produces range from the fleeting and delicate to the ecstatically explosive, both of which are apparent in the “Sonata No. 4.” Yet the most compelling track may be “Vers la flamme,” a strangely muted work of Scriabin’s final, mystical stage that seduces with its hypnotic repetitions, lush chromaticism, and shimmering textures.

Harmonia Mundi’s recorded sound places the piano at a slight distance, creating a slightly veiled quality in softer passages that is appropriate.

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