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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55286
Recording details: April 2000
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 2001
Total duration: 5 minutes 26 seconds

Two Nocturnes, Op 5
composer
1890; published by Jurgenson in 1893

F sharp minor  [3'04]
A major  [2'22]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Considering Scriabin’s long-standing ‘love affair’ with Chopin’s music, it is surprising that he should have written so few nocturnes. Indeed, the Two Nocturnes Op 5, written in 1890, have only the faintest suggestion of reflective ‘night music’ and could as easily have been titled ‘impromptus’ or ‘poems’. Both pieces display an increased sensuousness and rhythmic freedom together with a more confident and daring use of harmony. Scriabin would write only one other nocturne, the second of his Two Pieces for Left Hand Op 9 (his later Poème-nocturne Op 61 being far more ‘poème’ than ‘nocturne’). Both works for left hand were written as a consequence of a nearly disastrous injury to his right hand. Having always been the darling of his teachers and relatives, Scriabin found himself by 1891 with stiff competition. His fellow students at the Moscow Conservatory included Rachmaninov, Josef Hofmann and Josef Lhévinne and due to over-practice of Balakirev’s Islamey and Liszt’s Réminiscences de Don Juan, Scriabin temporarily lost the full use of his right hand. Both the Prelude and the Nocturne are lovely works, and despite his setback Scriabin still seems intent on proving his ability as a pianist by turning the Nocturne in particular into a technical tour de force.

from notes by Stephen Coombs © 2001

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