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Hyperion Records

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Depression and Ideal (1907) by Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926)
Track(s) taken from CDA66607
Recording details: May 1992
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 1992
Total duration: 7 minutes 4 seconds

'Piers Lane is easily up to tackling the volatile figures that abound in Scriabin's piano music. Indeed, his technical bravura is often breathtaking … thankfully Lane never lets us forget that the virtuosic and poetic exist in equal measure' (BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide)

'Such virtuosity … deserves engineering of a high calibre and here we get it. Quite extraordinary clarity and wide-ranging tonal fidelity in a spacious recording which places the listener at an ideal distance in a warmly welcoming acoustic setting' (Gramophone)

'All the fiendish technical demands are well in his grasp, and his keen musical intelligence and finely discriminating ear do the rest' (BBC Record Review)

Trois études, Op 65
composer
1911/2

Allegretto  [1'58]
Molto vivace  [1'36]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
With the three Études Op 65 (1911–12) we definitively enter the final stage of Scriabin’s composing career. The last orchestral work, Prometheus (with piano, organ and choir) had been completed: it included a part for a ‘keyboard of lights’ which was to project changing colours into the auditorium. This synaesthetic concept led to the unfinished multi-media project which was to occupy Scriabin’s thought in his final years, the ‘Mysterium’, intended to bring about a world spiritual revolution. Ironically, the general tendency in his music at this time was towards ever-increasing concentration and conciseness.

A letter of 1912 anticipates with glee the scandal to be caused by the publication of Études based on the ‘horrifying … perverse … sacrilegious’ intervals of ninths, sevenths and fifths. The sonorities created here are among Scriabin’s most original and visionary. He himself was not able to perform the extremely difficult Op 65 No 1—his hands were too small to span the ninths, which, moreover, have to be played quickly and pianissimo. The effect is uncanny and ghostly. No 2, in major sevenths, deals with the most dissonant of the three intervals but, paradoxically, is the most overtly sensuous and languorous of the Études. Barcarolle-like rocking alternates with agitated volando flutterings like those of a captive bird. No 3, in fifths, is a dialogue: an ethereal, scintillating dance is repeatedly interrupted by powerful, imperious and hieratic gestures akin to those which open the seventh Sonata (headed ‘Prophétique’ in the manuscript), composed at the same period.

from notes by Simon Nicholls © 1992

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