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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67057/8
Recording details: June 2000
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Amanda Hurton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: February 2001
Total duration: 3 minutes 33 seconds

'Everything about this two-disc set is ideal. Few pianists could show more sympathy and affection for such volatile romanticism, or display greater stylistic consistency. This new set of the Preludes should be in any serious record collection' (Gramophone)

Lane certainly knows how to tease out the music's textural subtleties; his emotional commitment is undeniable, as is his grasp of the poetic/virtuosic dichotomy inherent in Scriabin's music' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Lane is the perfect guide to Scriabin’s shimmering miniature masterpieces' (The Independent)

'To find contemporary performances that convey … aspects of the music more vividly and with greater sympathy, as well as with a good deal more technical refinement, one need look no further than Piers Lane’s recent transversal' (International Record Review)

'Lane's technical brilliance and assurance captures the most elusive qualities of this music, as one dream-vision dissolves into another … [his] control and balance of their veiled sonorities is wonder-filled' (The Times)

'Piers Lane is easily the master of all this … you get the sense this music is in his blood. The preludes have been well worth waiting for' (Amazon.co.uk)

'Lane's flawless finger and inspired brain are totally attuned to Scriabin's hyper-expressive sound world. Gorgeous, flattering sonics help elevate this recording to reference version status among complete Scriabin cycles. Bravo!' (ClassicsToday.com)

Four préludes, Op 48
composer
1905

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The four preludes Op 48 (1905) were written about the time that work began on the Poem of Ecstasy, and the harmonic language has advanced considerably – so much so that the tonal endings come as something of a surprise. The marking at the head of each prelude is colourfully suggestive: ‘Impetuously, haughtily; poetically, with delight; capriciously, breathlessly; festively’. The snatched, hopping basses and impulsive rhythms and harmonic shifts of No 1 will become familiar in the later music. ‘Con delizio’, the marking of No 2, was to be associated with the unveiling of the ‘Mystic Chord’ in the Fifth Sonata of 1907: here, as there, the mood is rapt and transcendent. The downward twisting chromaticisms of No 3 contribute to its atmosphere of ‘breathless caprice’ and to a strange, Mephistophelian mocking character to be found elsewhere: in the ‘Enigme’ Op 52 No 2, ‘Ironies’ Op 56 No 2 or the Poème Op 69 No 2. No 4 reveals a Nietzschean mood of self-assertion at its most blatant.

from notes by Simon Nicholls © 2001

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