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Piano Sonata No 6, Op 62
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The Sonata No 6, Op 62, was written in the summer of 1911 after the completion of ‘Prometheus’. Scriabin never played it in public; he considered it ‘frightening … dark and mysterious, impure, dangerous’. There is no programme, but a surreal vision is implied in the exotic performance directions: ‘Expansion of mysterious forces … all becomes charm and sweetness … winged, swirling … the Terrifying One arises, she joins in the delirious dance.’ The musical language has moved into the late period: in the words of Scriabin’s opening directions, it is ‘mysterious, concentrated’—tonality has receded into the far background.

Chromatically altered harmonies, like the ‘Promethean’ chord introduced in the Fifth Sonata, are uncompromisingly used as stable consonances. The range of expression has correspondingly expanded into an area of other-worldly mystery: Scriabin, like Richard Strauss after the composition of Elektra a couple of years earlier, was alarmed by the possibilities he had opened up. A transformation of piano sonority has taken place, ranging from monolithic chordal writing at the beginning through weightless, fluttering airborne impulses to an arching theme of boundless sensuality, which is developed in a passage of extreme textural luxuriance with motives and themes mingling in a multi-layered perspective. The final dance, which takes the dances of the Fourth and Fifth Sonatas into a new dimension of febrile hyperactivity, exceeds the range of the keyboard with an unprecedented top D. An anchor for the listener is provided by clear elements of recapitulation, but structure is seamless and the whole gives the impression of following the inscrutable logic of a dream.

from notes by Simon Nicholls © 1996

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67131/2 disc 2 track 2
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-96-13202
Duration
11'08
Recording date
29 June 1995
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Scriabin: Complete Piano Sonatas (CDA67131/2)
    Disc 2 Track 2
    Release date: March 1996
    2CDs
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