With Op 16 we reach an elevated plane: this is the Scriabin idolised by the young Pasternak. Characteristically, Op 16 No 1 sustains one dominant harmony for much of its length, supporting an aspiring, soaring melodic line. No 2 is built on obsessively repeated polyrhythmic figures. lts tonality has already been remarked on in connection with Op 11 No 12. No 3 is serene in its recurring pattern of sixths, around which a filigree solo line is spun. The twelve bars of No 4 stand all under one slur: Scriabin is obsessive in his construction of four-bar phrases, but this despairing page is constructed of four phrases each three bars long, which have to sing in one breath. No 5 is an exquisite, elegant dance miniature.
from notes by Simon Nicholls © 2001