Since 2004, Maria Lettberg has put her energy into performing and recording the piano music of Alexander Scriabin, releasing all of the published compositions on Capriccio and the posthumous works on Es-Dur. If that weren't enough, she followed up those critically praised recordings with this extraordinary album of pieces connected to Scriabin, leading off with a piano transcription of the orchestral Poème de l'Extase. Sergei Pavchinsky's spectacular reduction of the Poème is well worth the price of admission, but Lettberg has more to communicate about Scriabin than this. A clear train of thought connects other pieces to Scriabin, starting first with Franz Liszt's La lugubre gondola No. 2, a late piano work that bears a remarkable resemblance to Scriabin's enigmatic style, and extending to Olivier Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus, which seem to take Scriabin's ecstatic mysticism and virtuosity as a starting point. Delving deeper, Lettberg performs Harald Banter's Naître et disparaître - Werden und Vergehen - Hommage à Skrjabin, which was composed specifically for her, and Manfred Kelkel's Tombeau de Scriabine, a piece developed from Scriabin's ideas for his Prefatory Action for the unfinished Mysterium. This program provides a context for Scriabin's singular music and influence, and Lettberg's exquisite performances are highly recommended for their sensitivity and clarity.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Memorial für Skrjabin Op. 22|
|Twenty contemplations on the infant Jesus|