Following his 2007 Camerata release of Alexander Scriabin's Sonatas, Preludes, and Other Pieces, pianist Boris Bekhterev has narrowed his focus to only four piano sonatas on this 2008 disc. Since the Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor, the Sonata No. 8, and the Sonata No. 9, "Black Mass" were featured on the previous album, Bekhterev approaches their immediate neighbors in the cycle, the Sonata No. 1 in F minor, the Sonata No. 6, the Sonata No. 7 ("White Mass"), and the Sonata No. 10 ("Trill") with a similar intention to reveal the Chopin-esque Romanticism of the early Scriabin and to balance it with the increasing tonal complexity and growing mysticism of the composer's middle and late periods. Because Bekhterev has been a Scriabin specialist since the 1970s, he plays the music with the utmost sympathy and passion, and listeners can be sure that these fluent interpretations are rendered in the true spirit of the Russian visionary, without any of the excessive murkiness or turgidity that have sometimes afflicted this music. To the contrary, Bekhterev's touch is clear and his textures are diaphanous, so even when the harmonies are at their thickest, as in the sinister Sonata No. 6, or the attacks are white hot, as in the phosphorescent clusters of the Sonata No. 10, the music is never muddled or incoherent. Camerata's audio is also transparent, with just enough sense of the performance space to lend Bekhterev's playing credible physical presence and a life-like resonance.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 6|