Anatol Ugorski

Scriabin: Sonatas, Nos. 1-10

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Siberian-born pianist Anatol Ugorski is a precise and careful interpreter, and his recordings of Alexander Scriabin's 10 piano sonatas reflect his meticulous technique and extraordinary attention to details. Appreciating this fastidiousness in Scriabin may be difficult for fans who like to hear the music played in a frenzied, ecstatic manner with little regard for accuracy, but others who are mystified by the difficult rhythms, misty harmonies, and layers of intricate counterpoint will find much clarity here. Following the scores is quite easy, for Ugorski never rushes, and his observance of every dynamic marking and expressive term makes the music absolutely clear. Some might wish that Ugorski had mustered up more volatile emotions or created more dramatic contrasts, but there are many pianists who serve up the sonatas that way, without half as much concern for what Scriabin actually wrote. Admirers of these pieces are accustomed to many different interpretations and will avail themselves of any opportunity to hear a different approach. For those listeners, Ugorski's playing will be liked for its transparency of textures and measured timing, even if it is not the most fiery or atmospheric cycle available. Bavarian Radio's sound is clear and clean, but it is a little thin in tone and not especially deep.

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