Boris Bekhterev

Scriabin: Sonatas, Preludes and Other Pieces

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This 2007 Camerata release may serve as an excellent introduction to the passionate piano music of Alexander Scriabin since it covers all stages of his development as a composer, from Chopin-esque virtuoso to mystical visionary. The generous program is laid out fairly chronologically, with only a couple of opus numbers out of sequence, so the advances in Scriabin's keyboard techniques and harmonic systems are easy to follow, and the brevity of most of the pieces permits the listener to absorb the stylistic changes without too much effort. Of course, the complexity of Scriabin's music requires a lucid interpreter, and Boris Bekhterev is one of the most brilliant performers of this oeuvre, having specialized in music by Scriabin and other Russian composers since the 1970s, and he has won numerous international accolades for his abilities. Works worth noting on this disc are the Sonata No. 2 in G sharp minor, Op. 19; the Two Morceaux, Op. 57; the Piano Sonata No. 8, Op. 66; and the Five Preludes, Op. 74, examples that show the major changes in Scriabin's language, and Bekhterev gives them nuances and shadings that are appropriate, whether Romantic, Impressionist, or Expressionist in feeling and flavor. Camerata's reproduction is clean and clear, with sufficient resonance and depth to capture the shimmering colors and vibrant warmth of Bekhterev's exceptional playing.

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