Martin Roscoe

Szymanowski: Nine Preludes; Sonata No. 3; Variations

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Szymanowski: Nine Preludes; Sonata No. 3; Variations Review

by James Leonard

Why is Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) relatively famous while Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) is relatively unknown? Simple -- Scriabin wrote outrageously erotic music, died a horrible death and became an unlikely hero of the Soviet state while Szymanowski wrote elegantly erotic music, died a lingering death, and was a musical hero of the soon to be brutally extinguished Polish Republic. So while Scriabin's exuberantly excessive piano music is still regularly performed and recorded, Szymanowski's gracefully expressive piano music is still regularly ignored and neglected. If matters were otherwise, Martin Roscoe's superlative series of recordings of the piano works of Szymanowski would be greeted as an event of great artistic significance. After all, as this fourth volume convincingly demonstrates, it is in fact an event of great artistic significance. Roscoe is one of the great living English pianists whose virtuosity and dedication here is exemplary and wholly persuasive. From the evocative mystery of the Preludes, Op. 1; to the aesthetically ambitious Variations, Op. 3; to the evanescent sensuality of the Mazurkas, Op. 62; to the monumental mastery of the Sonata No. 3, Op. 36, Roscoe turns in performances as good or better than the best of the handful of already recorded performances. Anyone who loves great piano music from the first third of the twentieth century will love Roscoe's Szymanowski and anyone who prefers elegance to excess will prefer Szymanowski to Scriabin. Naxos' sound is loud and clear, but just a bit distant.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Preludes (9) for piano, Op. 1, M1
1 Martin Roscoe 02:10 Amazon
2 Martin Roscoe 02:29 Amazon
3 Martin Roscoe 01:23 Amazon
4 Martin Roscoe 01:33 Amazon
5 Martin Roscoe 01:12 Amazon
6 Martin Roscoe 02:08 Amazon
7 Martin Roscoe 02:51 Amazon
8 Martin Roscoe 02:42 Amazon
9 Martin Roscoe 02:32 Amazon
Variations, for piano in B flat minor, Op. 3, M5
10 Martin Roscoe 00:54 Amazon
11 Martin Roscoe 00:56 Amazon
12 Martin Roscoe 00:29 Amazon
13 Martin Roscoe 01:07 Amazon
14 Martin Roscoe 00:13 Amazon
15 Martin Roscoe 00:57 Amazon
16 Martin Roscoe 00:15 Amazon
17 Martin Roscoe 00:28 Amazon
18 Martin Roscoe 01:02 Amazon
19 Martin Roscoe 00:42 Amazon
20 Martin Roscoe 00:36 Amazon
21 Martin Roscoe 01:29 Amazon
22 Martin Roscoe 01:55 Amazon
Mazurkas (20) for piano, Op. 50, M56
23 Martin Roscoe 02:35 Amazon
24 Martin Roscoe 03:03 Amazon
25 Martin Roscoe 01:26 Amazon
26 Martin Roscoe 03:09 Amazon
Mazurkas (2) for piano, Op. 62, M73
27 Martin Roscoe 02:35 Amazon
28 Martin Roscoe 03:04 Amazon
29 Martin Roscoe 03:45 Amazon
Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 36, M38
30 Martin Roscoe 06:33 Amazon
31 Martin Roscoe 05:07 Amazon
32 Martin Roscoe 01:02 Amazon
33 Martin Roscoe 06:08 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick