Martin Roscoe

Szymanowski: Nine Preludes; Sonata No. 3; Variations

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