Alexander Scriabin

Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major, Op. 30

    Description by Blair Johnston

    The extramusical religious ideas which became an increasing obsession in Scriabin's last years have tended to overshadow the the composer's music and even to alienate more than a few listeners. The Fourth Piano Sonata was written at a time of transition for Scriabin: Musically, he was moving ever closer toward real atonality, while his personal life was marked by the deepening complexity of his theophilosophical ponderings.

    The Fourth Sonata is divided into two closely related movements, both cast in the warm, radiant key of F sharp major. While still making use of tonal structures, Scriabin was also in the process of developing new forms into which those structures could be placed. The sonata's first movement (Andante) is built from two major motives, one reaching upward hopefully with many melodic leaps, the other moving more linearly, as though exhausted. The earlier idea eventually prevails, and the second movement (Prestissimo volande) begins without interruption. In this active movement, cast in sonata-allegro form, the upward reaching theme reappears, now with greater force and in a more tumultuous context. This gives way to the return of the movement's first theme (now abridged) and second theme (now expanded). In a glorious coda, the upward-reaching motive of the first movement reasserts itself one last time, sans the corresponding "exhaustion" motive, and the sonata ends in a truly joyful mood.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Andante
    2. Prestissimo volando

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Harmonia Mundi HMM 902255DI
    2018 Harmonia Mundi HMM 902255
    2018 MSR Classics MS 1669
    2017 Bongiovanni GB 51982
    2017 Blue Griffin Recording BG 435
    2017 Decca / London
    2017 Somm SOMMCD 2622
    2016 Bridge BCD 9468
    2016 Digressione Music DIG 56
    2016 Melodiya MELCD 1002312
    2015 Profil PH 15007
    2015 Labor Records LAB 7093
    2015 Hyperion CDA 67895
    2015 Paraty PTY 915136
    2014 Sony Classical 88883796882
    2014 Sony Classical G010003051941C
    2014 Steinway & Sons STNS 30029
    2014 IDIS IDIS 6686
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal
    2014 Acousence Classics ACOCD 12214
    2013 Decca
    2013 Entertainment Group 11505
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 9145092
    2013 Warner Classics
    2013 Decca 4785093
    2012 Entertainment Group 12503
    2012 Brilliant Classics 9265
    2012 Brilliant Classics 94388
    2012 Phaia Music PHU 01921
    2011 Naxos 8572440
    2011 Capriccio Phoenix / Capriccio Records 49586
    2011 Antes Edition / Zebralution
    2011 EMI Classics
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099990724
    2010 Claves 501005
    2010 Thorofon / Zebralution
    2010 Erato
    2010 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099962865
    2010 Avi-Music / Cavi-music 8553195
    2009 Blue Saphir 001037
    2009 BBC Legends 42612
    2008 Audite 21402
    2008 Mirare 061
    2007 Decca 4758592
    2007 Vista Vera 96010
    2006 Doremi Records 71133
    2006 Brilliant 93006
    2006 Classical Records 38
    2006 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0946365332
    2006 Caprice Records 21742
    2005 Real Sound (RS) 97
    2005 Romeo Records 7232
    2005 Nonesuch
    2005 Brilliant 92615
    2005 Ivory Records IVCD75002
    2005 Harmonia Mundi 2907366
    2005 Calliope 3254
    2005 Classical Records 14
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon 477049
    2004 Image Recordings 5637422478
    2003 Eroica Distribution 3110
    2003 Brilliant 6137
    2003 Brilliant 99963
    2003 Urania 4215
    2002 Vox 5184
    2001 Harmonia Mundi HMU90 729-2
    2001 Tudor Records 726
    2001 BIS 1142
    2000 Telos 035
    1999 Philips 456787
    1999 Philips 462232
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 Philips 456913
    1999 Philips 456970
    1998 Albany Music Distribution 279
    1998 Newport Classic 85637
    1998 Virgin 45247
    1998 Angel Records 72652
    1997 Decca
    1997 London 452961
    1997 Calliope 9254
    1997 APR (Appian) 5556
    1996 Nonesuch 73035
    1996 Russian Disc 10026
    1996 Hyperion 67131
    1995 APR (Appian) 7036
    1994 Philips 442 617-2PM2
    1994 Harmonia Mundi 907141
    1991 ASV 776
    1989 London 425579
    1988 Harmonia Mundi 907011
    Music & Arts 865
    Analekta 9202
    Brilliant 92615/5
    Bridge
    Brilliant 93006/3
    Alphee 9502003
    Mezhdunarodnaya-Kniga 417072
    Arlecchino 31
    EMI Music Distribution 47346
    Philips 422068
    Manchester 126
    Brilliant 6137/1
    Mezhdunarodnaya-Kniga 417063
    Piannissimo 10394
    Pan 510079
    FL 3047
    Chetan Tierra
    Melodiya 25172
    Mk 417072