PUSHING BOUNDARIES: LISITSA EXPLORES THE PIANISTIC WORLD OF ALEXANDER SCRIABIN
Valentina Lisitsa, who has a formidable track record when it comes to mining the works of left-field composers, turns her attention to Alexander Scriabin with her new release, Nuance. While Scriabin was dramatically pushing at musical boundaries by the end of his short life, his early works are suffused with a fresh innocence – this selection from his lesser-known piano repertoire reflects the striking stylistic differences that characterised his all too brief career. Marking the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death in 1915 at the age of 43, Nuance will be released in October.
This is not Lisitsa’s first venture into Scriabin on disc. She featured on the recording of his complete works, released on Decca in April, earning this tribute from Audiophile Audition: “Lisitsa is an especially fine pianist who captures the special Scriabin feeling in her performances, which combine sensitivity and expressiveness with a command of dynamics.” She now returns to the enigmatic Russian Symbolist master after acclaimed albums devoted to the similarly iconoclastic Philip Glass and Michael Nyman, and to challenging Études by Schumann and Chopin.
Scriabin’s early music, delightfully easy on the ear, shows the influence of Chopin, which explains the profusion of such titles as Mazurka, Polonaise, Impromptu, Nocturne, Scherzo, Prélude, Étude and Waltz. The digital version of Nuance includes four extra tracks: the Étude op.49, no.1, the Mazurka in B minor, Feuille d’album in F sharp major and what is possibly the first recording of the Duett in D minor for two sopranos and piano.