Notes and Editorial Reviews
Alexander Melnikov's first recording for harmonia mundi, originally part of our young artists' series Les Nouveaux Interpretes, released in May 2006.
Are you seeking a single-disc Scriabin overview that intelligently mixes and matches larger and smaller works, ranging from the composer's early Chopin-influenced piano writing to the near-atonal mysticism of his late Sonatas and Preludes? Then look no further. Not only is Alexander Melnikov a great program builder, but he's also one of the most idiomatic and commanding Scriabin pianists I've ever heard--and I'm not forgetting Horowitz, Richter, Sofronitsky, and Feinberg. If you don't believe me, first sample the Fantasie Op. 28.
Although this arguably is one of Scriabin's more ambitious, loosely knit, and problematic compositions, Melnikov manages to make it both coherent and exciting. His canny pacing sweeps the episodic sections along while giving ample and gorgeously-spun treatment to the lyrical rest stops. Melnikov paints the climaxes in gaunt, sharp-edged sonorities that avoid the slightest semblance of banging.
As with Horowitz, white-hot intensity and super-sensuality interweave with the utmost naturalness in Melnikov's interpretations of the Third and Ninth sonatas. And while many pianists are satisfied to present the Op. 74 Preludes as abstract, slightly foreboding miniatures, Melnikov is not among them. He throws himself into their outsized dynamics and rapid mood swings as if it were a matter of life or death. What is more, Melnikov's extraordinary technique seemingly allows him to bypass the instrument and directly penetrate the music's necromantic core. No Scriabin aficionado should pass up this stunning, superbly engineered release.
– Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com, reviewing original release of this recording Read less
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