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Scriabin: Preludes Op. 11, Mazurkas / Artur Pizarro

Scriabin / Pizarro
Release Date: 03/23/2010 
Label:  Musical Concepts   Catalog #: 1068   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Artur Pizarro
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

What freedom and rapture, what sultry declamation Pizarro finds in the dark opalescent magic of Scriabin's world. His rubato is lavish, his sense of the music's continuous modulation colourful and dramatic.

The German critic, Rellstab, may have exclaimed in horror over what he saw as Chopin's morbid transformation of Field's innocence ("where Field sighs Chopin groans, where Field smiles Chopin grimaces. We implore Mr Chopin to return to nature"). But what he would have made of Scriabin's affectionate but infinitely cunning sophistications of Chopin's idiom is hard to imagine. Trespassing on Polish territory (the mazurka is, after all, the most indigenous of dances), Scriabin creates a dark opalescent magic
Read more and a narcotic languor that can affect one like some intense insinuating perfume (readers of Huysmans's novel, A Rebours, will take my meaning). Very much mazurka-fantasies, these are essentially night pieces where dark imaginings bubble to the surface with frightening rapidity and immediacy.

Leeds has not always been lucky in its first-prize winners, but 1990 was clearly a golden year. What freedom and rapture, what sultry declamation Pizarro finds in Op. 3 in particular, in music ranging from an obsessive wheeling round a single idea (No. 2, with its amusing prophecy of "Love is the sweetest thing") to the sudden welling up of dark, subterranean passions in No. 10. His rubato is lavish, his sense of Scriabin's continuous modulation colourful and dramatic, and repetitions always provide an opportunity for further experiment, for the most imaginative realignment of texture and voicing. Born in Portugal, but American-based, Pizarro could hardly sound more authentically Slavonic.

The recordings are spacious and resonant (a shade too resonant for optimum clarity?) and I cannot recommend this issue too highly. Few recent piano records have been more enterprising or more superbly presented.

-- Gramophone [6/1994, reviewing the original release of these recordings, Collins 1394]
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Works on This Recording

1. Mazurkas (10) for Piano, Op. 3 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1889; Moscow 
Date of Recording: 05/1993 
Venue:  St George Brandon Hill Bristol, UK 
Length: 37 Minutes 42 Secs. 
2. Preludes (24) for Piano, Op. 11 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888-1896; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/20/1997 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, Rusthall, Kent, UK 
Length: 28 Minutes 8 Secs. 
3. Mazurkas (2) for Piano, Op. 40 by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1903; Russia 
Date of Recording: 05/1993 
Venue:  St George Brandon Hill Bristol, UK 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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