Piano Sonata No.10 op.70

Composer: Alexander Scriabin (b. 1872 - d. 1915)
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Composer: Alexander Scriabin (b. 1872 - d. 1915)

Performance date: 27/06/2022

Venue: Bantry House

Composition Year: 1913

Duration: 00:13:09

Recording Engineer: Eduardo Prado, Ergodos

Instrumentation: pf

Instrumentation Category:Solo

Artists: Nathalia Milstein - [piano]

This programme features works from four master composers, who were also extraordinary pianists. And while the styles in structure, harmony and underlying expressions are totally different, they share some interesting characteristics. In the first place, all of them are very difficult to play well.

Composed only two years before his early death, Scriabin was at the height of his mysticism and connection with nature. My Tenth Sonata is a sonata of insects. Insects are born from the sun… they are the sun’s. This description and the trills that are such a distinctive feature of the work led to it being nicknamed the Insect Sonata. The progression from the light opening to the fierce climax speak of a passion that is powerful and moving without any of the softening features of the Romantic Period. Scriabin saw insects as manifestations of human emotion, all the plants and little animals are expressions of our psyches. Their appearance corresponds to the movement of our souls. In this sonata the listener enters a wood and is slowly aware of the sounds around them, realising that they aren’t alone in the wood, but instead surrounded by nature and the ebb and flow of nature’s music that builds up into a cacophony, though this being Scriabin, the cacophony is a masterwork of harmonic dissonance, chromaticism, texture and balance. The final flourish of the piece is the sun coming out, blazing and vibrant.

Helen Dawson