A. Scriabin: The Complete Piano Sonatas -

A. Scriabin: The Complete Piano Sonatas -

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Few pianists have ever set themselves the challenge of performing the complete cycle of Alexander Skryabin's Piano Sonatas in the concert hall. In addition to the enormous technical demands they present, the pianist must also master the composer's highly complex intellectual and emotional cosmos, in which - progressing from work to work - the notes increasingly become a vehicle on the pathway to transcendence. In the context of Skryabin's oeuvre his Piano Sonatas stand like milestones in the development from late-romantic virtuoso piano writing under the influence of Chopin to an absolutely unique individual style in which content, form and compositional technique cast aside all the trappings of convention and become subordinate to a positively manic urge for self-expression. The complete recording of the Piano Sonatas played by Vladimir Stoupel does more than any other to document this development, combining as it does the spontaneity of a live performance experience with the all-inclusivity of a complete overview which could only be attained by means of a tour de force of cyclical performances and recording sessions following each other seamlessly without a break.In the early works Stoupel intuitively senses and brings out the seed of what is to come later and allows the stylistic change that starts with the 5th Sonata to come across more as a metamorphosis than as a break in continuity. An astonishing feature is the close similarity between these performances and Skryabin's own playing as documented in a series of Welte-Mignon recordings made in 1910: great agogic freedom in the exploitation of each phrase, tender lyricism and delicate shading contrasted with virile, sometimes aggressive exhibitionism, all in a constant, mercurial flow in which even the blackest moments are lit by a satanic gleam.The Russian-born pianist and conductor Vladimir Stoupel is characterised by extraordinary versatility, uncompromising musical intensity and technical command. His repertoire is extraordinarily large and varied. Vladimir Stoupel has performed as soloist with many leading orchestras in Europe and in the USA and has participated in many international music festivals. Besides his extensive solo career he is known as an excellent chamber musician and song accompanist as well as a conductor. Vladimir Stoupel has been French citizen since 1985. Today he makes his home in Berlin.V. Stoupel: La liberté est dans la mémoire. About the need of playing by heart at the example of Scriabin's piano works