SCRIABIN: Intégrale des Poèmes (Complete Poèmes) – Pascal Amoyel, piano – Calliope

by | Jun 23, 2006 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

SCRIABIN: Intégrale des Poèmes (Complete Poèmes) – Pascal Amoyel, piano – Calliope CAL 9353, 75:02 ****:

We’re seeing more complete sets of works on a single disc lately which formerly required two CDs due to the iffy nature of putting more than 60 minutes on a disc.  So not only are we getting better sonics with many improvements in the mastering of CDs in the last several years, but also longer playing times and better bargains. This same label gave us the complete piano sonatas of Scriabin not long ago – though that did require two discs.

Along with those piano sonatas, these 20 Poemes, plus three similar works with different titles, took composing for the piano into the 20th century. Just as Schoenberg and Mahler were pushing on the limits of tonality, Scriabin was going about it in his unique way – combining far out spiritual themes with complex technical aspects which make his music a major challenge to pianists even today.

Some of the Poemes have descriptive titles such as “satanique” or “languide,” while others simply have the opus and number plus the key signature. The three works with differing titles are two waltzes and an “album leaf.”   The final Poeme is the echt-Scriabinesque “Vers la flamme” – a six-minute sensual hallucination for keyboard.

Pascal Amoyel studied with several pianistic masters, including Lazar Berman, Aldo Ciccolini and Charles Rosen, but he is regarded as one of the spiritual heirs of György Cziffra.  An interesting interview with Amoyel in the booklet has him answering questions about the world of Scriabin’s Poemes.  He quotes the eccentric composer as saying, “I have not come to teach, but to caress.”

— John Sunier

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