Scriabin, Alexander - Vers La Flamme - Sivelöv, Niklas (piano)

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"I am becoming increasingly fond of the Caprice label, both in its new issues and historic reissues. This is one of the former, an album recorded in 2005 by Swedish pianist Niklas Sivelöv. Except for Vers la flamme, Feuillet d'album, the op. 57 Moreceux, and the Sonata No. 4, most of this program consists of earlier works by Scriabin. Sivelöv's mission is to show the connections between the earlier works and the later ones, to display, as he puts it in the liner notes, the way in which Scriabin interrupted his lyric moods with emotional outbursts that didn't quite fit in. In this, he succeeds handsomely. Sivelöv's playing is direct, crisp, and fiery. He takes no prisoners in his forthright approach to the music. Nevertheless, I must disagree with some of his tempos and phrasing. None of the slow preludes in the op. 11 set are really slow; lentos are turned into andantinos, andantes into moderatos, andantinos into prestos. Comparing him not only with Mikhail Pletnev in his acclaimed set of the complete op. 11 (Virgin Classics 45247), or even another abridged recording of the op. 11 by Mayron Tsong (Centaur 2946), I found their slower, legato approach more congenial to music that was clearly inspired by Chopin. Ruth Laredo, who recorded what must be considered one of the definitive sets of the complete Scriabin sonatas way back in 1970, points out that as a piano student Scriabin was criticized for his "ethereal" playing, and in those years he slept with a copy of Chopin's preludes under his pillow. Of course, his aesthetic and musical approach underwent a tremendous metamorphosis around the turn of the 20th century, and his own 1910 performance of the Étude, op. 8/12 (also played on this recital by Sivelöv), recorded as a Welte-Mignon piano roll, certainly reveals an approach much closer to the Swedish pianist than to Pletnev or Tsong, but his phrasing is more legato. My point is that both interpretations are valid, and that I prefer a little more backing-off in some of these early works. And yet Sivelöv certainly does make Scriabin's music on this CD, spanning almost the full chronology of his piano output, sound convincingly of a piece. It is as far from the ethereal Scriabin of 1890 as one could possibly get. I've often wondered where Scriabin may have gone musically had he lived to finish Misterium, and of course we'll never know, but Sivelöv's musical and philosophical approach to his music will certainly hold your attention. I personally rank this as one of the great Scriabin issues of all time, despite my caveats."

Niklas Sivelöv is a well-known pianist and composer. He has had great successes with many of his appearances throughout the world. He is, among other things, professor of piano at the Royal Danish Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. He has given master classes in Spain, Finland and in the US. Niklas has, as the only Swedish piano player, been elected into the Steinway Hall of Fame!

Niklas has concertos from Beethoven to Lutoslawski and Ligeti on his wide-ranging repertoire, and he has had piano concertos dedicated to him by contemporary Scandinavian composers. He has, on a regular basis, collaborated with well-known musicians such as clarinetist Martin Fröst and he has appeared together with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Saraste, Alan Gilbert and Kristjan Järvi.

On this recording Niklas takes on Alexander Scriabin's large-scale piano works with, among other things, the poem Vers la flamme (towards the flames), - music from the composer's whole life. This work has also given the name to this album.
Who, then, was Alexander Scriabin? Scriabin lived from 1872 to 1915 and was a unique Russian composer and pianist. He strove to attain a new musical language and wanted to combine music with other art forms. Niklas Sivelöv finds Scriabin and his tone language quite fascinating. It is rhythm and vivid timbres. The performance of this music makes very high demands on the pianist technically. Scriabin was also one of the first to prophesy the use of electronic sounds. This demanding recording of works by Scriabin is perhaps Sivelöv's best ever.

Artikelnummer CAP21742
Streckkod 7391782217421
Utgivningsdatum 2006-08-21
Kategori Piano
Skivbolag Caprice
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Artister Sivelöv, Niklas (piano)
Kompositörer Scriabin, Alexander
Disk: 1
Sonata-Fantasy in G sharp minar, Op. 19
1 Andante
2 Presto
Étude in C sharp minor, Op. 2
3 Étude in C sharp minor, Op. 2
Étude in F sharp minor, Op. 8:2
4 Étude in F sharp minor, Op. 8:2
Étude in B flat minor, Op. 8:11
5 Étude in B flat minor, Op. 8:11
Étude in D sharp minor, Op. 72
6 Étude in D sharp minor, Op. 72
Poème "Vers la Flamme" Op. 72
7 Poème "Vers la Flamme" Op. 72
From 24 Préludes Op. 11
8 Vivace
9 Allegretto
10 Vivo
11 Lento
12 Andante cantabile
13 Allegro
14 Allegro agitato
15 Andantino
16 Andante
17 Allegro assai
18 Andante
19 Lento
20 Presto
Quatre Préludes Op. 16
21 No.1 Andante
22 No.2 Allegro
23 No.4 Lento
24 No.5 Allegretto
Trois Morceaux Op. 45
25 Feuillet d'album
26 Poème
27 Prélude
Deux Morceaux Op. 57
28 Désir
29 Caresse dansée
Feuillet d'album Op. 58
30 Feuillet d'album Op. 58
Deux Piéces Op. 59
31 Poème
32 Prélude
Quatre Mazurkas
33 G sharp minor Op. 3:9
34 F minor Op. 25:1
35 B minor Op. 25:8
36 D flat major Op. 40:1
Sonata No. 4 in F sharp major Op. 30
37 Andante
38 Prestissimo volando
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