Saturday, April 2, 2016

Igor Nikonovich Plays Scriabin

It is a remarkable fact that many great composers are small. in the 20th century alone one can easily find several dozen famous composers whose physical stature was well below average. A meeting of, for instance, Maurice Ravel, Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg and lgor Stravinsky would almost have looked like a meeting of circus dwarves. lt would be a matter for a musically concerned psychiatrist such as Anthony Storr to discover whether or not there is a link between small stature and creative talent. On the other hand it requires no special study to observe that it can sometimes be very difficult for a small person to perform certain pieces on particular musical instruments. Alexander Scriabin was a pianist of genius — who enjoyed world fame in this capacity long before his compositions became famous — but, in order to achieve this, he had to overcome considerable obstacles, because he was a tiny man whose hands spanned an octave only with difficulty. As a 13-year-old member of the cadet corps he was a piano pupil of the eminent and very strict piano teacher Nikolai Sverev. Sverev was always satisfied with the young Sasha, but we can nevertheless assume that he breathed a sigh of relief when the next pupil arrived. The latter had hands as big as rakes and, with a span of a twelfth (l) he could reach every conceivable chord. His name was Sergei Rachmaninov, and he was the only person to beat Scriabin in the Conservatory’s final examination, in which he gained the Great Gold Medal (only the third time that this had ever been awarded); Scriabin was given the ‘normal’ medal. Scriabin’s very small hands also resulted in him injuring himself while practising, as Robert Sch.imann had done many years previously, ard in consequence he had to abstain from playirg for a lengthy period. They prevented h'm from performing a whole series of his own p'ano compositions. Strangely, this also had the result that he was less bound by technical considerations in his piano works than he would otherwise have been : he was accustomed to not always being able to play his own music, and thus did not hesitate to choose unorthodox technical solutions...
Per Skans 1996, from the booklet

Igor Nikonovich
Alexander Scriabin


1 Fugue in E Minor  2:05

2 Sonata-Fantasy in G-Sharp Minor  6:41

Two Nocturnes Op. 5
3 N° 1 in F-Sharp Minor  3:38
4 N° 2 in A Major  2:29

Two Impromptus Op. 10
5 N° 1 in F-Sharp Minor  3:19
6 N° 2 in A Major  2:30

Five Preludes Op. 15
7 N° 1 in A Major  1:34
8 N° 2 in F-Sharp Minor  0:44
9 N° 3 in E Major  0:54
10 N° 4 in E Major  1:33
11 N° 5 in C-Sharp Minor  1:12

Five Preludes Op. 16
12 N° 1 in B Major  2:30
13 N° 2 in G-Sharp Minor  1:24
14 N° 3 in G-Flat Major  2:10
15 N° 4 in E-Flat Minor  1:03
16 N° 5 in F-Sharp Major  0:36

Four Preludes Op. 39
17 N° 1 in F-Sharp Major  0:39
18 N° 2 in D Major  1:09
19 N° 3 in G Major  1:29
20 N° 4 in A-Flat Major  0:45

21 Poème in D-Flat Major Op. 41 3:53

Eight Etudes Op. 42
22 N° 1 in D-Flat Major  1:47
23 N° 2 in F-Sharp Minor  0:47
24 N° 3 in F-Sharp Major  0:54
25 N° 4 in F-Sharp Major  2:33
26 N° 5 in C-Sharp Minor  3:01
27 N° 6 in D-Flat Major  1:46
28 N° 7 in F Minor  0:45
29 N° 8 in E-Flat Major  2:20

Three Pieces Op. 45
30 N° 1 in E-Flat Major. Feuillet d'Album  1:15
31 N° 2 in C Major. Poème fantasque  0:35
32 N° 3 in E-Flat Major. Prelude  1:16

Three Pieces Op. 49
33 N° 1 in E-Flat Major. Etude  0:28
34 N° 2 in F Minor. Prélude  0:49
35 N° 3 in C Major. Rêverie  1:08

36 Feuille d'album in F-Sharp Major  0:40

37 Scherzo in C Major Op. 46  1:34


Igor Nikonovich - p

Recorded at Studio 1, Moscow Broadcasting House, Russia ; January/Mach 1995


Melanchthon said...

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much !

woland said...

Thank you. Another great Scriabin record.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Marvellous music !!
Thank you