Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Alexander Scriabin

While many correctly think of Scriabin as a composer whose mature piano music reflected his mysticism and quirkiness, and whose early keyboard efforts divulged a debt to Chopin and Liszt, he also exhibited many other, sometimes elusive qualities in his compositions. In a sense, this Fantasie, Op. 28, is a transitional work that divulges traits not usually associated with Scriabin. It adopts a muscular manner somewhat at odds with the composer's more nuanced and subdued mature style and, being a middle-period work, divulges no obvious influence. This Fantasie is an immensely difficult piece, requiring fast passage work, hands that can play massive chords with heft, and a technical and interpretive grasp of keyboard coloration. Featuring big Romantic themes and rich harmonies, the work conveys a sense of spontaneity in its seemingly loose structure. Yet it is cast in a sonata-like form, with an exposition, thematic development, and reprise. The potent middle section is full of passion and explodes in climactic moments of triumph and epiphany. The reprise of the second theme is lovely and the whole piece is sprayed with powerful emotions and vivid colors. Lasting about ten minutes, most listeners, even those generally cool to Scriabin, should find this dramatic work to their liking.