Magazine article Gramophone

Scriabin: Ten Piano Sonatas

Magazine article Gramophone

Scriabin: Ten Piano Sonatas

Article excerpt


Ten Piano Sonatas. Fantasie, Op 28

Garrick Ohlsson pf

Bridge (F) (2) BRIDGE9468 (148' * DDD)

Much of Garrick Ohlsson's Scriabin sonata cycle is remarkably literal, maybe shockingly so. It's as if the pianist were determined to reveal the facts behind the phantasmagoria, the music behind the mysticism, the notes behind the narcotics and the score behind the sex. As a result, the often loose-limbed Op 28 Fantasie gains considerable momentum, backbone and left-hand prominence. Rather than ride the dynamic waves resulting from the disquieting undercurrents of the Fourth Sonata's Prestissimo volando, Ohlsson instead differentiates the textural strands and syncopated rhythms with X-ray clarity. Unlike many who race through No 2's swirling Presto, Ohlsson's measured pacing uncovers intricate inner melodies and rarely perceived polyphonic interplay between the hands. In No 1's Adagio and No 3's Andante, Ohlsson's attention to chord voicings and shapelier fluidity contrast with the relatively heavier, more wandering interpretations in Peter Donohoe's recent cycle (Somm, 2/17).

Notice, too, how Ohlsson distinctly spells out No 6's groaningly thick chords at all dynamic levels so that they're massive yet never fatty. …

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