Scriabin: 12 Etudes, Op. 8; Piano Sonata No. 3; Piano Sonata No. 4; Piano Sonata No. 5, Opp. 23, 30 & 53

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COMPOSERS: Scriabin
LABELS: Pianissimo
WORKS: 12 Etudes, Op. 8; Piano Sonata No. 3; Piano Sonata No. 4; Piano Sonata No. 5, Opp. 23, 30 & 53
PERFORMER: Yuki Matsuzawa (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: PP 10394 DDD (distr. Albany)
This is beautiful playing by any reckoning. Yuki Matsuzawa had the complete piano music of Chopin and the sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven at her fingertips when she was in her early teens, and Ashkenazy has been among her teachers. Her clear articulation and delicacy of nuance, the variety of her touch and phrasing, reveal a deep musical sensitiveness, and her sheer control is nothing short of astonishing.

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The Twelve Etudes are playable as a set, and Matsuzawa gives a supremely well balanced account of them, each one receiving its own exclusive characterisation. The first movement of the Third Sonata is only intermittently drammatico, the finale of the Fourth not always prestissimo volando: Scriabin’s music is too varied to be bound for long by a single indication of manner. Matsuzawa unerringly finds the style, and her tempi seem just right. The Fifth Sonata was an offshoot of the Poem of Ecstasy and exudes a similar delirious fervour. This is a wonderful disc. I shall play it often. Wadham Sutton