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CD Feature/ Yevgeny Sudbin: "Scriabin"

img  Tobias

On his latest album, Yevgeny Sudbin presents us with a profile of Alexander Scriabin's work, ranging from some of his earliest compositions to pieces written only two years before his death. Can a multidimensional interpretation such as Sudbin’s be narrowed down to a single review? Hardly. Which is why we have decided to provide you with two possible descriptions of this record and with two suggestions as to the approach Sudbin has taken:

First review:
In his breathless and exhilerating linernotes, Yevgeny Sudbin portrays Alexander Scriabin as a man torn between genius and insanity, as a mystery, a madman and a master. That’s how he plays him as well, turning the “Sonata No. 5” into a brusque battlefield of loose thematic threads on an eternal quest for resolution and the “Valse” into a spike-formed outbreak of suppressed emotions, bubbling to the surface in a self-therapeutic session of sweetness and passion.


Scriabin, according to Sudbin, was a man far beyond his time and his contemporaries, a visionary who found daring and extreme forms of expression and who died while composing a piece which would have transformed our perception of music and the shape of the earth. “Scriabin” is a highly personal disc, not only because it is dedicated to the memory of Yevgeny Sudbin’s former teacher Alexander Satz, but also because it draws parallels between Sudbin’s life and the composer he feels inexplicably drawn to as if he were still among the living.


He writes: “When I first became involved with Scriabin’s music, Scriabin eclipsed everything in my life.” This sensation of absoluteness and of surrendering to the offerings of someone capable of channeling the messages of a higher force like few others is what turns his latest CD into a staggering tightrope act and into a disc which shows us both how much there is to love about Scriabin - and how much we still don’t understand.

Second review:
In his personal and literay linernotes, Yevgeny Sudbin portrays Alexander Scriabin as a man who must have felt extremely lonely, as a misunderstanding, a media magnet and a magician. That’s how he plays him as well, turning the “Sonata No. 2” into a quietly whispering stream of incomprehensibly seductive whispers and allegorical ambient harmonies and the famous “Etude op.2” into a yearning, a sigh, a hand clutching for straws, only to slowly sink into the cold waters in the end.


Scriabin, according to Sudbin, was man in between two eras, born just too late to belong to the camp of the romantics and who died while transforming his music into a unique style bordering full atonality and anticipating many of the radical developments which would follow him and which would would transform the earth's perception of music. “Scriabin” is a highly personal disc, not only because it is dedicated to the memory of Yevgeny Sudbin’s former teacher Alexander Satz, but also because it bares the influence the composer had on his life and how he experiences the pieces he is performing here, such as the aforementioned “Sonata No. 2”.


He writes: “I cannot recall any other work that has the same effect on me. “ This sensation of physicality and of surrendering to the offerings of someone capable of formulating with music what others were finding hard to describe in words is what turns his his latest CD into an emotional soulsearch and into a disc which shows us both how much we still do not understand about Scriabin - and how human his music has remained despite his sometimes supernatural concepts.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Yevgeny Sudbin
Homepage: BIS Records

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