part of track
(1810-1849) spent in Poland only the first twenty-one years of his life.
Born to a French immigrant, Chopin soon realized his musical ambitions and moved
1831 to Paris. He was loved, especially by women. His sweet, salon
were popular. Even without writing symphonies and operas, he was
considered the most
talented Polish composer of the 19th century and became a founder of the Polish
Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, were composed during
eight years (1831-1839), and embrace 24 keys set in the fifth order. The
most noticeable and adorable is Chopin's melodical gift. An abundance of
beautiful melodies, which express a large range of emotional
states, characterize the cycle.
Scriabin, Alexander Nikolayevich (1872-1915), one of
the greatest composers of the 20th century, was born at Christmas and died at
Eastertide according to the Western calendar. He wrote that he was God,
but died during hours of a simple blood poisoning
caused when he carelessly damaged a small pimple on his face.
The huge evolution conceived during 43 years of his life
brought Scriabin close to the
discovery of dodecaphony. The addition of a couple years to his life would
Moscow the birthplace of the 12-tone technique.
Though he started with admiration for romantic music, and his
24 Preludes, Op.11,
are sometimes considered a "diluted" Chopin, Scriabin's individuality
was exposed already
in his early compositions. Being a great pianist he was a master of
pianistic effects and sonority. Scriabin was versatile and absorbed major
zeitgeists of his time - romanticism,
atonality and symbolism. He was preoccupied by theosophy, synthesis of
of colours, smells and touches. It is common to read, that Scriabin rushed
to the future.
In fact many of his ideas, for example, the realization of abstract ideas of
divinity and ecstasy in music refers us directly to ancient Greek art and to the
of his teacher Taneyev, who gave lessons in composition to ten-year-old
Scriabin made major, revolutionary discoveries and
established new branches of art
and science. For example, Scriabin made researches on the positive and
of music. Today this is a young, rapidly growing industry called
"music therapy". His accomplishments can only be defined as
genius. Becoming more and more eccentric and contradictory, Scriabin
became neglected by Western society, which only recently took fresh interest in
Scriabin's late works and particularly the poetry created for
these compositions bore the impact of two famous theosophists of that time -
Helen Blavatskaya and Rudolf Steiner. The poetry of Steiner and Scriabin
is incredibly similar.
The boundless ambition of Scriabin was revealed in his last
composition - "Mysterium".
A performance of this work would last seven days. It should be staged in
the foothills of the Himalayas, in India. The world would be transformed
and dissolved into bliss by the end of the performance. This mega-work
would contain words, music, dance, perfumes and sensations of touch and smell.
The doomsday in which all characters would be in present, including Scriabin as
Jesus Christ, did not come. Only 72 pages of the introduction to "Mysterium"
Igor Zhukov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in
1960. He studied in the piano
class of Heinrich Neuhaus along with such giants of piano performance as
Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels. Starting in 1957, after his victory at
the Marguerite Long Piano Competition in Paris, Zhukov played at all the major
venues around the world drawing acclaim and recognition. His
interpretation of Chopin's and Scriabin's preludes is notable for freshness and
delicacy. Zhukov's performance embraces the best features of great Russian
©2003 Evgeni Kostitsyn
1. 24 Preludes, Op. 28 - 44:52
in C major No. 9 in E major No. 17 in A flat major
No. 2 in A minor No. 10 in C sharp minor No. 18 in F minor
No. 3 in G major No. 11 in B major No. 19 in E flat major
No. 4 in E minor No. 12 in G sharp minor No. 20 in C minor
No. 5 in D major No. 13 in F sharp major No. 21 in B flat major
No. 6 in B minor No. 14 in E flat minor No. 22 in G minor
No. 7 in A major No. 15 in D flat major No. 23 in F major
No. 8 in F sharp minor No. 16 in B flat minor No. 24 in D minor
2. from 24 Preludes, Op. 11 - 18:54
1 in C major No. 9 in E major No. 15 in D flat major
No. 4 in E minor No. 10 in C sharp minor No. 16 in B flat minor
No. 5 in D major No. 13 in G flat major No. 23 in F major
No. 6 in B minor No. 14 in E flat minor No. 24 in D minor
Time - 63:54
Igor Zhukov, piano
"Poplars" by Claude Monet
(1) was recorded in 1983; (2) was recorded in 1979.
Recording Engineers - Veprintsev and Buneyeva