Scriabin’s Prelude, Op.16, No. 1, (January 1894), falls within his early period influenced by Chopin’s style. Marked andante, the usual rhythmic pattern is triplets; however, the triplets are either aligned as polyrhythms or counterpoint. This presents a thin texture to the listener, yet it is more difficult to play than it sounds. I would characterize this piece as a reverie. Scriabin wanted the bar lines to be transparent—a manner of playing often found in Russian romantic music. This being a reverie, I surmise that Scriabin mitigated structure per se, as dreaming is more unstructured. Although a short work, it is not in ternary form. Instead Scriabin inserted an episode after the first appearance of the main theme, and a different one following the reprise of the theme. There are two climaxes, the first in the rubato section and a secondary one focusing on the highest note of the piece in the second episode prior to the coda. The coda itself is initially dissonant but resolves into tranquil beauty. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing this prelude.
Piano: Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6’3”) with lid fully open.
Recorder: Korg MR-1000
Mics: Matched pair of Earthworks TC-20 small diaphragm, omni-directional condenser mics in A-B configuration