1901, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1911, 1914, 2015, Music

Sonatas and Poems (2015) by Stephen Hough

This collection features two of Scriabin’s piano sonatas, and two of his “poems,” plus Janacek’s only piano sonata and the first book of On an Overgrown Path.

Scriabin’s fifth sonata is something else – it’s a daring, difficult work. It’s note quite as radical tonally as Schoenberg’s stuff from the same period (to my ears), but it’s possibly more radical in form, and it’s just as compelling. Really, really great.

The first book of On an Overgrown Path is a pleasing set of late Romantic pieces that are not quite Janacek at his most radical. They’re still quite enjoyable but not my favourite of his work.

Scriabin’s Poem #1 is a pretty piece that is significantly less radical to my ears than the music to come.

“Vers la flamme” is a strident piece that builds and builds. It’s not particularly out there, but it is compelling nonetheless, with it’s mounting tension and climax. It’s cool. Apparently it was supposed to be his 11th sonata, but it is really short.

Janacek’s lone piano sonata is one of my favourite pieces of his, despite its brevity and his apparent disdain for it (he threw out the second half). It’s the kind of thing he does really well, making sophisticated music that sounds really modern despite his adherence to tradition.

Scriabin’s fourth sonata is significantly less radical than his 5th, though it is still an interesting and compelling piece. It’s also really, really short, which is too bad, because I like it.

Though this is a scattershot collection, I like the music contained enough to not care about that this particular time.


  1. Piano Sonata No 5, Composed By Alexander Scriabin, 12:25
  2. On The Overgrown Path: Our Evenings Composed By Leoš Janáček, 3:49
  3. On The Overgrown Path: A Blown-Away Leaf Composed By Leoš Janáček, 3:17
  4. On The Overgrown Path: Come With Us! Composed By Leoš Janáček, 1:08
  5. On The Overgrown Path: The Frýdek Madonna Composed By Leoš Janáček, 3:27
  6. On The Overgrown Path: They Chattered Like Swallows Composed By Leoš Janáček, 2:23
  7. On The Overgrown Path: Words Fail! Composed By Leoš Janáček, 2:09
  8. On The Overgrown Path: Good Night! Composed By Leoš Janáček, 3:04
  9. On The Overgrown Path: Unutterable Anguish Composed By Leoš Janáček, 5:02
  10. On The Overgrown Path: In Tears Composed By Leoš Janáček, 3:29
  11. On The Overgrown Path: The Barn Owl Has Not Flown Away! Composed By Leoš Janáček, 3:48
  12. Poème In F Sharp Major, Composed By Alexander Scriabin, 3:03
  13. Vers La Flamme: Poème Composed By Alexander Scriabin, 5:49
  14. Piano Sonata ‘1.X.1905, From The Street’: Presentiment Composed By Leoš Janáček, 4:55
  15. Piano Sonata ‘1.X.1905, From The Street’: Death Composed By Leoš Janáček, 7:19
  16. Piano Sonata No 4 In F Sharp Major: Andante, Composed By Alexander Scriabin 2:35
  17. Piano Sonata No 4 In F Sharp Major: Prestissimo, Composed By Alexander Scriabin Volando 4:57

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