Yoojung Kim Connects with Scriabin Sonatas

Yoojung Kim delivers an impressive recital recording. Alexander Scriabin is a favorite composer among pianists. He was a massively talented player himself, and over 85% of his published works are for solo piano. His music is rewarding to perform — and to listen to.

But Scriabin was also an innovator. He kept pushing the limits of tonality, and in the process created his own musical world. There’s a strong internal logic in that world, albeit not always obvious. It takes exceptional musicality to plumb the depths of Scriabin’s music — especially his sonatas.

Yoojung Kim is such a talent. Her technique is first-rate ( I’d hardly expect less from a Bridge recording artist). And she uses that technique to reveal the layers of Scriabin’s music. She plays his cross-rhythms with incredible accuracy. They enhance the interplay of the lines, making them easier to understand.

The centerpiece of the recital is the three sonatas. The second sonata from 1897 is titled a “Sonata-Fantasy.” It shows Scriabin moving away from the traditions of the form. he wrote the Third Sonata, “États d’âme” (Mood) a year later. In it, Scriabin’s musical world is more fully developed. And with Sonata No. 4, he arrived at the beginning of his mystical period. 

Kim draws connections between these works. Her performances trace the development of Scriabin’s musical thought.

This is a terrific album. And Kim is greatly served by the Bridge recording team. As always, the recorded piano sound is natural. The balance between ambiance and clarity is perfect.

Alexander Scriabin: Piano Sonatas 2, 3, and 4
Fantaisie, Op. 28; Poemes, Op. 32, 63
Morceaux, Op. 57; Vers la flamme, Op. 72
Yoojung Kim, piano
Bridge Records 9578

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