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While this is not the first coupling of Scriabin and Pasternak – Ludmilla Berlinskaya has done something similar on Berlin Classics – Primachenko includes Pastnernak’s B minor Sonata, a substantive work.

Throughout the ravishing Scriabin Etude in C-sharp minor Op 2/1 and the Etudes Op 8 one finds an interpreter of great strength. Primachenko’s way is decidedly Russian (she is bathed in the history, from Neuhaus to Zak and Naumov) so can be low on pedal. She is technically exemplary, and her realisation of the Scriabin is up there with the finest: if she lacks the final element of the incendiary realisations we hear in Sofronitsky, she remains utterly compelling.

Primachenko’s Scriabin Second Sonata (‘Sonata-Fantasy’) is affectionate and incendiary by turns. When the music flows, it does so with easy inevitability. Scriabin’s wispy prestos fly by with similar extremes of gossamer lightness and volcanic outburst, yet never sacrifice detail.

Coupling Scriabin with Pasternak is logical – Scriabin brought his Op 8 Etudes first to the Pasternaks. Primachenko also has access to Pasternak’s manuscripts, imbuing her performances with real authenticity. The three Pasternak pieces (sonata plus two preludes) share a certain headiness with the Scriabin. Performed with real warmth and conviction, they are far more than curios.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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