Gary Lemco of Audiophile Audition gives a positive review of Stephen Hough’s Scriabin CD.
Stephen Hough enters Scriabin’s erotic, plastic world (rec. 24-25 May 2011) with a highly refined, sensitive realization of the 1907 Sonata No. 5, whose unnerving sensuality and ecstatic, rushing flights of fantasy had Rachmaninov exclaiming, “I felt as if I had been beaten with sticks!” With the work’s stops and starts, its languorous approach to rubato and its vacillations between F-sharp Major and B-flat, the resultant swirl – its panoply of dramatic gestures – delays any sense of cadential closure. Bright little comets of sound flash through a welter of siren-like bass chords, all quite watery, in a reverie that combines aspects of Chopin and Liszt. The last section, marked Presto con allegrezza, attains a luminous and muscular clarity, a transfiguration of what might have been in Chopin a mazurka.