Scriabin: Fragilite, Op. 51, No.1

My dear friend, the great choreographer, Martha Clarke and I collaborated on a project, Vers la flamme 20 years ago; short stories of Anton Chekhov set to selected piano music of the great Russian pianist/composer/synesthete, Alexander Scriabin. Martha and I…

Scriabin: Fragilite, Op. 51, No.1

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My dear friend, the great choreographer, Martha Clarke and I collaborated on a project, Vers la flamme 20 years ago; short stories of Anton Chekhov set to selected piano music of the great Russian pianist/composer/synesthete, Alexander Scriabin. Martha and I spent long nights at her benevolently haunted Connecticut home reading through Scriabin works, favorite and newly discovered, and such is the immediately evocative and poetic power of Scriabin’s music that Martha would immediately upon first measures, opine: “oh, that’s perfect for Lady With a Lapdog; that’s great for The Grasshopper.” We did the show on Broadway at the Victory Theater (where I finally met my brother-from-another-mother, Victor Garber, an old friend of Martha’s) at Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival, and at the Kennedy Center. I shared the stage with five incredible dancers and one precocious Pomeranian, Sophie. Subsequently, I recorded the show’s dozens of pieces for a record Ransom Wilson produced and Paul Blakemore engineered in the incredibly atmospheric Methuen Music Hall, a marble-floored room housing a huge pipe organ, a room much taller than it was wide; perfect ambience for the opulence and magic of Scriabin. This video I recorded on The World’s Greatest Steinway Concert Grand in my home a few nights ago. Fragilite, one of my favorite of all the Scriabin miniatures, shows Scriabin at his contrapuntal as well as atmospheric best. I’ll be doing quite a lot of home recording in the coming months; first these Scriabin offerings, and then likely a few of my arrangements that haven’t been commercially released; some Radiohead, Tears for Fears, a Sondheim favorite for my friend, Sara and some others. These first few offerings will be widely available, but a really big project I’m planning (I won’t name it, but it’s initials are WTC) will be only partly available except by subscription, so signing up here: http://www.christopheroriley.com/subscribe/ will prove a very good idea. Cheers, all.

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