Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Roslavets was the most radical of all Russian musical innovators in the early decades of the twentieth century. His so-called 'new system of tone organization' involves highly original manipulation of 'synthetic chords' and transposition throughout the twelve degrees of the chromatic scale. As for so many composers, the genre of the piano miniature became Roslavets' chosen vehicle for much of this experimentation.
The pieces on this recording span much of the composer's mature career, from the Three Compositions of 1914 to the Sonata No 5 of 1923 (the three Sonatas presented here are numbered 1, 2 and 5—Nos 3 and 4 are lost). The Three Études are among the most daunting of piano music around, using as many four staves at moments of emotional climax.
(As a point of reference, Roslavets' piano music may best be compared to the later works of his compatriot Scriabin—Hamelin goes so far as to say 'Scriabin on acid'!)